Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Learning what we believe and why

In the realm of higher education, we are told that colleges and universities foster intellectual inquiry and critical thinking. They teach students to think, or how to think, rather than what to think. I question how successful – or even sincere – that they are in achieving this goal. They turn out multitudes of “assembly-line” students whose thinking reflects that of their professors!

In this same vein, religious seminaries supposedly want to teach you to think about what you believe and why, rather than teaching you what to believe. It may be that they are more generally successful than secular institutions?

What does the Bible say?

On one hand, it tells us to examine ourselves; for example,
On the other hand, it teaches us not to be tossed about; for example,
  • we have a delivered body of faith for which we should contend (Jude 3)
  • our foundation is the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets (Ephesians 2:20) in which we should firmly stand (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
  • we are to teach disciples to observe all things that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:20)
  • the faith should be committed to faithful persons who pass it on to others (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • there is only one gospel, from which we cannot diverge (Galatians 1:8-9)
So, what is the “happy medium”?

Note: my conclusion in general is that Jesus Christ places pastors and teachers in the churches, and it is to the churches we should resort to learn of the meek and lowly One and his doctrine rather than to the ivory towers of higher education.

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