We’re in that last few weeks as summer begins to wind down, and the resumption of school is just around the corner. The supreme importance of education can hardly be overstated. Even with all of the caution Christians must exercise to guard against spoiling philosophies (Colossians 2:8, James 3:15 and many more) that would corrupt and eventually overthrow our faith in Christ, nowhere does the Bible state that a well instructed mind was something from which to flee. Hardly. While an educated mind corrupted with ungodly, anti-Biblical teaching is anathema for the believer, an uneducated mind so corrupted is far more frightening. Some of the greatest intellects in all fields of education were rooted and flourishing in Christian thought - C.S. Lewis, Isaac Newton, the Curies and on we could go. In fact many educational institutions would do well and show due gratitude and respect if they would acknowledge their Christian genesis. So, we Christians are weighted with the responsibility to find that right mix of intellectualism that remains immovably grounded in and subordinate to God’s word.
Daniel and his three found that sweet spot. Daniel 1:4 reveals they showed great aptitude for ‘science’, ‘cunning in knowledge’, ‘skillful in wisdom’. These were not uneducated half baked Pentateuch thumpers. They had the intellectual goods, and the presence of person to stand before kings. Moses also, highly trained in the best Egypt had to offer. Paul, a master mind among master minds. Yet in all these cases, and others, their intellectualism, though greatly enhancing their effectiveness, did not enable and empower their effectiveness. Daniel’s powerful, revelatory interpretations to Nebuchadnezzar flowed from anointed consecration. Moses ruined his own efforts until he strode back into Pharaoh’s courts empowered by divine unction. Paul, brimming with brilliance and high education, was a disaster for the Church until his life-quake reformation.
There’s also this; in Acts 4:13-14 uneducated Peter and John bring the educated elite to dumbfounded silence with a miraculous healing and a powerful message delivered by Peter. They could only ‘marvel’, wonder and admire, at the courage and unassailable power of these two ‘unlearned and ignorant’ men operating with the anointing of their union with Jesus. Schools and colleges would do well to expand their narrow-minded view that education takes place only in the classroom. There’s a vast, compelling and competent institute of higher learning outside their confining little walls called Life and Experience. I digress; now, back to our regular programming.
I repeat, as Christians, our ongoing responsibility in regard to educational pursuit is to find that right mix of intellectualism that remains immovably grounded in and subordinate to God’s word and anointing. At no point should the Spirit and Word have to compete with our intellectual positing.
Lest I wax too long, I close. There is so much to be said on this. Christian family, as we pursue education, and I say go for it, let us be ever mindful, wholly committed to this absolutely fixed, nonnegotiable tenet: Prov. 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Education is a path; our consecration to God is the launch and ultimate destination.