"Speakers at scholar lecture events on many college campuses often are greeted by a sea of empty seats. Not so at Roberts Wesleyan College in 1976. Chapel attendance was mandatory four days each week, so guest scholar Arthur Holmes got to play to a packed house each day.This brings me back to the same era when I was teaching for a couple years at Sterling College, a Presbyterian school in Sterling Kansas. Chapel was not mandatory, but was well-attended. It helped that the time slot for the weekly chapel had no courses scheduled.
Then again, packed doesn’t necessarily equal enthusiastic. Holmes was introduced as a philosophy professor from a rival college. Two strikes against him.
The dean introducing him also mentioned that he was a Presbyterian. Third strike. This bastion of hearts-strangely-warmed Wesleyans had honed their anti-Calvinism argumentation skills. We religion-and-philosophy majors specialized in crafting such debates. We listened with polite skepticism, at least at the beginning.
Soon we were captivated. His delivery was engaging. His scholarship was impressive. His message was stunning in a C.S. Lewis sort of way.
The theme for the series of lectures would be translated into a book published a year later (Eerdmans, 1977). The title: All Truth is God’s Truth. For me, a soon-to-graduate senior, it crystallized and summarized my whole college experience. My courses in science, fine arts, literature, human behavior, and the like all came together around a unifying, integrating, Christian worldview. ..."
One year the theme was "Integration of Faith and Education" (or similar words). We also heard the "All Truth is God's Truth" characterization, and the students hopefully were challenged in similar ways to Jack Haberer's experience.
I find Haberer's description of a Church college education pretty similar to what I observed at Sterling. I actually went to large universities for my education, but if I had to do it all over, I would consider seriously learning at a church-related college.
There are a number of articles in this week's Outlook relating to this topic, and I would recommend reading them. Registration is required to read the full articles, but it is free, thus is worth infinitely more than you paid for it.