Questions Christians Ask: Is God Knowable?

We are beginning a new series called ‘Questions Christians Ask,’ where we will seek to address Christian beliefs in a question and answer format. We will begin the series with the question: Is God Knowable? Together, we are going to explore what the bible has to say on the ‘knowability’ of God and of the nature of God’s revelation of himself and his will.

The starting point for this question is that, had he chose to, God could have left us completely in the dark regarding who he is and what he expects of us. But scripture teaches that we can have a true and personal knowledge of God because he has graciously revealed himself to us. While he does make himself known, scripture also affirms that he will never be exhaustively or completely known.

1. God cannot be exhaustively known

God cannot be exhaustively known because, simply put: God is God and we are not. God is infinite in his being and we are finite in ours. The following scriptures underscore the fact that this truth is so:

Psalm 145:3: “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

Job 11:7-9: “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven – what can you do? Deeper than Sheol – what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.”

Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

Job 26:14: “Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

2. God can be truly known (through ‘General Revelation’ and ‘Special Revelation’)

I. General Revelation

General revelation is the revelation of God to all people at all times. This revelation is experienced both through nature (Psalm 19:1- 4a) and through conscience (Romans 2:14-15). This means that all humanity has true evidence for the existence of God and some knowledge of his character.

Additionally, general revelation also evidences attributes of God like his existence, power, wisdom, and creativity (see Romans 1:19-20).

Psalm 19:1-4a: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

Romans 1:18-20: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Acts 14:17: “Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

Romans 2:14-15: “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

See also Acts 17:22-23.

General revelation is sufficient for humanity to be held accountable, but insufficient to bring humanity to a saving knowledge of God. General revelation does not tell the whole story. For that we need God’s special revelation.

II. Special Revelation

Throughout Scripture we are given many examples of the ways in which God reveals himself to humanity. These are often referred to as modes of revelation and include: mighty acts in history including miracles, signs and wonders, visions and dreams, direct speech, and messages communicated through angels. Here we note the two primary sources of special revelation, namely Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, and the Scriptures.

A. Jesus Christ, the incarnate God

The incarnation is the most complete revelation. The life and words of Jesus perfectly reflect the character and nature of the Father.

Hebrews 1:1-3a: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

John 1:14,18: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…no one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

B. Scripture, the Word of God

Scripture is God’s written revelation of who He is and what He has done in redemptive history. Then he (Jesus) said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).

We will have more to say in coming blog posts about the nature and attributes of scripture.

The Parable of the Soils (Luke 8:4-15)

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed…it fell on different soils…When Jesus said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5, 8

By our standards, farming in first-century Israel was a tough going affair. Without the benefits of modern machinery, a farmer would have to go out into the fields on foot and scatter his seeds manually, often on ground that was ill prepared to grow a crop.

Jesus often would use illustrations from everyday life in order to communicate spiritual realities. In the ‘Parable of the Soils’, Jesus described his own teaching ministry as he broadcasted the Word of God, and, just like today, it is met with different receptions. Its enemies were the birds that ate it (the devil), the sun that scorched it (temptation and tribulation), and the thorns that choked it (wealth and worldliness). But the message of the parable does not end there. It follows a clear patter. Four times we read that some seed fell, meaning (again four time) that four groups all heard the Word of God (v. 11). The basic question is what they did with it when they heard it. What reception did they give it?

Some give the Word no reception at all. It never penetrates their defenses. They have a closed mind and a hard heart. Others give the Word a shallow reception. They receive it with initial enthusiasm. For a short period they appear to outside observers to be believers. But the seed never takes root; there is rock underneath their soil. Consequently, when the fierce glare of the sun (temptation and persecution) beats upon them, their spiritual life shrivels up.

Others give the Word a mixed reception. They receive the Word, but over time they show themselves to have a divided heart. In the end, business, pleasure, and wealth, like thorns, choke their spiritual life. They find their ultimate identity in health, achievements, career, family life, and not in Christ. The warning here is that this progression is often subtle and imperceptible.

Finally, others give the Word a wholehearted reception. They hold fast to it and persevere. They give it priority. They nourish it, and it bears much fruit.

The questions that remains: are you are person who has allowed the seed of God’s Word to work in your heart to produce fruit for the glory of God?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (John 15:5)

Prayer (Part 2)

As I indicated in Part 1, Timothy Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, is a excellent book on biblical prayer. In the book he summarizes his points regarding prayer under the heading ‘The Touchstones of Prayer.’ These ‘touchstones help us to be biblically faithful in our prayers and help us connect with God as he has revealed himself.

They are grouped into four parts, and the following is the overview of the final two parts.

Part 3, What It Gives:

Perspective: Prayer reorients your view toward God.
“Prayer brings new perspective because it puts God back into the picture.”
Strength: Prayer is spiritual union with God.
“Prayer is the way that all the things we believe in and that Christ has won for us actually become our strength.”
Spiritual Reality: Prayer seeks a heart sense of the presence of God.
“Through prayer our somewhat abstract knowledge of God becomes existentially real to us.”

Part 4, Where It Takes Us:

Self-Knowledge: Prayer requires and creates honesty and self-knowledge.
“Prayer must eventually take us beyond a mere sense of insufficiency into deep honesty with ourselves.”
Trust: Prayer requires and creates both restful trust and confident hope.
“The final thought of every prayer must be for the help we need to accept thankfully from God’s hand whatever he sends in his wisdom.”
Surrender: Prayer requires and creates surrender of the whole life in love to God.
“You should not begin to pray for all you want until you realize that in God you have all you need.”

Which ones of these resonates the most with you today?

Prayer (Part 1)

Timothy Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, is a excellent primer on biblical prayer. Chapter nine of the book focuses on what Keller describes as ‘The Touchstones of Prayer.’ He goes on to say that these ‘touchstones,’ “are not a set of  rules that merit or trigger God’s response in some magical or mechanical way. Rather, they are twelve touchstones by which we can judge the relative strength or weakness of our prayers for honoring and connecting us to God.”

To summarize his longer points, he grouped them into four parts. For space purposes, I will provide on overview of these touchstones of prayer in two posts (today and tomorrow).

Part 1, What It Is:

Work: Prayer is a duty and a discipline.
“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not.”
Word: Prayer is conversing with God.
“To ‘walk with someone’ in the Bible is to have a friendship, because people talk as they walk together.”
Balance: Prayer is adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication.
“All these ways of praying to God should be present, interactive, and balanced when we pray.”

Part 2, What It Requires:

Grace: Prayer is “In Jesus’ name,” based on the gospel.
“To come to the Father in Jesus’ name, not our own, is to come fully cognizant that we are being heard because of the costly grace in which we stand.”
Fear: Prayer is the heart engaged in loving awe.
“One important sign of an engaged heart is awe before the greatness of God and before the privilege of prayer.”
Helplessness: Prayer is accepting one’s weakness and dependence.
“To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything.”

Which ones of these resonates the most with you today?

The Temptations of Jesus

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1

After the baptism of Jesus (at the end of Matthew 3), immediately he is led into the wilderness of Judea, to be tempted and tested by the devil. The assault took two forms.

First came an assault on his identity, on who he was. The words of God the Father in the baptismal waters in the Jordan River still likely were ringing in his ears – “This is my Son” – when the voice of the devil began to question that. “If you are the Son of God…” (v. 6), implying that he was not. It was a deliberate attempt to sow in Jesus’ mind the seeds of doubt.

Still today, the devil attempts to undermine our self-conscious identity as God’s children. We need to turn a deaf ear to him and listen instead to the great promises of Scripture. In Romans 8:15-17 (cf. Galatians 4:4-7), Paul emphasizes the closeness, affection and generosity that come to us when through justification God makes us his children. As adopted children we call God “Abba!,” the Aramaic word for “father” or “daddy”, the very same term Jesus himself used to address the Father (Mark 14:36).

The devil’s second assault was against the ministry of Jesus, against what he had come into the world to do – to come into the world as servant and go to the cross on account of human sin. But the devil proposed other, less costly options. Why not satisfy his hunger, display his power, or strike a bargain with the devil – and bypass the cross? The devil loves to persuade us that the ends justify the means and that we should live for self and pleasure and not for God.

Jesus refused to listen to the voice of the devil. Immediately, instinctively, decisively, he rejected each temptation. For him, the matter had been settled by Scripture (“It is written”); each time, he quoted a text from the Scriptures.

Still today, temptation comes in many forms and through many voices, but God still speaks to us in his Word. Which shall we listen to? It is by our daily discipline of Bible reading (‘hiding God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against him’), that we allow temptation’s voice to be drowned out by the voice of God. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).

The Dark Day

In view of tomorrows solar eclipse, we look back in history to a unique event which occurred on May 19, 1780. Darkness descended for several hours in New England and parts of New York. It was so thick that one eyewitness described the darkness as being “as such that we could not see our hand right before our face.” The cause of the darkness has been blamed on everything from volcanoes to dust storms. The most commonly accepted explanation today is that the darkness was caused by forest fires.

Darkness in the middle of the day of course caused quite a bit of alarm, with more than a few people thinking that the Day of Judgment had arrived. In the Connecticut legislature a motion to adjourn was proposed and passed. Members of the Council of Safety of the legislature wanted to go to their homes. Senator Abraham Davenport would have none of it. “The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”

2 Corinthians 5:9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

A Personal Letter on the Impact of Good Music in the Church

A letter from a congregational member to his pastor about the impact the church music has made on his life:

Dear Mark,

I just wanted to take the opportunity to encourage and thank you for your selection of Puritan Hymns in service. It has been a continuous source of encouragement and a powerful vehicle for God’s comforting grace in my life and the life of my family. Just as God has used the doctrines of grace to change my thinking, He has used these hymns to change my emotions and build new affections for the truth. It is a joy for me to sing these songs!!!

…and here is why.

Music is and always has been a major part of my life. Music has always effected my emotions and thoughts (for good or bad). I am a 27 year old black male, who was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. My Pre-conversion taste for music consisted of mostly Hip-hop and R&B artists, some local bands, and a sprinkling of more eclectic artists. Regardless of the genre though, I had a particular affinity for the most outrageous and vulgar lyrics and artists in those categories. Secular music often times set the tone for sinful thoughts that would lead to sinful actions.

I also grew up in a church where much of the music I remember fell under the category of gospel music (contemporary gospel, negro spirituals, and some uptempo or updated renditions of old hymns). I place a small “g” in the word “gospel” because the actual Gospel of God, while it may have been the inspiration of most of these songs, It is all to often not expressed or explained clearly, but merely alluded to (or purposefully avoided), by the people who sing them. So while many times in the past I was able to join in the emotional and energetic explosion that the music encouraged, i truly had no sense of the gravity of the subject matter. By the grace of God my current condition is much different. That’s partly due to God changing me receptive, but also because the Word of God is central in the music. In this sense, the music at Capitol Hill has been an adjustment….but a wonderful and refreshing adjustment.

Don’t get me wrong. These songs often make me deeply emotional, and I believe God wants me to be emotional (He created me to be so). But if my emotions are attached to a distortion of the truth or an outright lie, what good does that do me and what honor does that do God? Now do I think songs sung in church have to be Puritan Hymns sung to acoustic guitar are the only songs that glorify God? No! I love Shai Linne and Trip Lee, and other solid Christian Hip-hop artists as well. And I imagine that songs from Shai or Trip will either somehow be sung by congregations or read as poetry by Christians 100 or so years from now in the same way. Not because the style of music is  appealing, but because the theological integrity and substantive doctrine that they share will always be useful to guide the hearts of saints towards Christ and the Gospel. That’s why I  absolutely LOVE the music we sing at CHBC!

But there is even something sweet to me in the STYLE of singing. It’s in the fact that it sounds radically different from anything else.  I come from a very “soulful,” black Christian background, and many of my friends, coworkers, and relatives look at me like a crazy person because i like the music at CHBC. To me its a good thing that the music that I sing to God and to my own soul has nothing in common with other music, in terms of sound. To my ear, It’s nothing like the music from my former life,  nothing like the music I hear at work,  and nothing like the shallow feel good music that sometimes passes as gospel. Far from being superficial, I think that this difference has been healthy and helpful.  There is a sense of great reverence in this distinction. God is Holy and not at all common. It forces me to soberly approach the subject of the song (God), and simultaneously delight in the rich and dense theological truth that my lips and heart are singing. When I hear a person humming a song from church in the hallway, I immediately recognize it and have a different appreciation for that than if I heard them humming a song that I enjoy from the radio.

These songs have helped me anchor my soul in the Gospel! How awesome is it to take some of the most complex and mind-bending truths of the Bible, and put them in something as organic to the soul as a song! I have read and memorized Bible verses and learned a lot about the doctrines of the faith. And these things have been invaluable to me and nourishing to me. But there are times when I am struggling, and my mind is foggy, my memory is cloudy, and my thinking is skewed. In the moment when the feelings of doubt suffocate me, or the feeling of guilt over my sins crushes me, or the anxiety I feel DAILY troubles me, The Lord uses these songs to softly and gently remind me of the beauty of the truth.

When I look at my prayers, and I get the feeling that my words aren’t even going past the ceiling, and I’m distracted, and there’s so much sin, and my prayers are so feeble, and only minutes have gone by at this point; I could remind myself of Hebrews 4:14-16, and Christ’s role as High Priest, but what a comfort it is to hum…

Before the Throne of God above,
I have a STRONG and PERFECT plea
A great High Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me!”

Or when I’m wondering if I’m a Christian at all, thinking “how is someone like me actually going to make it in to heaven? I’m so weak! I have nothing good, even when i do good it stinks, and even my faith seems too small!” Or when I’m anxious, or that heavy feeling in my chest hits me. I might have the clear head to rehearse 2 Corinthians 5:21, or remember the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. But when I’m crying and too tired to think clearly, what a comfort it is to sing to myself and to God…

Jesus paid it all!/ All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow!”

Or if my mind gets me thinking that “Christ couldn’t (or doesn’t) care about me, I’m on my own”, or even that “Christ will save me, but He doesn’t love me in particular.” The words of Christ in John 14 or 17 will often show me the truth

But when my emotions won’t budge I can sing to my heart…

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”

God gives me a song from CHBC for every doubt and doubt feeling in my head, and this makes them sweet to me! And I don’t have to second guess those feelings of comfort, because I can be confident they are grounded in the truth of Scripture, and that the Spirit is the One impressing these things on my soul! What a weapon against the lies in my heart.

I LOVE the music at CHBC! Thank you for showing me the truth through song! Thank you for being committed to singing songs that teach the truth, regardless of whether they appeal to any persons particular sensibilities! Thank you for singing them in a way that distinguishes them from any other song! And please continue!

PS: Even my son (who is 2) knows the difference between a song that he hears in a Disney movie and “Jesus songs” or “Jesus movies,” though he doesn’t have much of a clue about its content. And that’s a beautiful thing to see!

The Encounter with Nicodemus

Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3

Nicodemus is a great example of a sincere seeker after the truth. If only there were more Nicodemuses’ in the world today – men and women who are prepared to lay aside apathy, prejudice, and fear and seek the truth with an honest and humble spirit! “Seek and you will find,” Jesus promised (Matthew 7:7).

Jesus obviously startled Nicodemus by telling him that he must be born again. What did he mean by this call to be ‘born again’? Jesus was not referring to a second physical birth or to an act of self-reformation but rather to a work of God. When Jesus says that we need to be born of “water and the Sprit” in order to enter the kingdom (v. 5), he is saying that we must receive the new heart and the sin-cleansing washing God promised would come in the New Covenant (Ezekiel 36:24-35). This God would do. So the new birth is first a birth “from above,” a birth “of the Holy Spirit.”

But the new birth also has a human dimension to it, from our side we have both to repent and to believe. Putting Without the new birth we can neither see nor enter God’s kingdom. Nicodemus was religious, moral, educated, respectable, and courteous. He even believed in the divine origin of Jesus. But all this was not enough. He still had to repent and believe. This is the human dimension to the new birth. We have to put our trust in Jesus the Messiah, who was the Savior of all who come to him in humble faith, much like Nicodemus.

Oh, and one more thing. It is not insignificant that in John 3, Nicodemus comes to Jesus as a ‘Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews’ under the cover of darkness (vv. 1-2). At the end of the Gospel of John, after the crucifixion of Jesus, Nicodemus come boldly, during the daylight hours, to prepare Jesus’ body for burial (John 19:38-40). Nicodemus, here, is identifying himself in faith and trust with Jesus. May we have that same courage.

College Ready (Part 2)

Keeping the Faith in College

In college you will inevitably be confronted with both intellectual attacks and moral attacks. Some will be outright and others will be more subtle. The point is to be prepared so that you are not blindsided.

You are likely to hear the following:
• “The Bible is mythology”
• “We can be good people without God.”
• “There can’t be a good God because there is so much evil in the world.”
• “To be a tolerant person, you can’t believe in moral absolutes.”
• “Christianity, in claiming to be the only way, is intolerant.”
• “Morality is relative, not absolute.”
• “Truth is subjective. Jesus was a great moral teacher, nothing else.”

How to Respond? Remember, questions are your friends. Clarifying questions like “how to you get to the conclusion?” “How do you account for _____?” Asking questions shift the burden of proof from those being interrogated to those who are interrogating.

Professors set the rules for group dialogue and the extent to which any ideas or beliefs are disregarded or mocked. You need to respect that. On the whole, most professors don’t have an agenda to mock Christian faith. Give your professor the benefit of the doubt. I love this quote by G.K. Chesterton: “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” Perpetual uncertainty is not a virtue. Yet precisely such uncertainty is promoted in our day under the guide of ‘tolerance.’

Where tolerance used to refer to the right that people had to hold their own views and beliefs, even if others disagreed with them. The meaning has shifted, so that tolerance now is defined as accepting all beliefs as equally valid. This is a prevalent viewpoint on college campuses and obviously presents a challenge to the truth claims of Christianity.

Remember too, that “intellectual” problems with Christianity are smokescreens for “moral” problems with Christianity. Whether that is sexual norms, the exclusive claims of Jesus, or even personal lifestyle choices, there are offensive aspects to Christianity.  One campus pastor said that when students come up to him and say “I no longer believe in Christianity” his first question in response is “who are you sleeping with?”

College presents enormous opportunity to destroy your life through careless living: The two biggies are sex and alcohol. Many of the deepest joys require saying no to lesser pleasures that would only kill your ability to enjoy the real deal. The hookup scene on the college campus often comes with binge drinking to numb the pain and the loneliness. But those behaviors create an addictive pattern that can make it more difficult for you to develop true and intimacy in an exclusive, lifelong, monogamous commitment.

As we saw yesterday, don’t just say no, say yes to something better. Decide now to form strong friendships with like minded peers who share your ideas of a good time. Your closest friends should be those who can support you, who share your values, and who will help you become what you aspire to become. Find someone who will hold you accountable by asking you hard questions about your sexuality, your relationships, drinking, illicit drug use, how you are spending your time, etc. As Robert Lewis says, “One of the single greatest variables to the shaping of what you will become in the future will be the type of people you have around you in your circle of influence.”

Godly priorities (and worldview) will help you say “no” to things that take you off the track of where God is leading you. Not just to immoral things, but to some good things that are not for you. Discernment will flow from a sense of who God made you to be, as a Christian with unique interests, talents, skills, and long-term desires. These will guide you as to what classes to take, what majors to pursue, what clubs to be a part of, what fiends to spend time with, and much more.

 

College Ready (Part 1)

It is that time of year again: Packing up the car and heading off to the college campus. In light of this, over the next few days we are going to have a two-part series on being College Ready.

What to Bring to College: A Developing Christian Worldview

Perhaps the most foundation thing that you will bring to college is something not tangible at all: a Worldview (‘a mental map of reality’). Your mental map informs your expectations about high school, college, friends, guys, girls, church, sports, weekends, and everything else. Whatever you let shape your mind and heart – parents, values, pastors, friends, what you listen to, watch, Facebook, who you follow on Twitter, Instagram, etc., affects and shapes your worldview.

Why is worldview important? Worldviews influence attitudes and behaviors while in college, shape our habits and determine our trajectory. Our Christian discipleship must be demonstrated in the development of a Christian mind. The Christian should be developing an understanding of how to interpret and evaluate issues across the spectrum of politics, economics, morality, entertainment, education, and a seemingly endless list of other fields. In college, you must be working to develop distinctively Christian ways of thinking, based on biblical principles, which apply to every arena of life. You would be hard pressed to find a better arena in which to think through and apply these issues than the college campus.

Mindset Going into College: A Time of Preparation

The college season is a time of preparation, and it requires a mindset shift. Heading into college, there are two types of people: the mindset of an adolescent, who needs to experience whatever his/her heart fancies at the moment or a young adult, capable of delaying gratification and working steadily toward meaningful goals? Another way to ask this is: Do you see yourself in a season of preparation for becoming the man or woman who can handle greater responsibilities now (marriage, parenting, job, ministry, etc.) even as you bring glory to God now?

Marketing toward youth culture is framed in such a way as to make you believe that being young is all about having fun, partying, and ignoring life’s responsibilities for as long as possible. Low expectations and endless amusement is peddled as being characteristic of the college years. Advertisers aim to take advantage of this. This particular segment of the population is inordinately attracted to material goods, popular entertainment, sporting events and other consumer options. But that does not have to be true of you.

Delayed gratification is a crucial notion during the college years. It is the ability to say “no” to one pleasure (sinful or legitimate) for the sake of something later (Proverbs 28:28). See college as a time of preparation for…

The Goal: Assume Responsibility and Transition into Mature Adulthood

College should represent the transition between youth and adult life. The purpose of college education to assume responsibility in an interdependent society and involved in a local church. College is a season in which you must take ownership of your faith and work toward responsible adulthood.

College is a temporary season of academic preparation and growth so that you can serve God more effectively with the rest of your adult life. It is to be a springboard into all that goes with responsible Christian adulthood.