E. Rasmusen recommends Shweder’s “End of the Modern Academy: At the University of Chicago, for Example.” It’ a good article on three threats the academy faces today. I’m with Shweder on the first and third threat, but not the second:
[Threat to] complete freedom of research and unrestricted dissemination of information.
Thinking is always and inevitably religious and must be disciplined for the protection of immortal souls.
Shweder writes of the threat of:
the popularity of a vilifying campus vernacular that encourages the incontinent use of epithets such as sexist, racist, homophobe, or anti-Semite.
Myself, I didn’t know any use was continent. Shweder continues:
Name-calling can be effective. Fearless minds are increasingly in short supply on college campuses, and even those who are fearless may hesitate to “follow the argument where it leads.” Inhibited by reputational concerns or anticipations of an administrative complaint or legal suit, worried about perceptions of complicity or guilt by association, they give up on skeptical dialogue and see little benefit in defending a politically unpopular point of view, even just for the sake of argument. The campus thereby becomes a place where once fearless minds “self-censor” or tiptoe around controversial hot-button topics.
Although he’s lamenting what’s happened in the academy, this is a good description of the abysmal state of Reformed preaching today. Men like Bryan Chappel and Tim Keller have made self-censorship normative for pastors whose calling was formerly understood to be proclaiming “the word of God” (Calvin).