Sunday, April 17, 2011

J.P. Moreland Quote

An extended quote from J.P. Moreland’s book Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. (1997) Colorado Springs, Navpress. p 56-57

3. Scripture show the value of being qualified to minister from a position of influence…. Scripture shows people qualified to minister in God’s name in situations that required them to have intellectual skills in extrabiblical knowledge. In Daniel 1:3-4, 2:12-13, 5:7, we see Daniel and his friends in a position to influence Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, only because they showed “intelligence in every branch of wisdom.” These men had studied and learned Babylonian science, geometry, and literature. And because of this, they were prepared to serve when the occasion presented itself.

I remember being in a meeting with Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, shortly after Ronald Reagan had been elected president. Dr. Bright came into the meeting late because Reagan had called to ask him to confer with other evangelical leaders in order to suggest a list of qualified evangelicals to serve in his presidential cabinet. With sadness in his heart, Dr. Bright said that after numerous phone conversations with other evangelical leaders, they had concluded that there simply were not many evangelicals with the intellectual and professional excellence for such a high post. C. Everett Koop was all they could think of and, as we now know, Koop got the position of surgeon general. Had evangelicals valued the study of extrabiblical knowledge the way Daniel and his friends did, things may have turned out quite differently.

How, then, should this attitude toward extrabiblical intellectual training inform parents and youth groups when they prepare Christian teenagers to go to college and tell teens why college is important? According to various studies, increasing numbers of college freshmen, on the advice of parents, say their primary goal in going to college is to get a good job and ensure a secure financial future for themselves. This parallels a trend in the same students toward valuing a good job more than developing a meaningful philosophy of life. Given this view of a college education, it is clear why the level of our public discourse on topics central to the culture wars is so shallow, since it is precisely the humanities that train people to think carefully about these topics.

What is not so clear is why Christians, with a confidence in the providential care and provision of God, would follow the secular culture in adopting this approach to college. (p 56-57)

Why indeed?

Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or “With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33

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