College Is Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth

In 2015, Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Everett Piper wrote a provocative article entitled, “This is Not A Day Care. It’s A University!” The article was quoted in the Washington Post, the New York TimesNBC News, and more. Needless to say, he ruffled some feathers! The article was such a success that Dr. Piper followed up with a recent book entitled Not A Day Care. I had the privilege of endorsing the book and highly commend it to you. Even if you end up disagreeing with Dr. Piper, he has struck a significant nerve and advances an argument that merits serious consideration.

College Consequences Truth

Check out this brief interview. Then I hope you will get a copy of his new excellent book and consider talking about it with a friend:

SEAN MCDOWELL: What do you think has caused the Snowflake rebellion on our campuses?

  1. EVERETT PIPER: When you teach self-absorption and narcissism in the classroom you shouldn’t be surprised to find self-absorbed and narcissistic students at our colleges. Richard Weaver told us that Ideas have consequences and the lousy ideas we have been teaching for decades are bearing themselves out in the lousy behavior we now see on the nightly news. Garbage in garbage out. What is taught today in the classroom will be practiced tomorrow in our culture, on our campuses, in our communities, in our corporations, and even in our churches.

MCDOWELL: You claim that Bethlehem, not Berkeley, is the birthplace of the free speech movement. How so?

PIPER: Chesterton told us that if you want freedom you have to build a fence. He also said that when you get rid of big laws you don’t get liberty but rather thousands of little laws that rush in to fill the vacuum. Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. If you stop teaching truth it always leads to tyranny. There is no liberty without law and there is no freedom without fences. This message was born in Bethlehem not Berkeley. The proof is in the pudding. Just watch these college protests and ask yourself who is really more free. Who really believes in openness and debate? Who really believes in a robust exchange of ideas? Which worldview lends itself to intellectual freedom and which one seems shockingly close to ideological fascism? Berkeley or Bethlehem? You choose.

MCDOWELL: What about your chapter titled Pro-woman and Proud of It? Why do you think the biblical worldview is more pro-woman than any other?

PIPER: Because we believe women are real. We believe in science. We believe in the fact of the female. What could possibly be more misogynistic than to suggest that a woman is not a fact but rather merely a fantasy or a fabrication; nothing but a social construct. How is it possible to be a feminist while denying the empirical reality of the feminine? You can’t be pro-woman and yet deny that a female exists. You can’t be pro-woman while at the same time claiming that she is really is nothing more than a leprechaun or a unicorn – that she’s make believe – and that anyone who wants to pretend can raise his hand on a given day and take away her privacy, her dignity and her very identity.

MCDOWELL: You’re against “safe spaces.” Shouldn’t the college experience be safe?

PIPER: C.S. Lewis said of the great lion Aslan that he was not safe but that he was good. Let me paraphrase and suggest that the great lion of the liberal arts; the great lion of the academy; the great lion of the university – of the ivory tower – is not supposed to be safe but it is supposed to be good. There is a huge difference between goodness and safety. Safety implies comfort. Goodness implies confrontation. We don’t grow if we are always comfortable and safe. We only grow when there is dissonance and when we are challenged. Iron sharpens iron and the Lord disciplines those he loves. College should be about you growing closer to God’s standard of goodness not feeling safe and comfortable in your sin.

MCDOWELL: Why are “trigger warnings” and “micro-aggressions” bad ideas?

PIPER: Yes these are terrible ideas and the reason is because they have essentially become synonyms for simple disagreement. If I don’t like your ideas all I need to do is cry “micro-aggression.” If your political views make me feel uncomfortable I accuse of you violating my “safe space.” If I don’t want to even be exposed to an intellectual challenge I demand that you issue a “trigger warning” before you speak. All of this is predicated on the assumption that it is somehow good to avoid contrary ideas – ideas that are different from our own biases. This is terrible education and it is the exact opposite of what the classical liberal arts education was all about.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog:



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11 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    ” You can’t be pro-woman while at the same time claiming that she is really is nothing more than a leprechaun or a unicorn – that she’s make believe”
    This is the biggest staw man of trans issues I’ve ever seen. That’s it’s made by someone claiming to make an argument for defending truth is bizarre. In fact, if anything the anti-trans claim – that the only difference between men and women is physical – comes closer to ‘denying womanhood’. Sean and Piper claim to hate the idea of people shutting their ears to contrary ideas yet apparently have shut their own ears to the ideas and arguments of trans people, such that they misrepresent them completely.

  2. Andy Ryan says:

    ” You can’t be pro-woman while at the same time claiming that she is really is nothing more than a leprechaun or a unicorn – that she’s make believe”
    This is the biggest staw man of trans issues I’ve ever seen. That’s it’s made by someone claiming to make an argument for defending truth is bizarre. In fact, if anything the anti-trans claim – that the only difference between men and women is physical – comes closer to ‘denying womanhood’. Sean and Piper claim to hate the idea of people shutting their ears to contrary ideas yet apparently have shut their own ears to the ideas and arguments of trans people, such that they misrepresent them completely.

    • Susan says:

      I wouldn’t worry so much about liberal political issues so much Andy. Be more concerned about yourself.

      You are made in the image of God y’know and the devil likes to meddle with that image in people and one of the things he likes to swipe is their self identification with Christ.

      Christ died on the Cross so every man, woman and child ever born could identify with him. Why do Christians read the Bible so much? To help God establish His identity and nature in us. The Bible is a glass in which we get to look at God and then compare ourselves to Him searching for a family resemblance but alot of the resemblance has to be spiritually reinstated. Sin breaks down and mars the image of God in people.

      You can cooperate further with marring that image or turn to Jesus for help in restoring it. Which indicates our motivations are affected.

      Your body was made to be the temple of God, Andy so your temple can entertain God’s spirit but it could be some people have become so unsanctified that regaining enough sanity to let God sanctify them is a major undertaking so be sure to pray to God for some help with that. Especially pray to Him for enlightenment if the things I write don’t make sense to you.

      I would advocate you read the Bible everyday without fail self-determined never to quit doing that until God reveals Himself to you but you probably wouldn’t do it.

      If you read the Bible every day then at least you would be seeking to know God before you deny His existence.

      It gives you a more firm knowledge of the things you are attacking and it might even stop you attacking if you allow God to establish His witness in you.

      Ask Him to show His perspective to you Andy. You may have been spending too much time around people who don’t know His perspective and that is why you keep objecting to people sharing holy ideas.

      Remember you are loved by God so you can repent and surrender to Him now or in the future. The sooner the better. It gives God more time to set you straight. There might be a lot of ideas that He still needs to communicate and teach to you so you can spiritually progress to being a full measure of a spiritual man cf. Book of Ephesians

    • Susan says:

      Get yourself on one of those read the Bible in a year program’s Andy and start listening to spiritual music everyday. You might have a lot of ungodly error to erase in your own mind.

      I sat down on a break between jobs about 15 years ago and read the whole Bible in about two weeks and it changed my life so it could change your’s too.

      You persevere Andy and don’t let the people who failed to persevere communicate their error in falling away to you. They probably never established a strong relationship with God. True relationships require personal self dedication and effort y’ know.

      You need to hang around more holy people to get a relationship with God going and there is no holier person than God so be sure to attend to Him and to His presence in the scriptures where He can tend to plowing up some of the bad ideas and roots the world has sowed into your personal thought processes.

      God is the gardener you know and teaches His people to tend to their thought lives so evil can’t make a stronghold in our lives, hearts and minds which we commonly refer to as our souls.

  3. Andy Ryan says:

    “I wouldn’t worry so much about liberal political issues so much Andy”
    I’m sure you wouldn’t. But all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Sorry to you and the Nazis and white supremacists, Susan, but I’m not letting evil flourish.

    • Susan says:

      I’m not a white supremacist Andy. Indeed I told a white supremacist once that he needed to repent because xenophobia is a spirit of fear. Who is going to remove a spirit of fear from people if not God?

      Evil flourishes in people’s souls because they refuse to obey God when He calls them to their own detriment. Would God need to require obedience if people weren’t self deceptive and able to do what is right all the time? No people are like little children that don’t know what is for their own good so God tells them.

      People are neither ready or able to do what is right all the time. If they were they wouldn’t need to respond obediently to the Savior. You have to exhort the unwary to obedience when they don’t know they are up against a danger.

      Why did you think God had to issue a warning through the Bible? It is a book full of warnings in addition to it’s salvation and prophetic messages and other ideas it promotes.

      God said “Be not afraid” 389 times in the Bible. Because when we have Him we don’t need our fears or worries or anxieties any more. All those fears do are make people act irrationally.

      So keep protesting against your social issues ignoring Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor and Friend. Those are all functioanal titles that describes roles he fulfills aren’t they?

      But you have replaced him with materialism and have set that example for other people to follow so when some terrible existential crisis or test arises some of those people that think you were right aren’t going to know where to turn for help out of the crisis. But you won’t probably even be around to see all the unnecessary damage you put those people through. You will be off some where entertaining yourself with another one of Dawkins’ vain imaginations. Oblivious to the fact that caused someone a mischief with your bad example. That you might have led them into error because you’re not always right are you and you’re not in control of all circustances are you and if not why should your perspective be given any weight at all?

      On the other hand there are people every day testifying that God brought them out of terrible things. He brought me out of a terrible car crash once. You can’t do that. He brought a close acquaintance of mine out of clinical depression and epilepsy. You can’t do that. He’s done a lot more that people testify about too. But you refuse to take any of those claims seriously even though you weren’t there to witness them so you should just be silent instead of opening your mouth to claims you weren’t even present to witness. You just spread doubt to a lot of people because you failed to believe yourself but belief is success in the spiritual realm so why are you fighting so hard to promote spiritual failure.

      Most people instinctively know having a good spirit is important.

      But like I said all you do is sow doubt so doubters will deny the faithful’s personal evidence. But you weren’t there so your doubting other people’s claims is a type of false claim in itself.

      Fear and doubt are related….I wonder why anyone goes around trying to control the metaphysical by sowing doubt….It’s mighty devious of them isn’t it.

      To sow someone out of the spiritual life now and the future eternal life that God promises them for a hopeless, dead doubting existential condition.

      You know when people are hopeless they don’t take provident action to help themselves.

      So doubt is disabling.

      But if you want to disable people spiritually then I can’t stop you. You will have to explain to God later though why you did that. Why did you over reach to meddle with people to promote existential meaningless and hopelessness in their lives? Don’t people as a result of sin have enough of that already?

      • Andy Ryan says:

        “I’m not a white supremacist Andy”
        I didn’t say you were. I said “Sorry to you and Nazis and white supremacists” – I was listing them as separate groups to you. Otherwise I’d have said “Sorry to you and OTHER Nazis and white supremacists”. If you address the points I made in my first post then I can discuss them further. Otherwise, we’re off topic.

        • Susan says:

          Well I was on topic Andy but I am tired of playing the heavy. Believers don’t judge unbelievers we judge other believers. Cf. 1 Cor. 5.

          And maybe if unbelievers didn’t feel judged and take everything overly personal all the time then they could inspect a real Christian and see a real Christian is a better person than most worldly specimens are because God actually does turn out a better person who knows to remain dedicated to Him.

          But believers have gotten thrust really deep into a world now where the scale of evil is so magnified and incessant that we really should seek the stronghold of Christian community more and let the raging world run it’s own course.

          If more people crashed and burned without Christians trying to assert their morals over the godless then maybe more would come to their senses.

          There can come a tipping point where Christians need to leave the world to it’s own devices and I think the world has reached that point so the best a Christian can do these days is pray for Christ to return and set up his new kingdom which could happen at any time so we must be ready for it.

          Like I said if people want to hate on Christians. Leave them alone. We’re not called to be unbelievers’ morals keepers. We’re called to evangelize them.

          If more people were evangelized and Biblically literate then a lot fewer racists would exist because they would be compelled to acknowledge everyone came from Adam. But a lot of believers aren’t biblically literate at all and some are only milk fed.

        • Susan says:

          I would really seek the genuine Bible scholarship tutoring if I were you Andy. Just assume you are spiritually blind and get someone to interpret the Bible for you that actually likes God.

          One reason I say that is too many people get hung up in the Old Testament which is really a presentation of mankind’s old pre-Christ sin nature and it underscores their weakness and how they needed to continually turn to God as in the Psalms to address all their concerns.

          But Christ offers people a new nature in the New Testament.

          It could be a lot of people have extreme difficulty leaving their old carnal natures behind to learn to walk in the spirit but there are plenty of good examples down the centuries of people learning to walk in the Spirit to know this phenomena occurs.

          A heavy tendency towards science could impede your mental ability to detect and sort the spiritual successes from the failures but I have spotted and know several spiritual successes in this world so I know Christ still works in people’s souls today.

          You need to find the right spiritual experts to learn from until your own spirit is operational.

          And you’re not going to get that hanging around the spiritless and the spiritually illiterate. All you are going to get is an argument that tries to impede your spiritual progress.

          Just meditate on it. Eveyone has a carnal nature but some people have better spirits than others. Read the New Testament to identify what signifies the holy spirit in people.

          In our culture today it is getting harder to leave our old evil nature behind but Christians have always struggled with dying to self that is why we tend to expect only the most holy ….those people who have died to self the most…to be running church organizations.

          Walking in spiritual blindness is difficult and must be even more difficult for a skeptic because a Christian knows to lean on God for support but an unbeliever doesn’t. He likes to skeptically kick God’s support right out from under himself and others.

          And don’t expect immediate perfection from Christians. The nature of spiritual blindness makes life challenging for everyone including Christians.

          I hope this helps.

          • toby says:

            I would really seek the genuine Bible scholarship tutoring if I were you Andy. Just assume you are spiritually blind and get someone to interpret the Bible for you that actually likes God.
            What you need, Andy, is some really good indoctrination. And stop thinking for yourself. You’ll think yourself right out of heaven.
            Susan, do you not see the inherent flaw in your religion? Everyone has to interpret the bible. An all powerful god couldn’t have spelled out the basics concisely and plainly? It’s a book of obfuscation. It lets people find whatever they want in it, and that’s why we have thousands of different sects and churches. Why do you think you’re interpretation is correct? How do you even know you’re interpreting correctly? I’m guessing you’ll come back with something along the lines of “that feeling I get that I call god says I’m right.” Well plenty of people have that and they often disagree with you. And here you’d probably insert a satan reference or man’s sinful nature as a reason they’d be wrong.

  4. Susan says:

    Toby the Bible is a book intimately concerned with personal sin and human beings heart motives. When you sit down to read the Bible and have the temerity to judge God and critically and in a mean spirited fashion do you seriously believe He isn’t taking note of that fact and judging you, too?

    Be very careful who you consult on the Bible and why. Personally, I don’t believe in eternal torment but I always concede there is room for error on my part and I have checked with many people all claiming to be devoted to God. Not a God hater in the lot as far as I know.

    I am a God lover and I am not going to put my precious love for God at the mercy of a bunch of scalawag false teachers and prophets to please anyone am I? Especially since the person you might be trying to appease may be evil. Neville Chamberlain tried to appease Hitler and look where it got England.

    Check your teachers. Credentials don’t matter as much as true devotion does.

    This is an all knowing God we are discussing.

    Sometimes you have to use your own God given mind in a world full of false teachers and influences.


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