Saturday, September 02, 2006

Women and the University

I've been reading some posts here and here dealing with the question of women in college.

I know that the feminists would probably be outraged that the question is even coming up. However, given the state of affairs in the United States, and given some previous relationships I have had with certain ladies, I have some thoughts on this subject which I should like to share with you.

It is my opinion that there are some reasons for and against going to the university that I do not think are being given enough weight.

First of all, I should like to begin with the men. Men pretty much have to go to college, many of them to graduate school, in order to obtain a decent-paying job. That's the nature of today's world. A better reason is to become a life-long learner, but the first reason is reason enough. While there are exceptions to this idea (Bill Gates, e.g.), generally it is true. So let us take it as a given that most men will need to go to college.

Second of all, I should like to point out that in Genesis, the woman Eve was created for Adam, not the other way around. She was created to be his helpmeet. I think it is a legitimate inference that most woman should expect to marry. Furthermore, those women who do marry should try to be the kind of woman who can help her future husband. I believe that since most men have to go to college, that will have some implications for women today, namely, that this is one reason women should consider as to whether or not they should go to college. Why is that? Because I think it not good if one partner is an intellectual giant, and the other is an intellectual pygmy. Is this an absolute reason? No. I don't think there are any absolute reasons for or against going to college. I believe the command to love the Lord with our minds is an absolute command to be life-long learners. But wisdom is not measured in degrees after your name. This is simply something to consider. I would say that many women are probably going to need a degree in order to converse fluently about important topics with men, the same way most men need degrees in order to converse fluently about important things. Therefore, I think it's valid for a woman to view college as a help for her to be a better helpmeet.

Third, the Bible commands us to be in the world, but not of it. This goes two ways. On the one hand, the ideas that influence society come from the university. Therefore, there should be Christians in the university. It is not valid to infer that all Christians should be in the university, since Christians have different calls. But I think many Christians should be in the university. Christians have no need to fear the pagan philosophies. R. C. Sproul is known to have said that he only has respect for two philosophies: Christianity and nihilism. The pagan philosophies are empty, but Christianity will abundantly satisfy the most curious and brilliant mind. Since the command to be in the world but not of it applies equally to men and women, then I think it is valid to infer that many women should be in the university. In addition, the universities used to have a truly great reputation. Harvard used to be great, Yale used to be great, Princeton used to be great. They're not anymore, due to grade inflation, Unitarianism, and the like. But they are worth saving, if that's possible. On the other hand, not being of the world warns us against being overly influenced by the horrible ideas coming from the university. We should be influencing the university, and aside from the usual education that is reported to occur in some universities, we should not be influenced by them to the detriment of our faith. Only very solid, well-grounded Christians should go to a secular university. I think this is a good argument against dorm living. I have lived in dorms at a Christian college (Grove City College), and while I received a very excellent education there, I did not see much advantage to dorm life. It seemed to foster immaturity rather than maturity. I prefer the stance of New St. Andrews College, which has no dorms, and expects its students to mix with everyday sorts of people of all ages, especially in the church but also in town. That, I think, is much better.

And now, we come to some more women-specific items. What are the pros and cons? What is wisdom here? Well, I do think that, in general, staying at or near home is a wise idea for women. The Bible has the model of the man leaving and cleaving, not so much the wife. Jesus Himself said, "I go to prepare a place for you." It is much easier for a father to protect his daughter both from unworthy ideas and suitors if she is closer to him spatially. This is not absolute, but it is a factor, I deem. It certainly is possible for a father to teach his daughter well enough that she is quite prepared to take on a secular university without being close to home. I don't know how many daughters are that well prepared, but though I have come across them, I have not come across many. I would submit that most would find it better to stay closer to home. The Bible says that men need to leave home and their fathers and mothers, but it does not say so about women. Women, I think, generally stay in their first family until they marry, at which point they go to their second family.

What about home skills? What about career? Well, I shall open this Pandora's box. I believe a woman's primary calling is the home. Nothing trumps that on this earth. What would need to trump it? The home is more fulfilling than any career for most women. The home is a place where just about any skill or art you can think of can be put to great use. There are few challenges greater, and few places with more power to change society. The feminists talk about power all the time in the context of career or in relationships with men. What they don't realize is the power of the cradle. You women want power? Become a mother! So, when a woman goes into the university thinking that she wants to be a wife and mother, and comes out thinking she wants a career, something unwise has happened. I do not say wrong, for it is not wrong for a woman to have a career. In today's society, though, it is out of all proportion. Not nearly enough women view the home as the center of their lives; far too many women want careers, and the consequences of that are evil. I say that being a wife and mother is a 24-7 job. While the Proverbs 31 woman does business outside the home, I think she also knows that the home is her center. Indeed, all her skills edify the home, whether directly or indirectly (sometimes very indirectly!). So I say that if you go to college, go to obtain a degree that will help you in the home. That could be just about anything (except maybe sociology and psychology, the modern exercise of which assumes that man is basically good; since the premise is flawed, I wonder how many conclusions are trustworthy!). Especially useful in the home are the following: theology (easily the most important), English, history, art (all the arts, especially the fine arts), math and science. It was J. Gresham Machen who said something to the effect of, "Theology is not learned in seminary. It's learned on the back porch talking with Mom." I think that it is extraordinarily difficult to be a good wife and mother and also to have a full-time career. It's even difficult to have a part-time job and mix it with being a wife and mother. Add on top of that the most important relationship anyone has: their relationship with God and the need to pray and read the Bible, and I think that most women are not capable of doing it all. I wouldn't recommend it, though if there are women out there who can go the mile-a-minute required to do all that without burning out, more power to ya'. To you I would say that the Sabbath rest is probably even more important for you than for anyone else; you can't afford not to take that rest.

So what about homemaking skills? They are obviously very, very important. I would say that a woman going to college without knowing the basics of cooking and cleaning and whatnot is not wise. I would also say that men should know those things as well. Generally, though, if a woman is focused on that most excellent place, the home, she should probably expect to do more of it than her husband. And naturally, when the kids get old enough, they need lots of "practice" doing home skills. Hehe. So families need to teach their children homemaking skills. However, I would not say that if a woman is not a gourmet chef by age 18 she is an utter failure. A lot of skills that a wife needs to know, she may not even be able to learn except on the job. In other words, I do not think that the perfection of homemaking skills should get in the way of college. Yes, they are important. But I see no need for the two to conflict.

I do not pretend to examine every single reason pro and con for women to go to college. However, the reasons I have given seem to me to indicate that a good majority of women should expect to go to college, and maybe even get advanced degrees.


 
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19 Comments:

At 9/02/2006 12:11:00 PM , Blogger Tammy said...

that a good majority of women should expect to go to college, and maybe even get advanced degrees- Since we are very different in our views I was very glad that you came up this in your final statement-the world is so different then before that if a lady who desires to want to marry but never does she would need a degree to get a job.Many years ago one could survive without a degree to live on their own but not anymore.One can't live at home with her father all of her life either.Since you are one who is to Christian education and homeschool I would suggest you write a post on ways to get a degree the alternative way. Glad to see you back on your blog!!

 
At 9/02/2006 07:39:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Hmmm. I find my self greatly agreeing with you on many points, and greatly disagreeing with you on other points. You make some excellent points here for why women should not be excluded from university training. I certainly do not think a college education is prohibitive for women, just as I don't think it is so for men. I don't hold quite so much value in such an education as you do, though.

For example, you mentioned the primary reason for men to go to college was to become life-long learners. Now, I realize that this would dependly large on what college is attended, but I would submit that most public universities do not foster the sort of life-long learning you are encouraging. I even became an anti-intellectualist of sorts for about a year of college (believe it or not!). The only sort of knowledge accumulation I saw promoted at UGA (or my community college) was random accumulation of facts for the sake of getting a grade, or accumulation of facts for liberal "enlightenment". The lack of motivation and responsibility of my classmates did not motivate me to pursue learning for the sake of learning, but for the sake of a grade. The above is not a reason for not going to college, but I don't think it is a reason for going to college either. I think the best sort of life-long learning (and the best encouragement for it) happens outside of the classroom.

I continued my love of learning despite college, and my pursuits of real learning were put on hold as I spent most of my time engaged in my university studies. You listed the areas of knowledge that are especially useful to women (a good list, I might add!): theology, English, history, art (all the arts, especially the fine arts), math and science. I have independently studied theology, with the aid of the internet, my family, and my church. English, I will grant you, was somewhat forwarded by my college classes, but my mom had provided the groundwork. My independent writing and reading (especially of literature) has been my primary language-arts training since high school. My knowledge of history comes from my mom's rigorous testing and my own independent interest, not at all from college. My study of the arts, especially music, was put on hold as a result of college, actually - I had to quit piano lessons because of studies. My interest of sacred and classical music (in the past few years) has nothing to do with my college experience! As far as math, yes, my mathematical knowledge was forwarded to a large extent in college, as I took 5 classes above Multi-variable calculus, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to do so! But really, I think calculus is plenty good enough for most women :). Science? I only took one science course in college - calculus-based physics, interesting, to be sure, and somewhat useful. I think Mother Dear's training in biology and chemistry was perhaps more useful, though, although physics is an important subject and I was thankful to further my high school physics knowledge. Evaluation? Most of my useful knowledge under the categories you provided came in spite of my college education. In fact, for some of the categories I could have studied much more had I not been wrapped up in university studies.

I agree that men of sense do not want silly wives. A well-educated man does not want to marry an empty-headed woman or a woman with little educational training. But I am firmly convinced that the majority of my knowledge that would be useful and a "draw" to an educated man comes not from my college education, but from my own personal studies or from my pre-college homeschooling. I do not say this to boast or applaud my own gain of knowledge. All the knowledge I have, I have gained through the opportunities God has laid before me. I think the sad thing is that most women who do not go to college are anti-intellectual, and often parents do not encourage them to go because "knowledge is overly-prized" or a waste of time. That is the wrong response! I quite enjoyed the Machen quote. Knowledge learned in conjunction with real life will be the most useful and the most lasting. I think most often the facts accumulated in college fail to do that. Once again, though, it would depend on the college :).

The way I see it, there are two main reasons to go to college: for job training and security, and for knowledge. I don't think most college education really forwards the latter, in a true sense, and for women, job training and security is not such a major issue. Thus I still would say that college is not a huge need for the vast majority of women. Now, training at a good Christian college (if nearby) would be a wonderful opportunity, but sadly such colleges are few and far between and usually cost boatloads of money.

Now, I had mixed feelings about your "in the world, not of it" point. I agree that Christians should be in the world, and not of it! Amen. I'm not an isolationist (that was another brief phase during college, actually). I think it is most important that Christians be trained to confront worldly knowledge, not so much that they must be protected from exposure from it; very good point in your post! That is what I missed during my college-is-always-evil, isolationist phase. You make good points here!

I'm not sure I agree with your statement here, though: Since the command to be in the world but not of it applies equally to men and women, then I think it is valid to infer that many women should be in the university.

This implies an across-the-board, homogenous responsibility of men and women in evangelism and daily life responsibilities. That is just not so. Women very often take the "back seat" or the "stage crew" role in evangelistic activities, or have the opportunity to minister to people in their communities in ways men cannot. That is not to say women are excluded from being light in the universities, but that equal responsibility to be "in the world, not of it" does not mean an equal application of this in each sphere. Some women are called to be light in universities, but women are specially called to serve in other capacities, such as crisis pregnancy centers, meals ministries, mercy ministry, showing care for neighbors, etc. Not that men are excluded from these, but women are more suited and more free to do these things. Therefore it would follow that fewer women would be called to serve in universities, if they are serving in these other ways. An equal call to be salt and light does not mean an equal call to serve as such in each situation.

I think far too many people promote the "salt and light" notion for college as more of an excuse to go to college (or a secular one, anyway) than anything else. I know that you are not doing this, but I do believe many people hide behind this excuse. Now, here's the thing. Women have an opportunity to be salt and light in universities, and I think many are called to do that, in certan capacities. But women also have the opportunity to be salt and light in their communities (as stated above), and they don't have the added reason of career to choose the college option over the community option, unlike men. One option requires the payment of thousands of dollars, usually on loan and usually to support a secular humanist institution. The other requires neither, which is my main befuddlement with the downplaying of community ministry. What a wonderful opportunity to be salt and light, without the expense of a college education! Of course the advantage to using college as a sphere of influence is that it is such a time of searching many people's lives, so I see advantages to both focuses.

I quite liked your discussion of women, their primary call as homemakers, a father's role, etc. Very nice. And I agree that not being a gourmet cook by 18 is not a reason to eschew further studies.

Summary, I like many of the points you make, and as always, I find your stress on the-pursuit-of-knowledge-as-a-good-thing (and a command!) to be quite refreshing. I couldn't agree with you more, there. I don't think, though, that college is always the best way to gain that useful knowledge, nor to promote lifelong learning. I think women could, in fact, usually further their studies more effectively in an alternative path, while still being salt and light in another capacity, without the expense of college.

 
At 9/02/2006 09:31:00 PM , Blogger Jessie said...

Yay for Susan! You said exactly everything I've been musing over the last 5 hours since I read this post : )
Even the Emma quote! I had the whole Emma/Knightley conversation going on with myself (outloud, with the accent) while I was fixing supper.
But I'm out of time for tonight for comments. I hope to get on here again Monday.
Just to let you know, Adrian, I'm glad you're back around (I was starting to get worried!) and I appreciate your post and the fact that you got me thinking about what I'm doing and why. You already know somewhat of my post-high school education preferences, and this is a topic that is okay to disagree on as Christians. Like Susan said, I agree with a lot of what you have to say, and yet disagree with a lot as well. But I think your principles are all very sound and biblical, and principles are what matter, not necessarily methods.
Good evening! Have a blessed Lord's day.

 
At 9/03/2006 03:42:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

"Reply" to Susan.

I put reply in quotes, because I see that, as before, there is no way on this earth that I can keep up with you! *smiles* Life is just too short. ;-)] I'll do my best.

I think your arguments against the university being a place of learning are weak because they appear to be based solely on your experience. Now your experience is valuable, don't get me wrong. But I'm sure that someone who has probably had at least a smattering of statistics would understand that one person's experience alone (in this case) is not sufficient to generalize. Perhaps you are including other peoples' experiences as well. I quite understand that your university experience was not a happy one, and did not fulfill any expectations of learning you might have had before you went. Let me ask you a question: were there any good teachers at UGA? Could you have gotten a better education there than you did? If so, why didn't you?

The reason I ask is that my experience, both undergraduate and graduate, has generally been very positive. Getting an education at Grove City College (GCC) is like getting a drink from a fire hydrant. I realize that GCC is very different from UGA, but I will wager there are good people at UGA, smart people, and good teachers. But, let us also not forget C. S. Lewis's quote about learning: "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come." By the college years, good education is mostly the student's responsibility.

For example, Harvard is a place where many bright people go to be professors. There are many, many disadvantages to Harvard, but it is possible to obtain a good education there, still. You have to hunt for it, though.

So my conclusion here is that, given a motivated enough student, that person can get a good education without a huge regard for where he goes.

Anti-intellectualism is a sin, simple as that. And I think you'd agree. If we are supposed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, then this conclusion seems self-evident.

I would agree that job training and security are not such a major issue for women; however, if I disagree with you about the university's capacity to forward learning (given a motivated enough student), then you can guess I'll probably disagree with you about that sort of education being a huge need for the vast majority of women. Incidentally, GCC's tuition plus room and board is only about $13,000 per year. They are able to do that through very wise money-handling (they are out of debt).

I agree with you that equal responsibility to be in the world but not of it does not imply an equal application of this in each sphere. However, I would argue that a good education will help you no matter where you are, no matter what you do. And now we're back to whether or not the secular universities, given a motivated enough student, can provide a good education.

If you were to ask me what a good education is, I would say the following: a good education is one that gives the students the tools they need to learn on their own. The best education is one that does so in a Christ-centered manner. (So you can see the Wilson and Sayers influence here.)

I'm not so sure about your argument that "women are more suited and more free to do these things. Therefore it would follow that fewer women would be called to serve in universities, if they are serving in these other ways." And I'm not objecting to the first bit; you're probably right about that. I'm quibbling over the inference you make. Clearly, a person can't do everything. But I see no reason why a woman may not attend the university, and then go out and do her ministry, or even start doing some of those ministries while in college or before college. The "community ministry" versus "university ministry" seems to me to be a false dilemma. They're not mutually exclusive.

You're right in that I do not espouse the "salt and light" theory for students. I think Christian students going to university is not going to be a powerful force in promoting the gospel, except maybe a little with other students. They're probably not going to influence the professors in a major way. Being salt and light in the university in terms of really bringing the university around would require that Christians be professors there, and get on the governing board. That would make a difference.

College is not always the best way to gain knowledge, I agree. But it is very often a good way. Furthermore, there are a great many graduate programs out there that are still pulling their weight. That is especially true in the sciences and engineering.

As to expense, I must admit to being somewhat indifferent to it. I am not wealthy myself in comparison with some, though more than others. I'd classify myself monetarily as middle-middle class, definitely not upper middle class. Through wise money-handling by my parents, and the inculcation of such values to me, and the generosity of my grandparents, I was able to get through GCC with no scholarships, no loans, and no debt. GCC without any scholarships is equivalent in price to many much more expensive schools which have lots more scholarships. My opinion is that if parents decide to start saving money for their children's education early, then they can put their kids through college.

The possible exception to my indifference here would be law school or medical school. That is an enormous expense usually never helped with scholarships, since admissions are so competitive. On the other hand, if you do well, you can earn good money when you get out. I haven't thought that one through. Many graduate programs in the liberal arts, though, have assistantships, whether research or teaching, which will not only pay tuition, but also give you a stipend in return for some teaching responsibilities.

 
At 9/04/2006 09:10:00 AM , Blogger Susan said...

I would just like to point out how (relatively) good I was about blogging time this summer. I managed to write shorter posts and while I quite enjoyed my conversations with people, it wasn't extremely time-consuming. *sigh* I'm just glad that my babysitting and tutoring activities are cancelled today due to Labor Day, so I can get caught up on Cucumbers, the War on Terror, submission, and women in college.

But now for the issue at hand. . .

I suppose I could just as easily call your arguments for university-as-a-place-of-learning weak, since your undergraduate experience was not at a secular institution :). Undergraduate and graduate programs are vastly different, as you well know. I've not heard rave reviews from many people about the wonderful centers for learning that our public universities are. In fact, off the top of my head, the only people I know who would rave about public university undergraduate programs would be my liberal acquaintances, and even then, not all of them would. And, mind you, most of the people I know would freely choose to go to the public universities, but it would be for the "campus experience" and job security, not for the academic stimulus :).

Yes, my Linear Algebra instructor was excellent - and a postdoc, actually. Most of my higher math professors were excellent as well, excepting my Abstract professor (I loved that class in spite of the instruction). My education professors fulfilled the old addage "those who can't teach, teach teachers." Most of my core classes were taken at a community college under less-than-stimulating academic circumstances, so you could argue that that would be the reason for my lack of faith on that score. Perhaps you're right.

But reread my comment. I did not say that good professors do not exist in public universities, nor that I learned nothing worthwhile. I did say the only sort of knowledge accumulation I saw promoted at UGA (or my community college) was random accumulation of facts for the sake of getting a grade, or accumulation of facts for liberal "enlightenment". That was my experience.

When I say liberal "enlightenment," I don't mean always blatantly so, but usually it was. To me there is no reason for lifelong-learning unless there is a binding tie to bring all learning together and a reason to gain that knowledge. As you said in a post last fall, "Modern universities have lost sight of the fact that Jesus Christ is the center of all knowledge." I would extend that to say that therefore any attempt by the universities in those institutions to promote lifelong-learning is with a tainted goal. When I became an anti-intellectualist for a bit in college, it was because I "surveyed all I could see, and all was vanity." I had to come back to the Bible and realize that with Christ there is a reason to pursue knowledge.

Now, all that to say, if a Christian realizes this, that doesn't mean he can't benefit from secular instruction, if he is properly trained, which is where I wholeheartedly agree with you that Christians must be thoroughly and rigorously trained before entering a university. And I agree with you that what most consider to be a thorough and rigorous training is just not sufficient.

I wish that most (those called to pursue highschool degrees) could have the opportunity to obtain a graduate degree from a solid, private Christian college. I'm sure it would be a wonderful experience. But it's not an option for most people, sadly, especially with being able to walk away debt free (which I applaud). I would add here that it might not be quite as easy to save for your children's education if you have 6 of them - or 12 of them :).

My dad and I agreed that it was far more important for me to remain under his guidance at home than to study under Christian professors at a much greater cost away from home. If solidly Christian universities were more readily available at a lower cost, than I think you would find me in much greater support of the general female populace pursuing a degree. And as I said before, I'm not against women pursuing degrees, but I think with the general state of higher education, there is less of a reason to do so, especially if they have the resources to study on their own.

*shrugs* I'm starting to ramble. I really don't think it's a hard-and-fast thing. I think a good education will help someone wherever he goes, as you said; I just don't consider a public, undergraduate degree to generally qualify as such. And you are right that a lot of the education depends on the student. I spent my first year at college killing myself in my studies because I wanted to soak up every bit of knowledge. Do you know how frustrating it is to get to a test and wonder if that was "all" they were going to ask? You probably do, actually ;). Then after some major issues with perfectionism, I backed up for a year (that would be my anti-intellectual year). When I made it to UGA, I had by that time wanted to learn, but not the nonsense I was being taught (minus my higher math classes). All knowledge is God's knowledge, but some of the baloney being taught isn't worth giving the time of day. Try education classes :).

I admittedly did not mean to make a false dilemma out of "community ministry" versus "university ministry." I did not mean to imply that it was an either/or. What I meant was that women can be salt and light without going to the university. And I also did mean to imply that very often university studies trump ministry time, especially if you spend two hours a day commuting to-and-from school :(.

Okay, I really feel that my response was not extremely coherent, but such it is. If you want to know something ironic, after I graduated from UGA, I considered pursuing a Master's in Theology at RTS Atlanta, but I just couldn't justify the cost. So I did consider graduate studies :).

 
At 9/04/2006 09:13:00 AM , Blogger Susan said...

*edit* In paragraph 8, make that "I wish most (those called to pursue highschool degrees) could have the opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree

:)

 
At 9/05/2006 10:32:00 AM , Blogger zan said...

Oh, goody, goody! Susan and Adrian are debating. ; )My day is made.

I love reading each of your long comments. You guys are so intellectual!

 
At 9/05/2006 07:42:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Wow, Zan, you could be a poster child (er, woman) for Desperate Housewives. Just teasing ;). But we made your day by debating? Hehe. Adrian, we should try to do this more regularly, just to give Zan thrills ;).

 
At 9/06/2006 08:35:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

Well, aren't you a goody-goody? ;-)] Seriously, I'm glad blogging doesn't consume your life.

I don't know about giving too many thrills for Zan by this post. I'm a bit tired, and can't post nice long comments.

My main point here is that by the time a student gets to college, his future education is really up to him. It's not about how good the teachers are, though good teachers help, or how good the books are, though good books help, or how kind fellow students are, though kind fellow students help. In the end, a good education is up to the student to go and get. I see you have agreed with this.

Another point is that it is important to know what the world is thinking. Since the ideas that shape the culture are coming from the university, I think Christians should attend the university. This is akin to my brother Lane reading just about everything N. T. Wright ever wrote (which is a lot: Douglas Wilson said once that N. T. Wright can write faster than he can read). Why read it? So that he can debate intelligently. Lane disagrees with much of Wright, as do I. But Lane is prepared to debate about him, and I am woefully inadequate.

You see, part of the thing is that Virginia Tech actually doesn't do too bad by way of its undergraduates. There are quite a few very high quality teachers here. Providentially, it was a good choice for me, because a place like Princeton (I probably wouldn't have been accepted anyway) would have been an extremely competitive place where no student helps another out. The profs probably would have been completely absorbed in their research, to the exclusion of the poor graduate students. Plus, most of the people there are geniuses anyway. I don't qualify for that status, so I think I would have floundered there. But I digress.

So we may have to agree to disagree about the quality of public undergrad education in the US. Even if it's better than you think it is, I don't think that's the only reason to go.

I'm fagged out. My reply is probably a lot more incoherent than your last comment was. Hope you can decipher it.

In Christ.

 
At 9/07/2006 08:26:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

My main point here is that by the time a student gets to college, his future education is really up to him. It's not about how good the teachers are, though good teachers help, or how good the books are, though good books help, or how kind fellow students are, though kind fellow students help. In the end, a good education is up to the student to go and get.

It's interesting, because I think we both agree to your above statement, but your interpretation of it is that therefore public higher education is fine (and I'm not saying it isn't fine. . . I'm just saying it's not ideal, and in many cases unwise) while my interpretation is that women can then study at home, on there own, since education is largely up to them at that stage.

I agree that we should know what the world is thinking. I'm not for isolationism. That was another phase. Hehe. I have a number of books in my shelves of authors with whom I do not agree. Look at Paul! He certainly read the "Davinci Code" literature of his day. Look at his speech in the Aereopagus, for example. I admit I haven't read The Davinci Code, just for the record, but if I had an unChristian friend who wanted to discuss it, I would happily read it.

Attending the university is one way to find out what the world is thinking, but it all goes back to whether a student is well-grounded. Lane, for example, is obviously well-grounded on justification, NPP, etc., so for him to read a lot on it from the opposing perspective is not going to be a detriment to him. I would never hand several N.T. Wright tomes to someone weak in doctrine, though. And unfortunately most of the Christian youth in our nation are not only doctrinally weak, but also weak in every aspect of a Christian worldview. I know we agree here, though, that public university should only be utilized for those very well-grounded.

I agree that we'll probably just have to disagree about the quality of public, undergraduate educations. *shrugs*

 
At 9/07/2006 08:54:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Hehe. *wicked grin* And now, I'm going to use your own brother's words against you. Lane, in his sermon on purity (which I just read), really has a good paragraph that summarizes my stance on exposing ourselves to the world's views in a balanced manner:

With whom do you spend your time? Do you spend it with sinners or saints? Now I know, the first objection that will come out of your mouth to this is that because Jesus spent time with sinners wanting to make them pure, therefore we should do the same. However, we are not Jesus. It is true that we must evangelize. But in what setting? How much evangelization has ever happened in a bar, for instance? If you want to spend time with an unbeliever for the purposes of evangelization, then invite him into your home. Let him see what a difference Christ has made in your life. Rather, we should spend far more time with other believers than we do now. Those are the people who can encourage us. They can sharpen us. If we want to be pure, then we must walk with those who are pure.

My problem with public university is not that it exposes Christians to worldly doctrines. It is that it immerses Christians in worldly doctrines. Once again, it is not to say that public university should never be utilized by Christians, but that it should be very carefully examined in each circumstance.

 
At 9/08/2006 11:32:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

I can agree with what you have here. And, hehe, *wicked but pure grin*, there is no contradiction between what I'm saying and what my Brother Dear has said. If you take a look at Proverbs 26:4,5, you'll see a paradox, but not a contradiction. So should we go with verse 4 or with verse 5? Well, wisdom dictates one in one circumstance, and the other in a different circumstance. Wisdom plays a role, surely, in all these questions. Spending more time with fellow believers is not mutually exclusive with going to the university. Or if it is, it need not be forever. There could be seasons in your life when you study the doctrines of the world ( C. S. Lewis would definitely warn against doing this too much, but I think it necessary ), but even then you can always have the fellowship of the Sabbath and other believers at other times (maybe for dinner) when you are not studying.

In Christ.

 
At 9/08/2006 04:07:00 PM , Blogger zan said...

Guys. I'm still reading intently w My heart is beating rapidly with excitement. I think I will go make some pop-corn. ; )

 
At 9/08/2006 04:09:00 PM , Blogger zan said...

I was so excited I had typos. A lot of typos. Oh, well. You get the idea.

I would like to say something, but unfortunately, I am exhausted. I think I should go make some coffee or something.

 
At 9/08/2006 08:55:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Okay, I'll allow you to claim agreement with Lane. And certainly college is not mutually exclusive with spending time with believers. However, I see most Christians who go to college spending way more time immersed in worldly philosophies through studying or relationships (relationships for pursuits of thrills, not for Godly influence) or campus activities, and reverting to being "Sunday Christians" only. Anyway, I think at this point we are sort of going around in circles, mainly talking about nonconcrete observations, anecdotal evidence, and such. We have the same general ideas, I think, but have different views of how they should be executed in a fallen world.

Zan, you make me laugh! I'm glad you are getting some cardiovascular exercise out of this, though. This really is not our most stimulating debate. You must have had a heart attack with some of the ones in the past.

If you ever do recover from heart palpatations and exhaustion, via coffee or other treatments, I'd love to hear the "something" you were going to say :).

 
At 9/16/2006 09:42:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Shall we TIOC? It does not seem we are quite so far apart ideologically as we may have thought at first.

In Christ.

 
At 9/18/2006 04:29:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Agreed to TIOC :).

 
At 9/18/2006 07:45:00 PM , Blogger zan said...

What is TIOC?

 
At 9/20/2006 08:24:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Zan.

TIOC is "tie it off cordially." I invented that acronym recognizing that sometimes, you just don't have much more to say about something, and you'd like not to have to go all the way back through all your posts plus comments to see if someone has written more. So there you go.

In Christ.

 

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