Friday, April 04, 2008

College Considerations for Christians

Ben has been gathering pertinent quotations for Dave's upcoming talk, College Considerations for Christians, at the Sioux Falls homeschool conference. There is much in the Bible that seems applicable, first and most obviously, a simple comparison of the educational qualifications of the apostles with credentials offered by most christian colleges. That seems the slant of the quotes which Ben's typed up so far from various books and articles... food for thought, huh?

Jim Elliot (Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot):
p. 41: "His father, whose education had of necessity been curtailed, was anxious that Jim should fully apprehend the privileges that were his, and wrote to him in praise of education. Jim's reply: 'You speak of it as "rounding out one's manhood." It rounds it out, all right, but I'm afraid sometimes it's more in the style of 1 Corinthians 8:1, "knowledge puffs up." "Culture," philosophy, disputes, drama... concerts and opera, politics- anything that can occupy the intellect seems to turn aside the hearts of many here on campus from a humble life in the steps of the Master.... No, education is dangerous, and, personally, I am beginning to question its value in a Christian's life. I do not disparage wisdom- that comes from God, not Ph.D's."

Glenn Conjurske (Ministerial Education):
p. 8: “Real Christianity calls us 'outside the camp' to 'bear the reproach' of Christ and His cross. What college on earth aims at such an end? Their real aim is all the other way. It is to lift us above the reproach of Christ, to remove the offense of the cross, to win the respect and esteem of the world. To this end they pursue 'academic excellence' and 'accreditation,' for it is not the standards of God's Word that concern them, but the standards of the world.”

p. 53: When C. H. Spurgeon was invited to the pulpit of the New Park Street Chapel in London, he wrote: “The only thing which pleases me is, as you will guess, that I am right about College. I told the deacons that I was not a College man, and they said, 'That is to us a special recommendation, for you would not have much savour or unction if you came from College.' ”

p. 56: Quoting Charles G. Finney: “While attending the high school I meditated going to Yale College. My preceptor was a graduate of Yale, but he advised me not to go. He said it would be a loss of time, as I could easily accomplish the curriculum of study pursued at that institution, in two years; whereas it would cost me four years to graduate.”

Ibid... (hope I'm using that word right, is that an acronym or something spelled backwards?? - Debbie)
p. 57: Quoting Finney again: “Some of the ministers urged me to go to Princeton... but I declined.... and when urged to give them my reasons, I plainly told them that I would not put myself under such an influence as they had been under; that I was confident they had been wrongly educated...”

G. H. Lang (Departure):
p. 83: “It is in the home, the business, the church, and in actual gospel service, especially in the companionship of an already God-trained and God-owned worker, that truly effective training can be gained, and withal humanness, naturalness of heart and manner, be preserved. As Moody said to some young theologues who asked him the way to win men: 'Gentlemen, the way to do it is to do it.'
“It may be confidently asserted that modernism could not have obtained its rapid and almost universal grip upon the churches apart from the poisoning of the ministry in training schools. Yet I have never heard of one of these that was not commenced by godly men to give true Biblical instruction. Today there are extremely few that give that intended instruction. Satan has put his agents into almost every chair. Bishop Pierce, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, USA, wrote as follows: 'It is my opinion that every dollar invested in a theological school will be a damage to Methodism. Had I a million I would not give a dime for such an object. That is plain. So I advise... I am against it, head and heart, tongue and pen.... I pray most sincerely that the theological scheme may go down to the shades of oblivion.... We are beginning, I fear, to deify talent, and talk too much about the “age” and “progress” and demands of the times, for the simplicity of our faith, or the safety of the Church.' Let us take the warning.
“The peril arises once more from the concentrating of too much influence (in this case, teaching influence, than which none is more powerful) in too few persons. Their opinions and personalities can be deeply impressed upon those who, from youth and immaturity, are usually not able duly to criticize or to check what is taught, and who, by living in the school, are daily, ceaselessly, subjected to this strong influence without the healthy corrective of equally constant interchange of thought with many minds.”

This next one is really telling, written by the first missionary sent from the USA, who buried two wives and several children on the field...

Adoniram Judson, writing to a young man interested in joining the mission

In regard to your inquiries concerning studies, qualifications, etc., nothing occurs that I think would be particularly useful, except the simple remark, that I fear too much stress begins to be laid on what is termed a thorough classical education.

(emphasis mine, though he seemed pretty emphatic too!)

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