Loneliness Growing During Pandemic; Need for Community Has Never Been Greater

Southern Evangelical Seminary: ‘Longing for Community Is Evidence of the Universal Human Nature That We All Share’

April 19, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While it is true that loneliness existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic began, experts have recently pointed to evidence that shows the feeling is growing as a result of the pandemic. Although the impact from the pandemic is yet to be seen, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has referred to loneliness as a “public health crisis” that the nation faces today. The need for community has never been greater.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are made for community,” said Dr. Brian Huffling, Director of Ph.D. Program and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu). “This universal longing for community is evidence of the universal human nature that we all share. This human nature, how God created us, is the bedrock for ethics and morality, what many refer to as natural law. Science regarding biology and psychology must assume such a position or we could not talk about the universal nature of basic issues in those fields since there would be no ‘nature’ to speak of. This is a core teaching at SES that pervades not only our ethics, but our philosophy and theology.

“In addition to a philosopher, I’m also a chaplain. Recently, I talked to someone about how nice it is to simply go to a restaurant with friends or family. God has created us as social creatures and loneliness is a real health danger, especially psychologically. This is why we saw Tom Hanks’ character talking to ‘Wilson’ in the movie ‘Castaway.’

“We can also see this in children who are not able to attend school. Many parents are saying their kids are suffering socially from it. Community is a necessary part of growth and development. God has made us to be with other people. We are told to bear one another’s burdens, love people, help people, and be Christ to people. But we have to be there in some way to be able to do that. That’s why we are told to attend church together.”

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers the 15-hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.SES believes that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs, and to do so with truth and power our students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding Master of Arts in Religion).The combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.

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To interview Dr. Brian Huffling of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.