I’m currently at the Desiring God national conference in Minneapolis (MN), and I’m reminded once again that God enlists both our hearts and our minds for radical service in his kingdom.
There’s been a growing anti-intellectualism in the Evangelical church. It’s been a disease that’s hindered the church for the past 100 years at least, and I’m not sure why it continues to grow. Why is it that some believe that thinking too hard about Christ and His word will produce lack of passion for the gospel? Perhaps it’s because for some, it has. For some, engaging in rigorous study of the Bible and theology in Bible College, Seminary, through reading commentaries and theologies, etc., has actually produced a lack of passion for Christ and the world. And this is sad. But this does not mean that the very nature of rigorous study should and must lead to lack of passion. And just because it has done this for some does not mean that theology and study is the problem.
By way of analogy, plenty of missionaries burn out, lose their passion, return home discouraged, cynical, or even loose their faith. (I know a few.) But this does not—it certainly cannot—mean that missions is the cause and therefore we should abandon missions. Me genoito; heck no! In the same way, Seminary and formal theological education has killed passion for Christ in some students, but this is because of sin, apathy, laziness—it’s not inherently because of Seminary. It’s because Satan has wiggled his way into our Seminaries and has stolen the passion from the hearts of those training to be ministers of the word, and not because studying the word too hard inevitably will lead to lack of passion for Christ.
This is why I love my job. And this is why I LOVE Eternity Bible College. We believe that Jesus is the Lord of our hearts and our minds; we believe that Christ has redeemed our passion and our thinking; we believe that a robust, sustained, thorough, pain-staking, study of the word of God should produce a long-lasting, Christ-magnifying, gospel-centered life that seeks to live dangerously for the Kingdom of the beloved Son. It is a contradiction in terms to have a living encounter with God through His word—over and over, every day, through class after class, through assignment after assignment—and not be more captivated by the majesty and scandal of God’s grace toward us, undeserving sinners.
Bible College should be the caldron in which passion for Christ is forged. Fuel for missions, passion for preaching, zeal for evangelism, enthusiasm for transforming culture—all of these should be the inevitable by-product of the Bible College. May Jesus give us grace in creating a school were these things are abounding.