“The great God, our common maker, has never given one man’s understanding a legal and rightful sovereignty to determine truths for others, at least, after they are past the state of childhood.”
That’s what Isaac Watts wrote almost 300 years ago in Logic, The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth.
That means we seek instructors and parents who train their children to inquire after the truth by not relying solely upon the opinions of their instructors and parents. This is tricky business.
As Baptists, we believe in the priesthood of the believer and freedom of the conscience to not be bound by the opinions of others – the church, the state, the publishing house, or professors at college and seminary.
In love, we do not want our students to come to mistaken judgments about reality – including God and everything else. As Watts puts it, “Some truths are difficult, because they lie remote… and want a long chain of argument to come at them… the labor of many and difficult, as well as chargeable experiments.”
That’s our work at Bethlehem College & Seminary and as Christian parents. We aim to equip students with the tools to make difficult and sometimes lengthy arguments, not for the sake of arguing, but because that’s where serious joy is often lurking. It’s a treasure hidden in a field. We endeavor to help our students make well-reasoned distinctions – in reading the Bible, in art, in history, in culture.
Last week the board of trustees met all day to pursue this aim of serious joy to be pursued via rigorous study. We considered plans for re-accreditation, potential facilities expansion, policies to avoid conflict of interest and preserve board independence (a matter of interest to the accreditation board), elected a new trustee (watch for updates), and reviewed a number of reports, including Audit Committee report of an “unqualified opinion” from the audit company, the highest rating you can get.
Board of Trustees, Chair
- Pray for the admissions process; after interviewing and sifting 43 remarkable applicants for only 15-18 openings in next fall’s seminary cohort, we have invited only a third of the 43 to matriculate, and those invitees are now seeking confirmation from the Lord. Ask God to make clear his direction for each applicant.
- Pray with us as we continue the accreditation process.
- Praise God with us for a successful Pastor’s Conference last week. Pray that God would continue to use the messages in the lives of those who attended in Minneapolis or over the livestream.
- Pray that the saints would continue to make our students part of their personal ministry for Christ by giving to the Serious Joy Scholarship.