Have you ever hit a deer? I have. And you cannot fully understand the meaning of the expression “deer in the headlights” until you have seen it up close and personal. The Urban Dictionary online (which HAS to be accurate, right?) says the expression refers to “A mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and/or confusion . . . A person experiencing the ‘deer in headlights’ syndrome often shows behavioral signs reminding those of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights, such as widely opened eyes and a transient lack of motor reactions.”
In other words, it is that moment of shock and even paralysis you experience when something disturbing happens that you did not see coming. Remember the first time you were in a French restaurant and you realized what escargot REALLY is? (Look it up!)
As Head of School, one important responsibility I have involves making sure your children do not experience the shock and paralysis of the deer in the headlights when they go to college. As Christians, we should know philosophy just as well as the philosophers. We should know Darwinian Evolution better than the evolutionists, and we should know the arguments for Marxism and Atheism better than the most eloquent Marxists and Atheists. How else can we honor the spirit of I Peter 3:15: “Sanctify Christ in your hearts, and be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you”?
By and large, our children are going to the university and all too often they are the deer in the headlights. They are confronted with seemingly convincing arguments in favor of these unbiblical worldviews, and they do not know how to respond. They are ill-prepared to defend their faith, much less go on the offensive and present the gospel in a winsome manner.
I want to invite your senior student to join me in a new course at Wilson Hill Academy. The course is called MLTA (Modern Literature, Thought, and Apologetics). As we read a wide variety of modern writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, William Faulkner, Albert Camus, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and T.S. Eliot, we will examine their worldviews and learn to engage them with the life-changing truth of the Christian message.
As I mentioned in the November newsletter, individuals representing unbiblical worldviews are actively seeking to “evangelize” your child on the campuses of our colleges and universities. Those campuses are teeming with Christian school graduates who are in a “mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and/or confusion” (see Urban Dictionary definition above). It is my prayer that God will grant us the wisdom to help your child be one who can live and speak the gospel, the “power of God unto salvation to the Gentiles and the Jews” as Paul says on Romans 1:16. If you are interested, here is a description of the course:
Having worshiped at the altar of unaided Reason in the 18th century, Western Man drifted toward a more subjective, emotionally-driven philosophy of progress and optimism in the 19th century. But a radical shift took place in the 20th century that extinguished the unbridled idealism of the 1800’s. At the same time, the West experienced a deterioration in the belief in objective reality and morality. In this course, we will explore the works of literature that both shaped and reflected modern man. The list of writers includes such influential authors as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Albert Camus, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and C.S. Lewis. We will examine the sources and implications of various worldviews such as existentialism, relativism, communism, atheism, multiculturalism and feminism. We will also consider where these various views have led us into the 21st century, and how Christians can understand them and, as I Peter 3:15 says, “give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you.”
Bruce Etter, Head of School, Wilson Hill Academy