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Allison Collins
Dr. Lauber
Seminar: Jon Hoglund
BITH 111
16 October 2013
All Learning Points to God

God has made everything in creation with a specific purpose in mind. Human beings as a

whole hold a special place in the created world but we are also called by God individually. At

different points in our lives God may be calling us to different positions and different places.

Many of the young adults in the United States today are called to be students. Our purpose is to

engage intellectually with the subject at hand and gain a deeper understanding of the things that

God created. In education we learn hard facts, we learn new concepts, and we learn how to think.

As Christian students at a liberal arts college we must approach learning in light of Biblical

doctrines. Specifically we must consider the importance of the doctrine of incarnation, the

doctrine of creation, and the doctrine of worship in conjunction with becoming liberally educated

disciples of Christ.

In our approach to education we must first consider the incarnation of Jesus Christ into

human form. During his life on earth Jesus felt a full spectrum of emotions and lived out many

human experiences. This allows us to feel connection to the person of Christ through empathy in

mutually shared experiences . He was fully man and therefore can empathize with what we feel

and go through in our daily lives. This also means that he was able to set examples for us by the

way in which he lived.

The second chapter of Matthew recounts Jesus' boyhood experience at the temple during

the Feast of the Passover. In this account the boy Jesus sits in the temple courts for three days

listening, engaging, and learning from the teachers there. Jesus set an example that we should
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follow to become learners. Not only that, but as a young boy Jesus modeled for us how we

should learn. The Bible says that he sat in the temple courts listening to them and asking them

questions ( NIV Compact Thinline Bible, Matt. 2.46). In this Jesus modeled for us how we

should approach learning. Jesus was attentive to those who were teaching in the temple and not

only was present there but also listened. Listening as opposed to hearing is active and connotes

understanding and taking to heart the words and purpose of the speaker. The boy Jesus also asked

the teachers questions. He engaged with them and sought to go deeper than, and learn more than

what was presented. Likewise, we as students should approach learning in the way that Jesus

modeled for us. We should earnestly listen to what is being presented to us and engage with the

material in all subject matters.

Second we must consider the doctrine of creation. God is the author of all things. He has

created everything that is and therefore all that we could possibly study came out of the mind of

God. In the beginning of Genesis when God created all things the Bible says that God saw all

that he had made, and it was very good (NIV Compact Thinline Bible, Gen. 1.31). God rejoiced

in all that he had created, and so too should we. By learning more about the world in all facets we

gain a greater understanding and more knowledge about the God whom we serve. In this respect

a liberal arts education facilitates a wider scope of learning that enables students to see a bigger

picture of who God is through his creation.

In his book Engaging God's World, author Cornelius Plantinga Jr. suggests that For

Christians, the study of creation is a classic opportunity to read Scripture and the natural world

together . . . Both Scripture and science reveal God's nature and interests (Plantinga 23-24).

Plantinga speaks specifically to the field of science and the natural world, but his point rings true

with all areas of study. God is the only true creator and humans are only capable of mimicry. This
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suggests that not just science but also all areas of study can teach us something about the nature

or mind of God. As students at a Christian liberal arts college the requirement to take classes in

all subject matters gives us the incredible opportunity to explore from many different angles the

mind of our creator.

As Christians educated in the liberal arts we must finally consider the doctrine of worship.

In today's Christian culture we often limit our idea of worship to include only singing songs and

hymns, worship bands, and special music. In reality we can, and are called to worship God in

everything we do. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says So whether you eat or drink or whatever you

do, do it all for the glory of God (NIV Compact Thinline Bible, 1 Cor. 10.31). This verse

commands us to worship God in all things, and this includes our learning and work as students.

Wayne Martindale, in his essay Liberal Arts as a Redemptive Enterprise writes that The New

Testament call to worship God with mind, heart, and soul is universally binding (Martindale 95).

We must take this universality seriously and be careful to constantly observe an attitude of

worship.

Liberal arts education requires that students take classes on subjects that do not pertain to

their discipline. In such classes students may not always find the material covered in class to hold

their interest. These situations require that we be active in consciously maintaining an attitude of

worship. By being open and learning how to maintain a worshipful mindset in all we do we may

be exposed to other ways to worship God that we have never before considered. We will be

learning more about God's nature and more about how we might worship him.

The doctrine of incarnation, the doctrine of creation, and the doctrine of worship each

apply directly to Christian liberal arts education and God's calling for students. By approaching

our education with these doctrines in mind we are better equipped to learn in the way that God
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has intended for us. We must follow the example of learning that Jesus set for us in the Gospel,

recognize that no knowledge is useless because it can help us see different aspects of the nature

of God, and allows us to exercise the idea of offering all the we do as worship to God. As these

doctrines apply to the vocation of a student they will likewise apply to the field and career that

the Christian liberal arts education prepares the student for.

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