Popular Christian blogger: "Nobody ever uses math once they graduate"

Certainly not baseless. It is true if you look at the elite Christian colleges, such as Wheaton, Grove City (to name two I almost taught for), and those you mention, you can find solid programs. But for each of those there are several or more more fundamentalist colleges that are primarily designed to prepare students for ministry. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, in principle (although I do think we produce too many graduates seeking to be pastors, but that’s for another thread), but in my experience (which is fairly extensive) such places often foment the anti-science attitude that is common in more conservative Christians. Furthermore, a few schools that look good in the catalogue (and the biggest Christian school of all fits in this category, in my opinion) are, under the hood, scientifically weak.

I think there’s a mixed bag. I went to State colleges and had a good education for medical school, but was frustrated because of the large class size and grade curving, which really didn’t reflect what I knew or stimulate me to study as hard. In contrast, U of Mich med school seemed to prefer Hope and Calvin grads because of their strong premed courses. At the time, Calvin had Van Till (1995), so I think they had an evolutionary acceptance (or were beginning to have that).

Liberty and Cedarville reportedly are still strongly YEC. My family members who attended were under the impression that YEC was at least, if not more, scientifically based than evolution. That, I would agree, is a severe shortfall in actual perception of the sciences.

In contrast, my undergrad biology capstone course in a secular state college was on evolution, focused on Gould, and emphasized that biology doesn’t make sense without evolution. I think that’s true, but I’m not sure that medicine really requires that–it’s more of an engineer/practical focus. I would have found the evolutionary emphasis more practical if I’d followed the MD/PhD track, I think.

AiG has a website of colleges that promote YEC–many of them are Bible colleges College | Answers in Genesis

Wayne Grudem recently spoke at Biola, complimenting them on their stance against theistic evolution. Wayne Grudem: Creation in Scripture - YouTube (12 reasons TE is not consistent with the Bible, also here 12 Ideas You Must Embrace to Affirm Theistic Evolution | Crossway Articles )

It’s got to be a struggle for Bible colleges to decide which way to go in this time. That’s why Biologos and their education support has got to be a help so that folks can integrate faith and science.

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And only a handful are accredited. TRACS accreditation was developed by the IRC and is pretty suspicious and not accepted by different government entities. (Liberty had TRACS accreditation until 2008)

I guess I put unaccredited Bible colleges in the same category as Trump University. They aren’t “real” colleges if they aren’t accredited. You are paying for a certain kind of training.


Interesting! May I ask where you teach?
I find it funny regarding the title of this thread that in the past, the joke I always heard was “the only job a history major can find is to teach history.”

But maybe if we geek out about anything, teaching/academia would be our favorite thing. For me, the social/literary aspect of medicine is the saving grace. I could teach English in a university with joy, but likely not medicine by itself, without the contact of caring for a person. I feel I’ve got the best of both worlds in medicine right now–but everyone has their own niche.

Physics at Christopher Newport, a small, selective public liberal arts university in Virginia. We are searching for a tenure-track position in physics for next fall. We have a very famous graduate from our department: Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd.


I understand what you are saying… but the damage they do cannot be dismissed because they are not accredited.


Cool! Thanks

I had to take some continuing ed classes there when I was teaching high school in Newport News. :slight_smile:

C.P. Snow noted a long time ago that people in the sciences are more likely to have a decent working knowledge of the humanities than vice versa. One can learn a great deal of history with a decent public library and no training, while I think math is pretty tough to learn without an instructor.


Well … there is what one can do, and then there is what one does do. The motivation/inspirational effects of good teachers should not be forgotten. If one is under the perception that history study is a frivolous pastime for a few pedagogues, one isn’t likely to be down at the local library immersing one’s self.

That may not be quite the insult that its purveyors intend it to be. After all, it’s the job of Christ’s disciples to produce more of … Christ’s disciples. If something is worth knowing or doing in and of itself, (as I believe knowing history is) then I would want nothing less of history majors than for them to be teachers of the same to others and to ignite the fires of curiosity and methodologies of investigation into such matters. It is the mental furniture that can turn a mind from a home into a mansion. And I’m saying this, not as a history major (I teach science and math), but more as a history major admirer.


Mr Bitikofer, thank you as always for putting the counterbalance in and preventing Luther’s proverbial drunk from falling off the other side of the horse. History teaching is, after, all Biblical, with Jesus as you said–and even in Deuteronomy 11:19 “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

It’s not just history–English is a very helpful study which historically (pun intended) was thought to be an academic pursuit–but ever find that reading a dry science paper makes you want to cry for boredom because of passive voice and obscure terms? @Christy is great in science too, but communication is another forte that both of you do well in.

I find all that personality driven education fascinating–why some people are better in math and others in languages; and still others seem to do well in both (I’m a master of none).

We all do have some talents, (Tim Challies has some great articles), and the education world also demonstrates that we work together better as one body.


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Thanks, Randy. And I didn’t mean to imply any agreement with the notion that teaching is all history majors are good for. I would rather have people knowledgeable of history for political leaders, law practice, and clergy. Sure, one may need other degrees on top of a history degree base for some of that, but it sure would be a great foundation I should think.

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Of course! I took it as only that it was one of the ways in which to transmit knowledge. Thank you. We need all the disciplines to make the body work.

History is very important in many ways. One that just came to me yesterday was during a discussion with my son about how World War II and Hitler occurred. It’s amazing how retribution in World War 1 from the Allies, denigration and mob mentality can cause an impression of victimization, resentment and isolation. Many say that while the causes were multiple, World War II came from World War I. Maybe we can prevent more wars by learning from mistakes. Maybe that’s a topic of a new potential thread–learning from history to prevent mistakes.

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I’m guessing you didn’t have me as a prof? :sunglasses:
If you haven’t seen the place in more than 10 years, you wouldn’t recognize it!

It was in 2000, so probably not. :wink: I really loved living in Virginia. It has all the beautiful forests like I love about the place I grew up in, but not the terrible winters.

It is nice here. (Well, I could complain a bit about the humidity, but I won’t.) Here is a picture of the quad at CNU, which didn’t exist in 2000. I thought you might like to see. (And yes, there is a bit of civic pride.)


That is beautiful!! I wish we had campuses like that.

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It’s part of the reason students are in debt for 20 years paying off their college loans though. Pros and cons. :slight_smile: The average debt of a graduate is now up to $39,400. (But I guess it would be using that useless math to think about how that compares to the average annual salary. No one needs math, so I won’t bother thinking about it.)


Ah, the good old days. My community college was about $1000/semester in 1991. Wow.

Spot on. We have (all of us in academia) hoisted ourselves with our own petard. We are building new campuses which, as you point out, drive up the cost of education. (Although thank you God that we are not such horrible sinners as U of A, which built a lazy river on campus.)

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