So, if you haven’t gathered by my recent quotes and by the books in my sidebar, I’m heavily researching the integration of faith and learning. Since end-of-term crunch time does not leave me much time for posting, I will instead subject you all to quotes I find interesting. The following quote is from Arthur F. Holme’s The Idea of a Christian College. It persuasively argues that a Christian college is not about indoctrination.
A frequent idea people have of the Christian college has been captured in the label “defender of the faith.” Though defending the faith was certainly an apostolic responsibility, it is hard to extend it to all of the educational task, all of art and science or all of campus life. Yet a defensive mentality is still common among pastors and parents; many suppose that the Christian college exists to protect young people against sin and heresy in other institutions. The idea therefore is not so much to educate as to indoctrinate, to provide a safe environment plus all the answers to all the problems posed by all the critics of orthodoxy and virtue.
This is an idea, I say–more a caricature than a reality. The trouble with it is that there often are no ready-made answers, new problems arise constantly, and the critics are perplexingly creative. The student who is simply conditioned to respond in certain ways to certain stimuli is at a loss when he confronts novel situations, as he will in a changing society undergoing a knowledge explosion. He needs a disciplined understanding of his heritage plus creativity, logical rigor and self-critical honesty, far more than he needs prepackaged sets of questions and answers. The mistake in cloistering young people to keep them from sin and heresy, as evangelicals—of all people—should realize, is that these things come ultimately not from the environment but out of the heart And while every parent feels protective toward her youngsters, overprotectiveness can stifle faith and hope and love, and trigger opposite excesses of thought and conduct. (4-5)
I think that especially the part about the need to think critically in a rapidly changing society is right on the money. Our pat answers will not answer the new questions that tomorrow will bring.