Study From The Source

The podcast host was interviewing a professor at a smaller Christian university.

“The kids today are entering university with very little knowledge of the Bible. They don’t get information by reading, and they don’t read the Bible.”

“So what do you do?”

“We have a mandatory class on the Old Testament and New Testament.”

That comment encapsulates why I don’t think that a BA or even BS degree these days is worth much more than a high school diploma from years ago.

I went to the university having read many philosophers (I know, you’re shocked). We had a mandatory one-year long class “Philosophy and Religion.” Yes, it was a Christian school.

That year we read about philosophers, religion, Christianity, the Old Testament, the New Testament. Even at 19 years old I inherently knew that the class was just superficial — get your A and get out.

Even in graduate school we read more about thinkers than reading the thinkers themselves.

We’d have  been better served with a reading list. Read these works by Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Kant, Hegel; then read this list of books of the Bible. Come to class prepared to discuss the key points the writers were arguing.

Our students are coming to university Biblically illiterate? Have them start reading–the Bible. I know that’s revolutionary thinking.

Instead of a survey course that gives overviews of the books of the Bible, read the Bible.

Then after they’ve read the Bible for a basic foundation, then they can be introduced to interpreters. I prefer reading the early church Fathers up to and including Augustine. I am not enamored of the later theologies–Reformed in its various guises, what we call “fundamentlism” or some flavors of the evangelical world, the interesting stories people make up riffing from Daniel and Revelation. But at some point they need to read those thinkers.

Instill one of the most important disciplines early in life of these students–reading from the Bible every day.

By the way–what were the churches these kids attended before going to a Christian university doing, anyway? Maybe it would be a good service for some of you to lead youth in actually reading the Bible!

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