THE CHRISTIAN-BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY
††††††††††† Our purpose in the Theological and Philosophical Field is to present a world-life view which expresses the Lordship of Christ over all reality.† Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1.17; Hebrews 1.2
††††††††††† The biblical insights we have in mind pertain to the most crucial matters of life:†† Who we are as men and women and the goodness of God's creation,† the destructiveness of evil,† the liberating, healing and recreating work of Jesus Christ, the nature of wisdom and truth, the integrality of history, the meaning of life, justice and stewardship, the importance of emotional openness and aesthetic awareness, and the constructive limits of scientific analysis.
††††††††††† A Christian approach to studies and life work opens up alternatives to the lines of thought which dominate most of higher learning today.† We constantly interact with the leading secular perspectives--Marxism,† liberalism,† conservatism,† behaviorism, Freudianism, technocratism,† pragmatism,† positivism,† systems analysis, linguistic analysis and many more.
††††††††††† Our underlying belief is that reality, both human and non-human, is God's creation. As such, in its very nature it discloses the will of God.† It is richly diverse and incredibly full of all kinds of things and possibilities. At the same time this diversity coheres meaningfully because †the way God made it, or in other words, as Paul tells us, because Jesus Christ the Redeemer/ Creator holds it all together.† We wish to reflect in our scholarship the meaning and integrality of all of life in God's creation under the care of Christ.
††††††††††† This choice of task directly results from our interpretation of contemporary history and culture. We are impressed with the fact that universities, higher learning, science and theory now experience a time of tremendous troubles.† Indeed our culture generally is beset with a crisis of the most profound sort, some of which can be traced to the influence of science and universities. Words† like† "secular",† "disintegration",† "fragmentation",† and "dehumanization" indicate some salient features of our troubles.
††††††††††† Since the eighteenth century,† science and learning have disclosed and illuminated vast, formerly inaccessible regions of reality.† They have transformed our understanding of what we already thought we knew.† Whole academic disciplines have emerged, ranging† from biology† and† history† to† sociology,† psychology, linguistics, economics and aesthetics. This scientific development has entailed immense benefit to our social life and culture.† It is basic to all contemporary academic work of whatever perspective.
††††††††††† At the same time this unfolding of science and learning has proved destructive in many ways.†† Like most things in human history,† it† ambiguously† gives† us† both† blessing† and† curse. Undoubtedly† the† achievements† of† science† and† learning† are impressive.†† For a time many people believed that human beings would soon gain control of the material and even the social environment of culture.† Even when some trends of science seemed to belittle the stature of human beings, the belief arose that, via science, human power could none-the-less control the destiny of history.† In due course, science exceeded its limits, and claims were made for it which pushed it beyond its realm of competence. Many people placed undue reliance on human powers of analysis, often called "Reason."† Vast numbers of people gave science and technology,† especially coupled with capitalism, extraordinary devotion as the Hope of the World.† Scientists and scholars were often beguiled by an unmerited belief in their objectivity and usefulness as neutral instruments to divine The Truth.
††††††††††† A rationalistic and scientific world view, even when put forward as a key to the meaning and unity of life, actually served as a powerful disintegrating force, both in universities and in the general culture. Scientific differentiation became disintegration; technical development became dehumanization.† In reaction numerous irrationalist† world views† arose† further† contributing to† the fragmentation of our lives and culture.
††††††††††† Disintegration pervades our culture.† Higher learning itself is severely fragmented. One academic discipline seems unrelated to another,† one subfield seems irrelevant to its neighbor.†† A debilitating incoherence of vision and method impedes communication among scholars and fields.† Furthermore, much of higher learning is so hyper-specialized that it loses touch with everyday life.† When learning does relate to the rest of life, it does so often by seeking to dominate it or by technocrizing it.† We experience life as fragmented and unbalanced.†† People are isolated from people, work is isolated from our homes, our lives are divided among industry, neighborhood, politics, consumption, leisure and school. Corporate economic enterprise, fortified by science, is distended, trying to act as the would-be integrator of our lives.
††††††††††† Underlying this disintegration and unbalance is the separation of religion from the rest of life.† We call this "secularization". The inordinate faith in science helped eliminate the Christian religion† from† higher† learning.† The† unwarranted faith in technology, economic progress and reason helped make Christian faith irrelevant to life as a whole, as more and more people looked upon Christianity as a personal belief acceptable in private and in churches, but not in politics and industry, and certainly not in higher learning.† The Christian religion was upset as a cohering and integrating force, as a humanizing and unifying power, both in learning and in everyday life. (Excerpts from LCCS catalog; Institute on Christian Studies)
The Development of Modem Man and The Demise of God
RECOVERING THE PRESENCE OF GOD
SCIENCE AND THEQLQGY
The Christian Faith and Development of:
††††††††††† Physical Sciences, Biological Theories
††††††††††† Social Theories, Political/Economic Theories
††††††††††† Linguistic Theories
††††††††††† Theories of Law
††††††††††† Theories of Mind
††††††††††† Theories of History
God as Creator/Redeemer
Creation/Covenant Man: The Imago Dei
Sin and Salvation
Word of God & Communication
The People of God Christ:
The Incarnational Model
Consummation of Creation (Eschatology)
LORD OVER EVERY CATEGORY OF REALITY A STRATEGY. . . FOR RECOVERY
††††††††††† The development of the major categories of reality, e.g., science, biology, etc., reveals the loss of the Christian understanding of reality to a positivistic, materialistic, humanistic, evolutionary atheism. It is imperative for evangelism and the growth of Godís people that a sound biblical theology for sustaining the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all reality be affirmed.†† This is the strategy and purpose of the parallel seminars listed in the catalog.
(Romans 12.1,2; Ephesians 1.10; Colossians 1.17; Hebrews 1.2)
. . . TAKING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST
Dr. James D. Strauss Theology and Philosophy Lincoln Christian Seminary