Tim Bayly of the WorldMag extention zeitgeist was simply giving a taste of things to come when he denounced Wheaton earlier this week. In the latest World, Gene Edward Veith has published the first of a three-part examination of Christian Universities.
The article is surprisingly well balanced, mostly due to the comments by a symposium of three Christians in higher education (including the distinguished Al Mohler). Geneva College President-Emeritus John White thinks that the situation in Christian colleges has broadly improved: “After a year of returning to the classroom I find many students and faculty eager to embrace and understand orthodox Christianity and the holism of the Lordship of Christ.” This improvement, Veith contends, is mainly due to the destruction of the “fact/value” distinction within Christian thought (see, for instance, Nancey Pearcey’s latest). The commentators suggest that where Christian colleges and universities do struggle with their identity, it is often financial pressures from donors who aren’t orthodox Christians and the want of academic prestige that are the major forces.
Contrast these rather tame statements with the usual inflammatory (and probably true!) remark from a good friend: “Many profs view their mission as helping poor, right-wing Christian children outgrow their parents’ faith.” I’ll be looking forward to seeing this defended in the next two articles.