Thursday, October 25 2018
Over the last couple decades I’ve been simultaneously amazed and dismayed at the state of Christian higher education. The trappings of university culture, the elitist bubble of academia, the pride of intellectualism, have all infiltrated Bible colleges, Christian universities, and theological seminaries with frightening consequences.
Scriptural fidelity has been cast aside in deference to “thinking outside the box,” allegiance to the Gospel of Jesus has been replaced with allegiance to a social justice gospel. Sins have become “struggles,” transforming the sinner into the victim. And when Biblical exposition results in discomfort for those living in contradiction to Scriptural teaching, it is no longer viewed as the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but is instead the fault of the preacher for “giving offense to marginalized communities.”
Christian university presidents and faculty have, for a host of inexcusable reasons, allowed a spirit of rebellion to overrun their institutions, resulting in an utter corruption of a new generation of “Christian” preachers, teachers, and professionals who understand precious little about having a mind transformed to a Biblical worldview. They speak the language of the Bible, all while advocating a submission to the spirit of the age.
That is why while other Christians might blame “the modern church” for the Biblically horrifying results of the most recent “State of Theology” study conducted by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research, I think we need to be more specific. First, what results am I talking about? Here’s a sampling:
Notice, those percentages are all over half. And each of those statements contradict explicit truth of the Bible. How does that happen? Non-existent or confused theological discipleship in churches is the obvious answer. But surely there’s a reason that churches are failing to teach sound theology. Surely there’s a reason that supposedly devout Christians aren’t demanding sound theology from the pulpit.
I tend to be of the belief that a large portion of the blame rests at the feet of the institutions training up the next generation of Christian thinkers and leaders. Institutions that are caught up in the pursuit of dollars and earthly prestige and have found the best way to achieve both is to leave committed and serious theology on the shelf.