Surviving Religion 101 with Dr. Michael Kruger

university lecture

For many young adults, the college years are exciting ones, yet they can also be a time of testing and questioning. Some students may be confronted with the various challenges to Christianity and the Bible for the first time.

That’s why Dr. Michael Kruger’s book Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College is so important. It’s helpful not just for college students but for anyone who is facing tough questions about the Christian faith such as the exclusivity of Christianity, Christian intolerance, homosexuality, hell, the problem of evil, science, miracles, and the reliability of the Bible.

Dr. Kruger is president and professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a leading scholar on the origins and development of the New Testament canon, and author of many books.

Key Ideas

  • At some level, we are not doing an adequate job preparing young adults for the questions they will face in college.
  • Churches often focus on making sure people are converted, and helping them live like Christians. We can forget to help them think like Christians.
  • People don’t form their beliefs just on facts, but on our prior worldview. Opposition to Christianity isn’t neutral, but based on a grid through which opponents see reality.
  • Because of common grace, we should expect that many unbelievers are happy and live moral lives.
  • We can prepare people to deal with objections to Christianity by exposing them to these ideas.
  • Pastors and preachers should not assume that listeners agree with them. They must persuade them that what they are teaching is true.
  • We must preach the hard passages and doctrines of Scripture. If we don’t, we are setting people up for a fall later.
  • Universities are intended to introduce people to a multiplicity of views. Today, though, many thoughts are outlawed, and only one view is encouraged.
  • The church must grapple with issues of sexual and spiritual abuse.


“Professors at secular colleges aren’t neutral. They already have a grid through which they’re interpreting reality.”

“One of the ways to prepare students for college is to introduce them and expose them to non-Christian thinking in some sort of way that normally we don’t do.”

“It’s one thing to believe something. It’s another thing to know something, but it’s an entirely different thing to try to explain or articulate something to an audience that’s not sympathetic to you.”

“I think what pastors need to do is pick up the art of persuasion, to make an argument, try to show that what you believe makes sense.”

“We’ve got to take the problem and introduce it into the bloodstream, so to speak, in small doses, so that people are prepared to battle it.”

“Certain ideas are outlawed from the get go. And we know this that professors and schools are not interested in debates that are interested in discussions. They’re interested in indoctrination. They’re trying to make sure that everyone leaves with a particular view.”

Books mentioned:


Download a PDF transcript of this episode.

Surviving Religion 101 with Dr. Michael Kruger
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada