The Christian pursuit of education is futile without the driving force of love, which puts our acquired knowledge into action. Yet without education, Christians are unable to wholly understand and implement God’s will, his very purpose for human existence. Acquisition of knowledge is essential for those that align themselves with Christ, but the goal must always be rooted in love, or else we risk arrogance that overshadows our call to glorify God.
Higher education is a benefit for those of all belief systems, but requires certain things when considered in a Christian context. Even and especially within secular education, Christians should have a more profound faith-driven motivation, which doesn’t undermine the significance of knowledge in and of itself. The purpose of faith-based education has an ultimate goal of service and worship, and must be free of our own ego, which pursues knowledge for selfish gains. Education itself isn’t what God requires out of those who love and serve him, but it is an avenue that allows us to better understand our Creator and the world he’s placed us in. As we move toward godliness in character, our concern for others must reflect the love of Christ, which leaves no room for an elevated sense of self. Without God’s love reminding us of our why, knowledge can make us prideful, and lead to an adverse effect of his will.
Christianity is not a belief system rooted in blind faith, for our God asks us to seek understanding and challenge doctrine, and as a result, know him more fully. It is only by God that humans can seek answers to profound questions, and faith is established when one chooses to trust the divine credibility of the Creator and guarantor of truth. As we acquire knowledge about the created world, we are directed to the one behind it all. When we familiarize ourselves with the character of the Creator and his desire for creation, we are better able to live within our purpose in a way that fulfills our longing and points others in the direction of Christ.
The mission of The Bell Tower is to promote the intersection that naturally exists between Christian faith and scholarship, but what makes this publication distinct is that our motivation is always “rooted and grounded in love.”1 It has been a joy to read about the ways in which students from various disciplines have explored the duality between faith and academia, and their observations are sure to spark a new realization or appreciation in readers. We write, edit, and publish not for the sake of ego, or for the growth of the journal, but for the glory of the one who makes it all possible. A bell tower is not meant to merely be a beautiful construction, but to be a meeting place, a vessel for the word and body of Christ.
1 Eph. 3:17 (NRSV)