Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College

By Michael J. Kruger

... Show All

Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College

By Michael J. Kruger

... Show All

Reflections on Keeping Your Faith in College

Preparing for college is exciting for young adults—but are they truly prepared for the intellectual challenges they will face in and out of the classroom? College is not just a time filled with new and formative experiences; it can also be an intense season of testing for a young Christian’s faith. 

Writing in the form of a letter to his college-age daughter, biblical scholar Michael Kruger reflects on some of the biggest stumbling blocks Christian students often encounter at secular universities. Answering questions such as How can Christianity be the only right religion?How can we know the Bible is really from God?; and Wouldn’t a loving God save everyone?, Kruger offers biblical, theological, and logical support for the Christian faith and provides students with the tools to navigate these challenging topics. College students wrestling with these issues will be encouraged to find security in God’s unfailing word even in the face of difficult questions.


Author:

Michael J. Kruger

Michael J. Kruger (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the president and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a leading scholar on the origins and development of the New Testament canon. He blogs regularly at michaeljkruger.com.

Product Details

Title: Surviving Religion 101
Subtitle: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College
Published: April 06, 2021
ISBN-10: 1-4335-7207-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-7207-4
Retail Price: $14.99
Binding: Paperback
Trim: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Page Count: 272

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: I’m Worried about Being a Christian at a Secular University—How Will I Survive?
Chapter 2: My Professors Are Really Smart—Isn’t It More Likely That They’re Right and I’m Wrong?
Chapter 3: There Are a Lot of Different Views Here—How Can We Say That Christianity Is the Only Right Religion?
Chapter 4: My Christian Morals Are Viewed as Hateful and Intolerant—Shouldn’t I Be More Loving and Accepting?
Chapter 5: I Have Gay Friends Who Are Kind, Wonderful, and Happy—Are We Sure That Homosexuality Is Really Wrong?
Chapter 6: The Concept of Hell Seems Barbaric and Cruel—Wouldn’t a Loving God Save Everyone?
Chapter 7: There’s So Much Suffering in the World—How Could a Good God Allow Such Evil?
Chapter 8: Science Seems Like It Can Explain Everything in the Universe—Do We Really Need to Believe in God?
Chapter 9: I’m Finding It Harder to Believe Events Like the Resurrection—How Can I Believe in Miracles If I’ve Never Seen One?
Chapter 10: Everything I Believe Seems to Hinge on the Truth of the Bible—How Do We Know It’s Really from God?
Chapter 11: My Professor Keeps Pointing Out Contradictions in the Gospels—Can I Still Trust Them?
Chapter 12: I’m Being Told That Ancient Scribes Changed the Words of the New Testament Thousands of Times—Is That True?
Chapter 13: My Professor Says That Books Were Left Out of Our Bibles—Can We Be Sure We Have the Right Ones?
Chapter 14: Some Parts of the Bible Seem Morally Troubling—How Can a Book Be from God If It Advocates Oppression or Genocide?
Chapter 15: Sometimes It Feels Like My Faith Is Slipping Away—How Do I Handle Doubts about What I Believe?

Postscript: What Do I Do If It Feels Like Christianity Just Isn’t Working for Me?

Endorsements

“This is a great book! I can’t imagine a college student—skeptic, doubter, Christian, struggler—who wouldn’t benefit from it. In fact, I’m sure almost anyone would be helped by this warm and intelligent apologetic for the Christian faith. I will recommend this book often, after first giving it to my own children.”
Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, North Carolina; Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

“Having sent four children off to large state schools for their college years, I am thankful that Michael Kruger has written this book. With compassion and clarity, he addresses key questions that often precipitate a crisis of faith for young believers. This accessible book equips families for good conversations about challenges to our faith, helping us trade panic and doubt for blessed assurance.”
Jen Wilkin, Bible teacher; author, Women of the Word; None Like Him; and In His Image

“Every fall, untold thousands of young Christians step onto the college campus and are instantly engaged in the battle of ideas. They need help and encouragement, and Michael Kruger offers a wealth of both in this timely book. The help comes in his serious and faithful confrontation with the big questions that are unavoidable on campus. The encouragement comes from a wise author who is also a father and friend. The chapters are written as letters, and every college student you know needs every letter in this book. Where was this book when I went to college?”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Centennial Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Surviving Religion 101 is a crucial book for all Christians to read because the world that we inhabit has become the university culture of Michael Kruger’s twenties. An epistolary book composed of letters from a loving Christian father to a faithful daughter entering the university, it invites us to ask crucial questions that help us make our calling and election sure. Are we intellectually prepared to understand and respond to the non-Christian thinking that surrounds us? If we believe that personal conversion and personal piety are enough for the Christian college student to survive, we are dangerously wrong. Our lack of intellectual preparation may explain why so many faithful Christians have had their faith shipwrecked by so-called progressive Christianity, living now with cultural change and social activism as proof of holiness. And for this reason, this book is as necessary for students entering Christian colleges as it is for those entering secular ones. Thanks be to God for this book. May it be used by God to preserve the faith of our college students and bring their unbelieving professors into the kingdom of God.”
Rosaria Butterfield, Former Professor of English, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

“The move from home to college and those influences that grip the mind from the age of eighteen to twenty-two play an absolutely decisive role in shaping the rest of our lives. The need for us to claim the Christian faith as our own at that point—and not as something we have merely absorbed from our parents or school friends—is exhilarating; but the process of so doing is often conflicted and intellectually, morally, and socially difficult. Michael Kruger is a well-known scholar, but he is also a parent with a vested interest in this issue and someone who himself experienced the range of challenges as a young student. In this clearly written book, he draws on all this to engage with the panoply of challenges that people face at college. While he covers the ‘usual suspects’—the intellectual challenges to faith—what is so brilliant and helpful about this book is the way in which he understands and addresses the form of challenges to faith as they manifest themselves in today’s therapeutic culture. Many students struggle with the claims of their faith because the moral tastes of our modern world make it seem so implausible. Kruger understands this and has written a book that speaks precisely to the kinds of problems that afflict college culture today. Students—and their parents—will find this work most helpful and enlightening.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

“I wish I’d had a guide like Michael Kruger when I was in college. There’s no one I trust more to help students navigate the difficult challenges to our faith that arise in both the classroom and also the dorm room.”
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; Host, Gospelbound podcast

“Today, Christian students in secular universities will face not just intellectual challenges to their faith. Perhaps even more caustic will be the social and moral pressures. Michael Kruger ably addresses the intellectual issues, and as a real, high-powered Bible scholar, he is especially effective in dealing with the objections to God’s word. But he also strengthens students for the more subtle spiritual trials they will encounter, addressing his readers with empathy and grace.”
Gene Edward Veith Jr., author, Loving God with All Your Mind and Post-Christian