Seminary can be challenging (to say the least). From one student to another, I would like to offer a simple word of encouragement… God is God. Amidst all the discussions, lectures, and debates students can rest assured that God has not changed. Quite to the opposite, the Bible teaches you and I that: “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). While the Bible is God’s sure and timely word to every generation, teachers and pop-Christian writers are not. No matter how much academic pedigree a teacher might have, their assertions can and should always be challenged (if only in the quietness of your own study). Blog postings (such as this one) and popular Christian writing (from the latest theological treatise on God’s love to Beverly Lewis’ newest Amish romance novel) should be challenged even more. Every good teacher, writer, and self-opinionated blog author will joyfully concur.
That said, you are also fallible. Just as teachers must teach with humility, so also students must learn with humility. Most importantly we must all approach God and His word with due humility, for it is through God’s word and with the Holy Spirit that you and I can discern the truth from human knowledge.
So, when you hear a lecture or read a book that is propagating something you disagree with… don’t be discouraged; only submit these thoughts to God’s word to see if they are founded on Godly wisdom. In the same manner, don’t become a slave to your reason or pride. You are not God, and your thoughts are not His thoughts (Isa. 55:9). Only submit your heart and mind to God and let Him minister to your needs: academic, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise. Above all, never forget that though God is transcendent (in many ways) and unchanging, He is also your heavenly Father.
Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As the droplets on the fresh grass
And as the showers on the herb.
For I proclaim the name of the LORD;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He. (Deut. 32:1-4)
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Num. 23:19)
“’ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.’
And this is the word which was preached to you.” (I Pet. 1:24-25; Isa. 40:7-8)