Dr. Jeremiah Johnston and Dr. David Dockery discuss the intersection of education and the Christian faith. Dockery, who has written extensively, never thought he would be a university president. As the first person in his family to attend college, he grew to love the furtherance of education.
“Unfortunately, there is a sense in which people think of the Christian faith as being anti-intellectual, somewhat mindless and totally experiential in approach,” Dockery says. “The Christian faith has produced some of the great thinkers in the last 2,000 years. We believe all knowledge, truth and understanding finds its source in God.”
As a leader in higher education, Dockery speaks to the relevant issues facing students: “Being a Christian in today’s context requires some conviction and courage so it’s not just a cultural Christianity,” he says.
Christianity is not antithetical to education; in fact, the opposite is true. “There is this body of truth that is the Christian faith that has been passed along – people have thought deeply about it and it has led to this great Christian thinking that has become the foundation through which we address issues of the liberal arts, humanities, politics, philosophy, the arts, social sciences, natural sciences, media, journalism and music – the whole spectrum,” Dockery says.
Johnston offers evidence that the Bible encourages careful contemplation in Proverbs 14:15: “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” He points to other passages as well in which examination of the Scriptures is taught.
“As Christians, we’re not meant to be credulous, easily led astray and gullible,” Johnston says. “In the era of fake news and social media education, there is so much bad information.”
Johnston recommends studying the Bible and investing in tools such as a biblical dictionary and commentaries to supplement one’s study. “You can decide, ‘I’m going to be a critical Christian thinker,’” he says.
Dr. David Dockery is a longtime university administrator and is president of Trinity International University. He has served in Christian leadership roles and has authored and contributed to numerous works.