Years ago I attempted to study university level theology by distance learning. I had previously successfully completed coarses at N.Z. Bible College and felt called by God to attempt the Theology Coarse, but while God wanted me to do this – he didn't say I had to succeed at it. The song, by Tenth Avenue North, on yesterday's website at Sext touched an understanding cord in me. I totally understood the statement and sentiment. God didn't need me to be successful, just surrendered.
God had something to teach me, but not what you might expect, academic theology left me with the bad taste in my mouth. The opinion I formed is that the academics who created the theology course do not really understand God that much at all – that they see God as a myth, devised by early man to explain things for which science had yet to discover answers. The strong impression I got is that they have studied the Bible with all the wisdom, intelligence and historical experience of great men of knowledge but without the input of the Holy Spirit and therefore they came to some very erroneous conclusions and just didn't get it – true understanding escaped them. They pass on this misunderstanding to those who study their works, which could sometimes cause even a true believer to waver or question their faith. This is why I have such respect for our vicar's and those who passed these papers and managed to retain their faith.
Richard Booker put it well, he quoted John 5:46 (above) and stated:
Richard Booker goes on to say the Jews wouldn't believe Jesus because they loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God. Their pride and tradition had become a barrier to them, I think the same thing has happened in the academic world. Our world highly values intelligence, awarding prizes to those exhibiting special intellectual powers. An academic career at the highest levels has long been respected as a different road to success. One where the success is not measured by money as with most of the world, but by papers published and level of position maintained. The world honours them as the world honoured the Pharisees in Jesus time.
These experts who spent their entire lives in the study of God's and Moses Law. We read today were told by Jesus that all they study points to him, yet they don't get it. Jesus states also that Moses wrote the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) so I don't accept the academics who try to question that authorship, too many of our academics today also don't get it, they spend too much time nit-picking over small points that won't matter when one day they stand before Jesus – will he see them as good and faithful servants or as modern day Pharisees? Do they care about spreading the gospel or more about looking smart with all their academic theological language, that may have blinded the eyes and made complicated the simple faith of many seeking God? I am not trying to put you off seeking higher education, it is of value. I am saying, don't take at face value everything you are told, whether it comes from a teacher, University Lecturer or even a pulpit. Question everything, do your own research and prayerfully make up your own mind.