Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 04/24/2006 by Tim Challies.
Recommended. Will equip teens for the real world.It is a tragic fact that many, and perhaps even the majority of students who proclaim to be Christians when they begin college, no longer make such a claim when they have finished. Four years of college, four years of being away from the presence of parents and church, leads many to abandon the faith they once professed. To combat this ongoing problem, David Wheaton, radio host and one-time tennis professional, has written University of Destruction. This book is targetted squarely at the teenager who is about to depart the comfort and safety of home to set out on his own, beginning with a college education.
To explain how so many young people can fall away during their tenure at college Wheaton differentiates between professors and possessors. Everyone who claims to be a Christian when he begins college is a professor, for he professes faith in Christ. But only a few are possessors, those who actually possess a living and active faith. Clearly it is only those who possess the indwelling Holy Spirit, and are thus possessed by God, who can expect to remain strong through their years of higher education.
Wheaton goes on to introduce what he calls the Pillars of Peril that every student will encounter. They are sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Sex refers to all forms of sexual deviance and activity outside of God's divinely ordained plan that sex be restricted to the marriage bed. The author emphasizes abstinence and allows no leeway for any type of sexual activity outside marriage. He also warns of the dangers involved in dating. While he does not directly advocate a courtship model, he does encourage young couples to date under the authority of their parents and to only date people with whom they can foresee a marriage.
Drugs refers not only to the recreational drugs that are all too common at colleges, but also to alcohol. Wheaton encourages students to avoid alcohol altogether, not only because most college students are underage and drinking is thus an offense against the governmental authorities, but because it may represent a poor example to unbelievers. He suggests that students "Commit to a higher standard - don't drink alcohol...period! Take it out of play; remove it completely from your life...I can think of no positive reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages" (pages 74,75).
The third Pillar of Peril is rock 'n' roll, by which the author refers not to music, but to what rock music exemplifies - rebellion against authority.
Having introduced the pillars of peril, Wheaton goes on to help the student put together a game plan for addressing and overcoming each one of them. He concludes with helpful teaching about the importance of choosing friends wisely and choosing the right college.
Throughout the book Wheaton continually refers the student to the Bible, affirming the power and supremacy of the Scriptures. His teaching is consistent with historical Protestantism and will surely reap great benefits in the lives of those who read and heed his teachings. He is deliberate in showing that the greatest sin on campus is not the acts themselves, but the erosion of Christian worldview, without which there is no authority, no right or wrong.
This is a book I would not hesitate to provide as a gift for any student who is planning on attending college. It would be an excellent title for the student to read and study with his parents. I definitely recommend it.