Sunday, September 03, 2006

Baptist Faith and Message (12)

Section twelve concerns education from a Christian perspective and the duty of every believer to worship God with our minds. It further highlights the necessity of doctrinal education for the maturity of every believer in addition to the general studies that attempt to discover the way creation operates.

Christianity is a reasonable faith. The new birth in Christ creates a hunger to learn more about God and His mighty works. "Wisdom is first pure." (James 3:17) To the extent that we have an impure understanding of God and His work, we delve into foolish speculations and emotional falsehood. As believers, we should be passionate about "rightly handling the Word of Truth." (2 Timothy 2:15) "Reformed, yet always reforming," as Luther and the other Reformers put it.

XII. Education

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

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