Tagged: Why Christians should study the arts and sciences
Article XII of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000: Education
Following is another in a series of columns on The Baptist Faith & Message 2000.
It’s good for us to study the arts and sciences, because in them we see the beauty, magnitude, divine wisdom, and glory of the creator.
Article XII of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:
“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.”
God’s word instructs us to pursue knowledge and wisdom. And since all truth is God’s truth, education must be grounded in what God has revealed to us. We are to embrace truth, teach it to our children, model it in our lives, proclaim it in our churches, and share it with the world.
God has revealed himself to us in at least four significant ways. First he has revealed himself in creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” writes the psalmist, “and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands,” (Ps. 19:1).
The apostle Paul adds that the unbelieving world stands condemned for rejecting God’s self-revelation in the physical realm: “For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
It is good for us to study the arts and sciences because in them we see the beauty, magnitude, divine wisdom, and glory of the creator. Christians, above all, should promote and pursue the revealed truths of God accessible through telescopes and under microscopes.
Second, God has revealed himself in conscience. Paul writes that unbelieving Gentiles “show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them on the day when God judges what people have kept secret” (Rom. 2:15-16).
In other words, moral absolutes are gifts of God, designed to point people to the divine lawgiver.Continue reading →