Textbooks in Christian colleges
Textbooks are among the key determinants of a student’s intellectual development. Regrettably, not all Christian colleges are demonstrably sensitive to the power of textbooks in shaping the minds and perspectives of students. In particular Christian educationists are not in agreement about how textbooks that promote anti-biblical ideas and theories should be used in a Christian college.This issue is usually not considered a problem among experienced researchers and scholars because an important part of their work requires them to be familiar with research and publications in their disciplines irrespective of authors’ theoretical perspectives, methods and conclusions.
It is different for many students, especially those in early semesters of a college career. Although students are required to know major ideas, theories and data in their fields of study, only a few develop this skill without initial guidance from professors. Generally, not many undergraduate students can respond professionally and biblically to blatant or subtle errors in textbooks.
The contents of prescribed textbooks are important at least from the perspective of Christian students, especially when they have not developed the skills to analyze, evaluate and critique controversial data and viewpoints. In addition to and irrespective of an official position of a Christian college on textbooks, professors should have in place plans to guide students through ideas, theories, data and perspectives that contradict biblical authority in recommended textbooks.