How can you survive and thrive at college and university?
Simple pointers to give you a strategy
Published: 15 January 2008 (GMT+10)
Photo by Sanja Gjenero, www.sxc.hu
Each year thousands of young people enroll at college and university as they embark on their chosen careers. Some leave home to enroll at the University of their Choice. If that describes you, how do you plan to handle the evolutionary content of your course?
It’s important to be able to identify the ‘evolutionary content’ of what is taught. Some students mistakenly think that, since they will be studying medicine, or law, or literature, or environmental management, they will be exempt from the evolutionary teaching. However, evolutionary ideas provide the framework on which the whole edifice of secular naturalism is built. It’s the basis for secular humanistic worldview, the Marxist/Leninist worldview and the cosmic/new-age humanistic worldview—philosophies that are so prevalent on university campuses that they cannot be avoided (but they can be resisted). Evolutionary thinking covers every aspect of life and is the naturalist’s explanation for the origin of everything, the problem with the world and what needs to be done to fix it.
Photo by Gokhan Okur, www.sxc.hu
So how are you going to survive? Here are a few simple pointers.
Make sure you understand the biblical worldview. This is derived essentially from the timeline of biblical history. This timeline is the true history of our universe, and covers the key events of world history: Creation, The Fall, The Global Flood, and the Tower of Babel. These four pivotal events are denied by secular academics, which mean that they begin a topic of inquiry with an incorrect understanding of its origin and history. So you must understand how the biblical worldview explains each subject you are studying: geology, geography, biology, zoology, history, psychology, law, medicine, health, diet, etc.
Make sure you know the material that is being taught in your course. I have met many well-meaning students who refused to study evolution because they said they did not believe in it. The flaw with that approach is that probably more than 50% of what is presented as ‘evolution’ actually isn’t. Rather, much of it will be useful and factual. The problem is with its interpretive package, with the way the material is presented to you. That is where you need to develop wisdom and insight. At the very least, it’s important that you understand exactly what they are teaching you. Also, where they are drawing conclusions (rather than simply reporting observations), you need to understand the basis for their reasoning. Ask yourself these questions: (a) Is a particular conclusion consistent with the observed evidence?; (b) Is another conclusion possible? Read comprehensively: in your text book, in the library, and on the web.
Learn how to reinterpret the material you are studying within the biblical framework. Not many people at the university are going to offer to help you do this, so you will need to do your own research on the topic from a creationist perspective. Fortunately there are many resources to help you these days. Check out Creation magazine, Journal of Creation, creationist sites on the web, and creationist books on the subject. Once you can do that you can understand the subject from both perspectives. In the process you will likely discover insights that are completely missed by the others in your class.
Don’t argue with your lecturer or other students. However, feel free to ask questions, talk about the issues and present a different point of view. If your lecturer or fellow students are not open to hearing a different view hold your peace and don’t try to force it on them.
So, as you step out in the new world of tertiary studies, we wish you every success. You have the promise that when you begin with the Bible and the true history of the universe, and think deeply about its implications to your work, you will have more understanding than your teachers (Psalm 119:99). Enjoy the experience but be sure to be humble and act wisely.