Today’s Educational World: Is It Safe for the Christian Student?
Sometimes yes. But increasingly no. There are few “safe spaces” for biblically-minded Christians at most colleges and K-12 schools. Instead, the opposite is often found: subtle and not-so-subtle belittling and undermining of the Christian worldview. The pressure and temptation to reject sound Christian teachings is real. Today’s educational world can often be a very dangerous place for Christians and their faith.
This conference will inform parents, students, teachers, pastors and others of what is dangerous in the educational world, offer God-pleasing support, alternatives to a postmodern/postfactual/progressive education, and prepare students to defend and share the hope they have in Christ.
- “Postmodernism: Embedded in Education and There’s (Almost) Nothing to Do about It” (Pastor David Thompson, Faith Lutheran Church, San Antonio)
- “Getting the Facts Straight: How Grammar, History, and Logic Can Rescue Education from Postfactualism” (Dr. Ryan MacPherson, Bethany Lutheran College, Minnesota)
- “Science – Distinguishing a Classical & Biblical Education from an Evolutionary Education” (Dr. Gary Locklair, Concordia University Wisconsin)
- “For Students on the Front Lines of Higher Education” (Dr. Andrew Das, Elmhurst College, Illinois)
“Postmodernism: Embedded in Education and There’s (Almost) Nothing to Do about It” (Pastor David Thompson)
What is postmodernism? How does it express itself in education? What is so dangerous about it? And how can a Christian be prepared to give a defense against it and for the truth and the Christian hope? This presentation will include practical and biblical answers based on real examples.
“Getting the Facts Straight: How Grammar, History, and Logic Can Rescue Education from Postfactualism” (Dr. Ryan MacPherson)
“Postfactual” education coaches students to feel good about themselves without ever memorizing facts or distinguishing truth from error. Grammar, history, and logic have been so neglected that few students ever acquire the ability to read with understanding. As the Lutheran Reformers noted 500 years ago, a re-centering of schools around the classical liberal arts can restore biblical literacy to the church and capable self-governance to the community.
“Science – Distinguishing a Classical & Biblical Education from an Evolutionary Education” (Dr. Gary Locklair)
We all live in the same world and have access to the same data. But the beginning assumptions found in a textbook or embraced by an instructor are another matter. This results in interpretations of the data that can turn out to be very different, depending on a person’s worldview. Learn how the evidence supports a Creator of a young earth and how this, in turn, supports the central and essential message of Scripture: the person and work of Jesus Christ.
“For Students on the Front Lines of Higher Education” (Dr. Andrew Das)
How can a Bible-believing Christian student be prepared for direct challenges to her/his faith? The attacks on the faith of a college student fresh out of high school: from science to history, to religious studies, to philosophy, to literary theory, to sexual identity – little or none of this is addressed on a Sunday morning. This presentation will offer a wide sampling of the typical challenges and provide compelling intellectual self-defense. Those in attendance will be given an “intellectual self-defense” bibliography for students or their loved ones – a “go-to” starting roadmap to the answers.
Bios of presenters:
Rev. Dr. A. Andrew Das is a professor of Religious Studies and Assistant Dean of the Faculty for Assessment and Accreditation at Elmhurst College in Illinois. An internationally recognized New Testament scholar, he is the author of numerous books, including Galatians (Concordia Commentary Series, CPH) and Baptized into God’s Family (NPH). His expertise in the New Testament is reflected in his many articles, presentations, and work, including his contribution to the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), a translation released in 2017, for which he continues to serve on its Translation Oversight Committee. He is currently working on a book entitled, Remarriage in Early Christianity. Dr. Das received graduate degrees from Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, Concordia Theological Seminary, and has done doctoral work at Duke University. He and his family are members of an ELS congregation in Lombard, IL.
Dr. Gary Locklair (Ph.D. Computer Science, Nova Southeastern University) is Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) where he teaches undergraduate and graduate classes. He has developed programs and courses outside of his major field and has taught for a variety of schools at CUW (business, education, human services, arts, and sciences). He has been an active researcher in the field of cosmogony (the science of origins) for the past 30 years. Along with Dr. Joel Heck (Concordia Austin), he is a founding member of the CUS Society of Creation. He is an advisor for the Lutheran Science Institute. He also currently serves on the board of directors of the Creation Research Society, the oldest international scientific society devoted to research in the creation model of origins. He and his wife, Karen, have five children and eight grandchildren and are active members of a WELS congregation.
Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the chair of the History Department at Bethany Lutheran College (Minnesota). He is the author of four books, including Rediscovering the American Republic (2 vols.) and Debating Evolution before Darwinism, and editor/contributor to Telling the Next Generation: The Educational Philosophy of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He serves as President of the Hausvater Project, which mentors Christian parents. He received his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame and has completed partial coursework toward an M.A. in Confessional Lutheran Theology from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in Minnesota. He lives with his wife Marie and their six homeschooled children in Mankato, Minnesota.
Rev. David Thompson received his M. Div. from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in Mankato, Minnesota. He has served as pastor of several congregations, Professor and Dean of Students at Bethany Lutheran College (Minnesota), Executive Director of EdWatch (a national organization researching worldviews in public and private schools), and Chaplain/Executive Director of the Schwan Retreat and Conference Center in Wisconsin (where the Biblical Worldview Conferences first began). He is the author of the book, What in the World Is Going On? Identifying Hollow and Deceptive Worldviews (Northwestern Publishing House). Pastor Thompson served Faith Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX. He and his wife, Jenna, have six children and eight grandchildren.