Joy to the world

Christian teachers and students alike can never forget that their views are not widely shared in the culture as a whole. We read a great many books written by people who don’t believe what we believe; we are always aware of being different. This is a tremendous boon to true learning, because it discourages people from deploying rote pieties as a substitute for genuine thought. No Christian student or professor can ever forget the possibility of alternative beliefs or unbeliefs. Most students who graduate from Christian colleges have a sharp, clear awareness of alternative ways of being in the world; yet students at secular universities can go from their first undergraduate year all the way to a PhD without ever having a serious encounter with religious thought and experience — with any view of the world other than that of their own social class.

Alan Jacobs,”Christian Education and ‘Intellectual Compromise’” The American Conservative (online post 12/18/2015) (link).

At this time of the year, it is well for Christian students and professors (and shouldn’t we all be both?) to recall that we are called to be “different.”  “Different” does not (of course) mean angry, or rude, or insecure.  It does not mean ignorant or lacking in humility.  It means loving the world in truth, and that invariably means going out into the places where the world lives.

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