How, then, should this [positive] attitude toward extrabiblical intellectual training inform parents and youth groups when they prepare Christian teenagers to go to college and tell teens why college is important?
According to various studies, increasing numbers of college freshmen, on the advice of parents, say their primary goal in going to college is to get a good job and ensure a secure financial future for themselves. This parallels a trend in the same students toward valuing a good job more than developing a meaningful philosophy of life.
Given this view of a college education, it is clear why the humanities have fallen on hard times. It is equally clear why the level of our public discourse on topics central to the culture wars is so shallow, since it is precisely the humanities that train people to think carefully about these topics.
What is not so clear is why Christians, with a confidence in the providential care and provision of God, would follow the secular culture in adopting this approach to college. How different this approach is compared to the value of a college education embraced by earlier generations of Christians: A Christian goes to college to discover his vocation — the area of service to which God has called him — and to develop the skills necessary to occupy a section of the cultural, intellectual domain in a manner worthy of the kingdom of God.
A believer also goes to college to gain general information and the habits of thought necessary for developing a well-structured soul suitable for a well-informed, good citizen of both earthly and heavenly kingdoms. If the public square is naked, it may be because Christians have abandoned the humanities due to a sub-biblical appreciation for extrabiblical knowledge.