King's Business - 1954-06

Education: The Secular Campus

Som e Christians should go to Non-Christian Schools For those who select a secu lar campus, what are their chances of maintaining their fa ith in Christ? rinthians (which is what his pastor had been teaching), this new minister speaks on “The Psychology of Pray­ er.” Only one Bible verse in the whole sermon, and Christ only men­ tioned once! Well, this evening he’ll try an­ other church. But this one too turns out to be different from the one back home. Here the minister talks about “ The Living Bible,” but it’s sort of puzzling the way he implied that there are a lot of mistakes in the Bible and yet God can speak through parts of it. Before coming to State Dan had been prepared for ridicule and even expected to be called upon to defend his faith in the classroom. But in his classes (which are not limited to engineering subjects) he finds that religion and the Bible aren’t even mentioned. Are these subjects really as im­ portant as they seemed back home? He begins to question, and to won­ der. One night about a month after school began Dan’s study is interrupt­ ed by someone knocking on the door of his room. “ Are you Dan Mitchell? My name is Art Johnson. I’d like to invite you to a Bible study we hold every Tuesday evening in my room over in the east wing of the dorm. Your roommate’s welcome too.” By Joe Bayly

University of Minnesota

C hicago University, Southern Cal, Yale, Penn State, Oregon College of Education: what will be the experience of a Christian freshman at such schools as these next fall? W ill he remain keen? Or will he begin to doubt the Bible? W ill she find Christian friends? W ill her so­ cial life be warped because of her Christian standards? And can she continue to maintain those stand­ ards in a non-Christian university environment? Or what will happen to a Chris­ tian girl who enters nurse’s training at Municipal Hospital, St. Luke’s or the Medical Center? While an individual student’s spir­ itual future at a secular school can­ not be predicted (there are too many factors, many of them going back to childhood), it is possible to give some general answers. These answers are closely related to the ministry of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship on 400 American campuses and in 200 schools of nursing. Let’s take an imaginary fellow named Dan Mitchell as an example. Dan comes from a Christian home and a Bible-believing church. He is a Christian and has never known a period of serious spiritual declen­ sion. His social life has been centered in church and home, including his Christian friends’ homes. Why didn’t Dan go to a Christian

college? Probably because he’s plan­ ning on the engineering profession and doesn’t know of a Christian school with such a department. (This is also true of agriculture, law and some other fields of undergraduate specialization.) Other Christian stu­ dents have gone to State because tuition and travel expenses are lower than they are at more distant Chris­ tian schools, or because they were turned down by a school whose en­ rollment was already filled. Some have definitely chosen the non-Chris­ tian environment. At any rate, Dan and his parents prayed, seeking God’s will, and they believed God was lead­ ing toward State. When Dan arrives at State, the first thing that strikes him is that he’s now living in a non-Christian en­ vironment. Somehow it isn’t easy that first night to begin reading his Bible while his roommate is tacking pin-up pictures to the wall on his side of the room. And to kneel down to pray seems so—well, out of place. His roommate isn’t a Christian, but he’s a real nice guy. Sunday morning Dan gets up early to go to church. Almost no one else is stirring in the dorm; most of the fellows were out late the night be­ fore. This first Sunday Dan goes to a church of the same denomination as his church back home. But instead of an expository sermon on First Co­



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