“…what they don’t know is that, like the secular schools they wish to avoid, and like the majority of the great Christian institutions of higher learning of the past, many, many of the Christian schools they attend are…Already Compromised.”–Ken Ham
I recently finished reading Already Compromised by Ken Ham and Dr. Greg Hall. Already Compromised is a follow-up title to Already Gone. That first book disclosed poll research showing that a large percentage of children raised in conservative evangelical churches were leaving the faith and that most that leave had made up their mind to do so by high school. The book also disclosed the surprise correlation showing that a child’s regular involvement with a Sunday school increased the risk. See also here. The implication was clear – we’re not doing a good job training and teaching our children. The book was a call for churches to invest in teaching children and equip families to learn Biblical apologetics in an increasingly hostile and skeptical world.
Already Compromised takes the analysis one step further by examining the next phase of a young person’s life, college. The book analyzes a poll of 200 evangelical colleges. The poll was again conducted by Britt Beemer of America’s Research Group. They polled the leadership at universities and seminaries on core questions of faith and doctrine. The leadership polled consisted of presidents, vice presidents, religion department chairs, and science department chairs. As with Already Gone, the poll discloses some disappointing and surprising results.
Perhaps not surprisingly, just because a college calls itself “Christian” does not mean that the school is committed to teaching all the fundamentals of the faith, particularly in the treatment of the Old Testament. There was overwhelming support for the fundamentals of “New Testament” Christianity, ie virgin birth, Christ’s substitutionary atonement, a literal heaven and hell, the Second Coming, and the bodily Resurrection of Christ. A large percentage of respondents however were not so committed to “Old Testament” truths, particularly in the areas of creation and the flood. Accordingly, there was also meaningful weakness in many colleges regarding the inerrancy of scripture.
A high level take-away is to make sure you know what your colleges teach if you or your loved ones are attending an institution because they profess to be a place of Christian learning. Beemer’s survey in Already Compromised does a good job of asking the right questions from several different perspectives to show that one has to really dig to understand what schools mean when they say they believe in the Bible. A number of the questions show that some schools appear to engage in “newspeak.” Buyer beware.
One of the biggest surprises for me was in the research regarding human origins and the Book of Genesis. One would assume that since evolutions is “Science,” as compared to the religion department, the science departments would harbor a greater percentage of skeptics regarding the creation account in Genesis and support for old earth/evolutionary theories. Of course, one would be quite wrong. In reviewing the survey data, Mr. Ham states, “It turns out that the science department is much more biblical in their beliefs than the religion department! … [O]nly 27 percent of people in the science department believe in nonliteral creation days. Yet 55.6 percent of people in the religion department believe in nonliteral creation days.” (emphasis in orig.) Schools that agree with AiG’s statement of faith are listed here.
Already Compromised is yet another call to the church to stand up, defend, and teach God’s word. Greg Hall has an excellent chapter calling the church to apologetics arms. The books are a must read for those concerned with understanding the condition of the Church in the United States.