Tertiary Education

University as a journey in developing right thoughts of God

A friend made the following comment in regards to my previous post on rethinking tertiary education:

“I’m glad that you are thinking about the Tertiary sector. What I’m finding is that one university doesn’t really work for me and that I’m currently involved with at least two and probably more like three or four. There should be more flexibility in the system and the ability to access more than one uni and more than one department. The model currently is that they operate like medieval fiefdoms, protecting their own interests and unlikely to change in the near future. A network of spiritual guides who talk with a student about how their study relates to their God-given life purpose?”

In my devotional Bible Reading this morning I was drawn to the following passage: “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love” (II John 3). And, in his book, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, Robert L. Reymond (1998) writes: “… when one moves beyond the borders of Chalcedon he has decided to choose a heresy.”

At many points in history, the local church minister was the most educated person in the community.  This is not so, in many cases, these days.  There has been a radical turn against academic excellence in many parts of the church.  This has resulted in poor thinking concerning God and His Word.  Heresies abound from all kinds of pulpits because the leaders of God’s people are not thoroughly educated men, in many cases.

As Christians we are to know the Father and also we are to know the Father’s only begotten Son.  Our knowledge of the Triune God, including the Person of the Holy Spirit, will affect every part of our lives.  An error in our knowledge of God will lead to distortions in every area of life. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Our thoughts of the most profound Person in the universe are the most basic life-changing thoughts that we can have.  Right thoughts of the Triune God shape civilizations and determine the course of history.  Wrong thoughts of the Triune God cause everything to go very badly.

This is why it is important that we re-think university attendance.  University should be a place of spiritual journey, where young men (especially) can be pointed to right thinking on the bigger issues of life.  And such thinking must be rooted in a knowledge of God as He has revealed Himself in the pages of the Bible.

De-insitutionalized tertiary education will enable young people to find “a network of spiritual guides who talk with a student about how their study relates to the God-given live purpose” (as proposed by my friend).

Any thoughts?

References

Reymond, R. L. (1998). A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith.

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One thought on “University as a journey in developing right thoughts of God

  1. ronald slyderink says:

    Good post as it should sharpen our focus and broaden our outreach as disciples of Christ. The tertiary sector is a difficult mountain to traverse.

    There are two issues I would like to mention that I see as facing the genuine believer trying to make sense of it all and following the right path.

    First there is a pronounced lack of Christian influence over the secular humanistic world, reflected in schools and educational institutions including the upper echelons of Universities. From God’s perspective, from his Kingdom perspective, from the Word of God perspective there can never be enough of God in the world because God is the source of all and maintains everything and controls the present and future. What do we find in our Universities (as with most schools)? A complete lack of Godly thinking and revelation of his ways and acts that should bring honour to him and no substantial answers to fundamental questions of who we are, what we should be doing and where we are going. We certainly need Christians to take captive all thoughts and bring them to God for Him to direct us. We need thinkers, writers and co-workers that can inject God’s gospel and blueprint, an overall framework to work from, to view the world with Spiritual lenses, to reality. Travelling that road will take courage and being close to God for us to discern the spirit of the world with the Spirit of God and challenge worldly knowledge and declare God in it.

    The gospel of the Kingdom of God I believe needs to be immersed in our thinking and related to everything we ‘learn’ or ‘teach’. How university students need that framework or world view immersed in Scripture inspired by the Spirit of God. There is a huge gap in relating and subjecting worldly knowledge to Godly knowledge and wisdom. But even this conceptual framework and biblical world-view is not enough of itself for it tends to focus mostly on the mind, reducing the impact of our hearts and hands, in being and doing. It would only be partial knowing.

    Secondly, we must be careful how we approach this and it follows on from the first point where a more holistic approach to teaching and learning is implied. Humility is the order of the day. There exists many conflicting ideas within Christianity on ‘essential truths’ even. There are differences and different emphases , just like in any other field, but if we claim to know and have answers than we better be sure in our witnessing what the Lord really desires and what his will is. It is my personal belief based on observation and somewhat painful experiences and I believe the teaching of God, that our walk and learning is a progressive revelation involving our ‘heart, mind and hand’, where the Holy Spirit convicts and teaches us more about God and ourselves as we grow and experience and respond to life and God’s Word, Spirit. A key I believe is NOT necessarily having the ‘right’ concepts or doctrines (of man) as if that is going to put us right with God (a kind of ‘works’), but rather the doctrine of our relationship with God where we are urged to be seeking and searching being in a responsive submissive relationship and it involves all of our mind, heart and hand.

    It is a faithful fellowship and love that God wants and we need from him and each other. Being in union with God and being filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit is the essential goal and thing overlaying all our teaching, learning and interacting. The words of Scripture only become alive in us as the Spirit opens our minds and heart to them as we worship and love the Father and Jesus. It is the love of God through Jesus who gave his life for us and made a way for us to know him. My heart reverberates with thanks to God for his compassion and mercy.

    I do not minimise doctrine as such at all and the need for people to think through what God has said and is saying and formulating themes and various doctrine but they are subservient to the Lord and his presence and rule over us. I am aware of people’s varying interpretations and changing views and biases and insistence to ‘believe’, which often divide rather than unites us in love and serving one another and being an effective strong witness. Instead of teaching the doctrines of man, we should foster and encourage a growing relationship filled with God’s word, his knowledge and wisdom and allow the Spirit to teach and empower each individual to grow into the image of Christ, overcoming Satan, sin and self, and just demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to the glory of God and benefit to all. All this may seem unreachable as we engage in the battles where Satan seems to be in control but Jesus in us is the victory. We must be faithful to our faithful God who will not let us down, his will will be done.

    The day is nearer to the coming of Christ to earth when he completely rules the hearts and minds of man. It can begin with us and God will do his works through his children, even now. There is hope and purpose, always when Christ is allowed to rule. Let us praise God for his grace and mercy. He deserves all the honour and praise we can give. His love and righteousness reigns over all.

    Like

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