Are Americans Suffering from Headline Stress Disorder? It Will Only Get Worse Leading to 2020
Southern Evangelical Seminary’s ‘Philosophy, Politics and Economics’ Program Allows Students to Think Critically about Issues That Will Have Consequences for the Next Election
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—If you’re tired of the surly political headlines already swirling 16 months before the 2020 presidential election, you’re not alone.
Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President Dr. Richard Land explored the topic of “Headline Stress Disorder” in a recent installment of his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” heard on nearly 800 stations nationwide.
“Mental health professionals are talking a lot about a new disorder that has been showing up in their practices,” Land said. “It’s called Headline Stress Disorder, or HSD, and is defined as ‘an increase in general anxiety, worry, intolerance and lowered frustration activation.’ The 24/7 news cycle constantly bombarding our senses with negative news seems to be the chief culprit. A 2017 study by the American Psychological Association found that a whopping two-thirds of Americans report they’re stressed out over the future of the country, and constant news consumption was tapped as a likely trigger.”
Land added that at the same time, however, keeping 2020 election matters—such as abortion, religious freedom, immigration policies, the economy and the United States’ relationship with Israel—front and center will be crucial for conservative Christian voters.
At SES, students delve into classroom discussions about news and commentary like this through its “Philosophy, Politics and Economics” program. Offered primarily at just a few top-tier universities around the world, SES’s PPE program introduces students to a Christian perspective of how philosophy, politics and economics intersect, focusing on the works of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Karl Marx, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Sirico, Jay Richards and others.
Additionally, Land noted, another Pew Research Center survey found that nearly seven out of ten respondents (68%) said they felt “worn out” by the amount of news available.
“Even though we’re exhausted from the news, we can’t seem to stay away,” Land added. “We constantly check news and social media feeds, exposing ourselves to the latest news headlines, and teenagers are increasingly waking up in the middle of the night to check their phones. What’s the answer? Unplug yourselves and follow the admonition of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things’ (Philippians 4:8).”
In the creation of SES’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics program, the realization was made that virtually all cultural issues will have the potential to relate to the studies in the concentration, according to Land and other architects of the program. Nearly every issue that creates discussion and debate in our society harkens back to what SES teaches through PPE. Encouraging and training more Christians about these issues is exactly why the PPE program exists at SES.
SES recently announced the 26th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA), set for Oct. 11-12 at Calvary Church in Charlotte. For the 2019 event, SES is focusing on the theme of “Why Truth Still Matters” and is welcoming some of the nation’s top apologetics speakers, including Michael Brown, Alisa Childers, Gary Habermas, SES co-founder Richard Howe, Chip Ingram, Richard Land, Mike Licona, Stephen Meyer, Jeff Myers, Hugh Ross and Frank Turek, among others. For over a quarter-century, SES’s annual conference has provided Christians with the tools, knowledge and motivation to defend their beliefs in a culture that is sometimes hostile toward Christianity. There will also be a special tribute to Dr. Norman Geisler, SES’s co-founder, longtime professor and President Emeritus, who passed away July 1. The early bird deadline for the conference ends Aug. 1.
For 27 years, SES has equipped students and ministry leaders to share the Gospel from an intelligent, informed and rational biblical worldview. Courses, conferences, seminars, guest speakers and more seek to accomplish this longstanding mission. Central to this purpose is the provision of a biblical basis and an academic understanding of believers’ commitment to Christ. Therefore, SES seeks to provide an educational opportunity where the Christian worldview is both a framework for thinking and a dynamic for living.