One of the beautiful truths of the Christian faith is the affirmation that all things belong to the one Creator. This same Creator graciously and fantastically made us in his image—to be his representatives on earth to demonstrate what God intended from that very good beginning.
Psalm 24.1 declares: “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” And then the Apostle Paul cites the same verse in 1Corinthians 10.26. In both of these passages, David and Paul make it clear that God’s creation is not distant or aloof. Rather, he created man and woman in Eden to know him, love him, and find their greatest delights in serving him.
When it comes to the difference between a Christian college and a secular college, the affirmation of God’s reign over all that he has made has to be the starting place. Too often there has been a secular and sacred divide. Unfortunately, this has nudged some folks toward a divided way of life—living one way on Sunday and another on Monday. This divide is exacerbated by the separation of religion from education—feigning to believe that separation of church and state means that they do not already inform each other.
This excision of religion from the classroom has often been the agenda of institutions of higher learning. Though from their inception, colleges and universities had not only acknowledged but relished the beauty of the earth and the need for men and women to find their value and purpose in obedience to the Creator.
The beauty of a Christian liberal arts education is the affirmation of this first principle in education. That is science, math, criminal justice, psychology, sports management, business administration all fall under the eye of the all-knowing and Grand Architect. What is more, because all things hold together by the power of Christ’s all-powerful word (Col. 1.15-20), the Christian liberal arts tradition is willing to ask the difficult questions. It is an education that is not afraid of the truth it unearths for it knows it is held steadfast by the mercy and grace of God.
In this way, when thinking through a Christian liberal arts education and an education that seeks to relegate matters of faith to the chapel, it is vitally important to remember that Christ is preeminent over all knowledge. Again, this is not to mean that every frog dissection is a Bible study. It means, rather, that every dissection is a reminder of how God’s Word dissects us (Heb 4.12). What is more, we can gladly affirm that queries into the metaphysical and the pragmatic are simply exercises in understanding and applying the revealed Divine Mind standing over all things.