Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century Part 4: Christian Higher Education and Contemporary Culture: Isolation or Penetration? -- By: Kenneth O. Gangel
Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 135:540 (Oct 1978)
Article: Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century Part 4: Christian Higher Education and Contemporary Culture: Isolation or Penetration?
Author: Kenneth O. Gangel
BSac 135:540 (Dec 78) p. 291
Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century
Christian Higher Education and Contemporary Culture:
Isolation or Penetration?
[Kenneth O. Gangel, President, Miami Christian College, Miami, Florida.]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a series delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, November 1–4, 1977.]
Undoubtedly the most important Christian book published in 1976 was Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? This book, in conjunction with the film and television series by the same title, will influence hundreds of thousands of people to reexamine from a biblical viewpoint not only the history of present-day culture but also its current status. Whether the average Christian will take the time to think through Schaeffer’s work or whether he can indeed understand it are two significant matters. The concern in this article is how the Christian leader can grapple with the issue of cultural slobbism in his own life and in the lives of those whom he will be called on to lead. Schaeffer has stated his objectives as follows: “Christians are not only to know the right world view, the world view that tells us the truth of what is, but consciously to act upon that world view so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can to the extent of our individual and collective ability.”1 But how can these aims be accomplished?
The premise of this article is simple: Christian colleges and seminaries should endeavor to take their students a few notches higher on the ladder which reaches from barbarianism to culture. The term culture may be defined as “an intellectual, aesthetic, and
BSac 135:540 (Dec 78) p. 292
social development to the maximum degree compatible with a Christian understanding of standards of excellence in one’s society.”
That, of course, is already a prejudiced definition, skewed in the direction of Christian thinking. The word culture can be defined in its anthropological sense as “the world life of a society without implication of refinement or advanced knowledge. Culture is historically transmitted, primarily through language, and is the attribute that most distinguishes man from the animals.”2 In the philosophical or aesthetic sense, culture refers to those refinements on society which come as the result of man’s knowledge and efforts. So a philosophical or aesthetic culture is being built on the anthropolo...
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