7/03/2008

What's wrong with this picture?



What's missing is substance and sustainability. Also missing in much of Christian education. You might ask what the optimum method might be for teaching Christian core values and passing on the truth of God's Word to students. At one time in America (harking back to our Independence Day) and at present in some countries, it would be taught. Facts, information to be learned, understood and processed, hopefully into lives and action. Instead, we're getting a ton of current theories, speculative "ear-tickling", and melt-in-your-mouth emergent drivel.

On an intriguing blog I happened upon today, Baglady, this quote from her father's story of life as a new immigrant to America, highlighted for me the problem with most "Christian" colleges and Universities.
"Here in America, the professors often put students in small groups so that they can debate amongst themselves and students are encouraged to have different opinions. Additionally, on the written exams students do not necessarily have to agree with a professor’s opinion in essay questions. As long as you have a great idea and great supporting points you could still score quite well."

All very well for many subjects, however I believe Biblical Studies, mathematics, and some of the sciences should be excluded from this method. They have something in common: that understanding and applying is the important thing, not questioning. Though this is almost heresy in some circles. What good does it do to question and disagree that 5x5=25? Not a lot. And the same should be said of God's Word.

Of course, much has been learned in the sciences by questioning and testing the various theories and coming up with new ones, and testing those. I'm not talking theories here. And, I don't mean questioning in the sense that Nicodemus asked Jesus, "How can this be?" He didn't understand and was asking the Teacher to explain, with a heart to learn.

We, some of us, presume to question as Satan did, "Did God really say...?" and then to disagree with what he does say - "You will not surely die...", beginning, as the Tempter did, in Genesis, along with the majority of scientists in our time. Did God really create in six days? No, of course not. However, not being reproducible and involving the supernatural, it should be considered outside the field of science anyway. We can look at the fossils and say, as does Ken Ham, "millions of dead things, laid down in rock layers all over the earth." Yes, the flood explains that. Or, DNA research says we all came from one woman. Yes, Genesis says so, it must be true. DNA research changes, scientific study evolves and changes from year to year. Scripture does not change "a jot or tittle", the least stroke of a pen.

Interestingly, a few verses later, Jesus continues: "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." And, we know that their "righteousness" included questioning (in a wrong sense) and re-interpreting and layering on their own opinions, endlessly - a large set of oral teachings by the elders - a religious elite. Later, they broke with their own scriptures and allowed them, the Mishnah, to be written down, cementing in place the already sad corruption of Jesus' day. And, they still prefer their own "traditions" to the Word of God.

My point being, the same thing is done today by theologians and professors in our "Christian" seminaries, colleges and Universities, with few exceptions. Genesis is only the beginning of it, and I'm sure Satan is well pleased with them. His method of operation has not changed - question and pick apart Scripture. Students come out passing along misinformation, doubting their faith, or deserting it altogether. Not strengthened properly to do battle in our culture. And, it is a culture war.

2 comments:

The Baglady said...

Hey there, I'm glad you read my dad's story. Anyway, he was talking about a business class. I think you can't really debate about math, either. When it comes to the Bible, I don't think it's wrong to have slightly different understandings of God's word. As a Christian, I don't doubt that God wrote the Bible, but some sections (especially Revelation) is prone to have different interpretations because the symbols and descriptions are so fantastic and supernatural. I have been at a Bible study where different people had different insights as to what a certain passage means, and I don't know if that's necessarily bad.

Claudia Riley said...

You're right, we do have different understandings of God's Word. And, it's all about the supernatural. God is supernatural. What I'm talking about is the heart attitude of believing and taking him at his word, wanting to understand. The Holy Spirit is able to make it clear, over time. I'm always amazed at how in each re-reading, more of the Bible is revealed. As Jesus dealt with the Pharisees of his day, and their heart of unbelief, we need to recognize and turn away from their teachings today.