To Think or Not to Think

November 08, 2005

Here's an Ethics Daily article about Carson-Newman College, one of the Baptist schools under investigation by the Tennessee Baptist Convention over allegations of teaching evolution. Welcome to Ethics Daily!

The trustees rightly have backed their faculty for teaching both evolution and creationism. After all, it is a school of higher education. If we want the degrees the students leave with to mean anything, then they must be prepared to deal with different worldviews.

The students need to be exposed to evolution ideas or else they will be unprepared to appropriately respond to those they encounter outside the Christian college bubble. This usually leads to one of two responses (neither of which is good): they either cower and say nothing, or aggressively lash back.

It is not an oxymoron to be smart and a Christian (though some, such as Brady Tarr and other critics of Carson-Newman might seem to perpetuate this myth). It is perfectly okay to think—and that is what schools are supposed to challenge us to do. We must make sure our schools remain schools and not indoctrination camps.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded in Matthew 22:37: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Love God with our minds? What a concept! (If only more Christians would do that, then so many of them would not say dumb things that hurt the Kingdom.)