I’m Patricia Engler, a homeschooler-turned-B.Sc-grad with a three-fold passion for Christian apologetics, outdoor adventure, and Dutch licorice. When I’m not writing about worldview topics, contemplating global missions, or trying to build camping gear out of dental floss, you can probably find me outside tuning a ukulele. And eating licorice.
As far as ministry is concerned, a huge focus of mine is equipping Christian students to navigate secular college without compromising their biblical perspective. While many great apologetics resources already exist to address specific worldview questions, for years I’ve wanted to help Christian students think critically about ANY material that challenges their faith.
But before I could do that, I had to become one of those students.
That’s why I enrolled in some of the most evolutionary-intensive courses available while completing my Bachelor of Science degree. Why evolution? Because entire worldviews hinge upon it. True, the word evolution often just refers to observable changes within kinds of living things due to the loss or corruption of pre-existing genetic information through processes like mutation and natural selection. But evolution in another sense serves as the go-to framework for stating that humans are not created beings. That statement carries major implications for society and the church–implications that affect the very foundations of what it means to be human. And while different Christians have different interpretations of how God created humanity, it’s still a central tenet of Christianity that humans are made in the image of God. Conversely, it’s a central tenet of secular humanism that humans originated through unguided natural processes. This is the view taught exclusively to millions of students worldwide.
As one of these students myself, I learned firsthand the importance of maintaining a close walk with God, and of building personal spiritual, intellectual, and interpersonal foundations both before and during higher education. I also began to understand the need for accessible tools which allow students to walk through any faith-challenging material without panicking, to deal with each component, and to handle any remaining questions, without draining hours of valuable study time. Having tested these tools myself on courses ranging from molecular evolution to physical anthropology, I know how useful they are.
Best of all, I believe the same practical steps and tools which can help Christian students think critically in humanist education can also help any Christian think critically in broader humanist society. As culture accelerates away from a Christian worldview, equipping disciples worldwide to respectfully navigate ‘post-Christian’ societies is growing more important than ever. This process will involve not only individual disciples themselves, but also their wider churches, families and communities.
It won’t be easy, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
Somewhere like here.
I hope you’ll join me!