Once again, we're confronted with statistics that may startle some Christians. The health of the Christian worldview appears increasingly bleak. According to the American Worldview Inventory 2021, nearly half of the millennials surveyed said they either don’t know, don’t care, or don’t believe that God exists. Only 26% of Gen X, and a mere 16% of millennials, understand and believe the basics of the Gospel. In addition, 31% of teens and young adults “strongly agree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society.”
While these trends should not surprise those who believe in the traditional Christian doctrine of the Fall, certain observations of recent Christian and American history might also help explain how we got to where we are. It didn't happen overnight. Short of a monumental move of God, we won't get out of it overnight, if at all this side of heaven. In one sense, an increase in religious diversity is to be expected as immigrants bring their religions and cultures with them. Such diversity can enrich everyone's experience. And for the Christian, the mission field is conveniently coming to us.
But other reasons are not so encouraging. Historically, there have been cyclical assaults on the integrity of the Bible. Consider Charles Spurgeon's "Downgrade Controversy" as he fought the increasing modernism in his Baptist Union of the late 19th century England, or J. Gresham Machen's Fundamentalist battle with the liberal influences at Princeton, or the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy's response to the post-WWII subtle compromise of inerrancy of the Bible, not to mention the current battles within evangelicalism against the erosion of inerrancy.
Second, the seeds of postmodern relativism, originally confined to the ivory towers of academia, have now blossomed into a rampant moral and religious relativism. This is being lived out before our eyes in ideologies such as critical race theory for example.
Third, the American church's widespread increase in anti-intellectualism, that emphasized experience over truth, has created a church that is anemic in any attempt to contend for the objective truth of Christianity. We are like the sedentary person who has disregarded his diet and exercise and is startled later in life to discover that he has health problems.
It's time for the church to try to understand what's going on around us and prepare an adequate response. It’s time for every believer, in whatever context God has placed him, to be better equipped to proclaim the Gospel, engage the culture, and defend the truth. This is precisely the mission of Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College (SES).
As we have seen, our culture is more hostile to Christianity, even though it understands Christianity less than ever before. To effectively engage with the culture, you will need a deeply integrated understanding of theology, philosophy, and apologetics—the bedrock of a degree or certificate from SES.
But your schedule is busy. We get it. Your family, career, ministry, and other obligations mean you’ll need a seminary option that’s flexible as you balance your academic work with the rest of life. SES takes a digital-first approach that moves your learning beyond mere online education by leveraging ever-advancing technology to re-capture in a virtual environment the essence of a traditional on-campus format. The result of these efforts is our fully immersive digital campus experience featuring a mixture of asynchronous and live-stream courses. This format enables us to accommodate even the most demanding of schedules and allows you to get a first-class education without the burden of relocation or leaving your current ministry context.
To learn more about some of the challenges the church is facing, please download our FREE ebook Three Dangers Currently Confronting Evangelicals. These are the types of issues that integrated training in theology, philosophy, and apologetics from SES can help you be equipped to engage. Whether you are looking for a full degree or a for-credit certificate, SES stands ready to help you more effectively proclaim the Gospel, engage the culture, and defend the truth.