I can find no better expression of our mission than a very old-fashioned one: we are to confront the student with the Gospel. This task remains as long as the university requires for graduation courses in the cycle of the mollusk, but not in the life of Jesus; as long as its students (our students) are exposed to what was said and assumed in first-century Rome but not to what was said and assumed in first-century Jerusalem; as long as the philosophy department imparts the teachings of Kant and Hegel in ignorance of or opposition to those of Christ and Hosea.

Narrowly construed, what we are talking about now is Christian education. It is naive to assume and unfair to expect that the student will permanently worship what he has not carefully explored. The student wants and needs to know how the Christian faith got that way, whether its critics are right, whether its advocates are wrong, or whether (as he suspects is more likely the case) the truth is less neat and more stubborn than either his pastor or his professor has said.

The serious attempt to answer such questions (or, if necessary, to raise them in the first place) brings us into direct confrontation with faculty.

Knowledge Plus Morality

A part of our task with teachers is to give the lie to the “heresy that knowledge is moral” (Gerald Kennedy, The Lion and the Lamb, p. 14). “To emphasize information alone is to clap with one hand” (A. W. Goshay, “What is the Message?,” Saturday Review, Feb. 13, 1960, p. 35). Whitehead observed that “a merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on God’s earth.” He might have added that a merely well-informed man is dangerous, too. “It all depends upon who has the knowledge and what he does with it” (A. N. Whitehead, The Aims of ...

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