The destruction of its Philosophy Department is precisely the move that Cedarville University should take if it wants to be at once both disingenuous to its mission statement and ineffective at accomplishing said statement’s goals. From its website: “Cedarville University is a Christ-centered learning community equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth.” This is an admirable and God-honoring ambition indeed, but it is also one that necessitates the inclusion of a well-developed Christian approach to the life of the mind.
If a Cedarville graduate is to be genuinely “grounded in biblical truth,” then she must understand what “truth” is, why such a definition matters, and why the Bible is, indeed, a veritable source for such information. If an alum is to “lead and serve his community with excellence,” then he must be well-versed in the ideas and worldviews that underlie the problems he is facing – and he must be capable of grappling with them in a responsible and thoughtful manner.
I’ll let C.S. Lewis speak the remainder (from his seminal essay “Christian Apologetics” that can be found in his God in the Dock): “Our business is to present that which is timeless (the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow) in the particular language of our own age. The bad preacher does exactly the opposite: he takes the ideas of our own age and tricks them out in the traditional language of Christianity.” By removing the intellectual kiln that is a Christian philosophy program, Cedarville is effectively ensuring that its graduates will, on the whole, by virtue of their cerebral shelteredness, be the latter. And that is hardly excellent.
If Cedarville is to be faithful to Romans 12, 2 Corinthians 10, and Colossians 2 (not to mention its own stated intentions), then they will not jettison their philosophy program. Too many people already think that Christians are stupid and don’t know how to think; don’t remove this discipline that specifically exists to prove them wrong.
-Anthony G. Holdier, M.A. (Denver Seminary)
Christian Education Teacher, MCEA (Idaho)