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12/21/2011

FAITH AND LEARNING

Sometimes in life people try to keep their spiritual life and professional life apart.  They are like two rooms kept for opposing and specific purpose. When we wish to be "spiritual" we go to the Bible.   When we wish to be professional we go to readings addressing professional development.

Many Christian institutions of higher learning are committed to the idea of integrating faith and learning. This means that the two rooms are open and connected allowing a free flow of influence. Spirituality informs how we understand and apply the knowledge we gain.  It provides the values, motives, and behaviors for the professional life.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible argued that the true soul of the artist is always visible in the art they produce.   The same came be said of the academic process when learning and faith are engaged together in consideration of any academic subject.

The lessons and values of scripture are the measuring stick by which we can evaluate and interpret decisions, processes, and in historical or political studies, explore how it influenced those making social or political history.

Rather than being two separate compartments, or rooms, in the integration of faith and learning the two have a healthy and solid relationship.

Scripture is the base and is used to measure the values, actions, problems, and challenges expressed in the text.  Spiritual life is personal but it is lived in a highly public and political environment. 

To adapt Schaeffer's words: "the true soul of the Christian will be seen in the life they live; the true soul of the nation will be seen in the laws and society it creates."

"The logic and knowledge from every discipline is built upon a set of presuppositions. All such presuppositions must be examined and informed by the truth derived from the revealed Word of God and Christian thinking founded on a Christocentric epistemology, so as to create a coherent body of knowledge, i.e., faith informs all of learning’s presuppositional thinking.” (RW, 2009).

Key Biblical Texts: Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 1:17.

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