I really hate the assumption that getting a Bible degree will kill your passion. “Seminary feels more like Cemetery,” right? What? No way! How could anyone stare into the words of our Creator and walk away less excited about Him? That’s just totally jacked up. It’s wrong. It’s offensive. And if Seminary really does lead to cemetery, then let me eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die and meet a very boring Creator.
Or—perhaps the problem is not with biblical education, but with biblical educators. Maybe the problem isn’t the Bible, but the way it’s been taught. I wonder if the age-old adage that studying the Bible too much will lead to less enthusiasm about the Christian faith is due to a bad way in which we’ve taught the Bible.
It can be different, and I think we’ve found a way.
True Bible study should lead to more zeal, more passion, more of a desire to live this stuff out. And that’s what we try to do at Eternity Bible College. We have no desire to fill a bunch of students with head knowledge about biblical facts. No way. I’d rather get a job serving tacos at the beach than to pump knowledge into people who will be more arrogant, more judgmental, more critical of their pastor and everyone else who doesn’t line up with their nice and tidy doctrine. Ugh! Shoot me now. I can’t believe some students do just that. And I can’t believe some schools let them. What a waste of time. “Would you like chips with your tacos?” suits me just fine.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
At Eternity Bible College, we seek to transform both the mind and the heart. And we do this through rigorous, academic, passionate, practical, and—sometimes—off the wall education. If students aren’t becoming more wise, more humble, less addicted to pornography, less judgmental, more passionate for the poor, more eager to proclaim Christ to all nations, then either they or we have done something wrong. There’s a short circuit. We have a problem Houston. The connection’s been lost. If engaging the Creator’s word doesn’t produce more humility, more service, more zeal, then there’s a loose wire something.
We desire to produce passionate disciples for Jesus—martyrs, if need be—by means of plunging our heads in the inspired word of God. Yes, it’s a communal effort. It’s not just something teachers throw at students. It’s a “we” thing” not a “they” or “you” thing.
Practically, me mix it up in the classroom. We defy traditional methods of education. One of my colleagues taught a class on Ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) and in order to drive home the fact that Christians aren’t islands but interconnected with each other, he had them draw names in a hat to see who would take the final on behalf of the entire class.
What? One person’s grade would apply to the entire class?
That’s right, princess. Because guess what, in the real world, what you do effects other people. You become addicted to porn and that effects other people around you. You become addicted to alcohol or greed or materialism, and other people are brought down. So for this class, one person’s grade will be applied to everyone.
What did the class do? They prayed for the student taking the(ir) exam. They helped her study. They came around her and supported her.
Yeah, that’s pretty much how Christianity should be, right? Why not do “real Christian stuff” in the classroom?
These students learned about community and “corporate solidarity” (a theological phrase that will never again be understood theoretically by these students) while they took a college exam.
We believe that doctrine and practice go hand in hand. And we despise the myth, or truth, that Bible College leads to more pride, less humility, and a dispassionate worship of our Creator.
Jesus is the real deal. We only hope that we can be a very small catalyst in spreading a passion for His glory in the world. Come check us out!