he Collegiate Letter   

The Collegiate Letter Thirst For Knowledge

I hope this finds you well, excited, and very pleased with the way studies are going as of now. To do the things which we enjoy and to be pleased with the result is to be happy indeed.

Studies, of course, should do at least two things for us. They should bring to us a set of facts to be believed. They should also carry a fund of moral values without which mere facts don’t amount to much. This, I think, was what Raymond B. Fosdick had in mind when he said, “The search for truth is, as it always has been, the noblest expression of the human spirit. Man’s insatiable desire for knowledge about himself, about his environment, and the forces by which he is surrounded, gives life its meaning and purpose, and clothes it with final dignity… And yet we know, deep in our hearts, that knowledge is not enough… unless we can anchor our knowledge to moral purposes, the ultimate result will be dust and ashes—dust and ashes that will bury the hopes and monuments of men beyond recovery.”

Thirst For Knowledge
First, think about the gaining of knowledge. There is, therefore, a near infinite capacity with each individual to learn all that pertains to life. The thirst for knowledge is satisfiable, therefore. Indeed, the thirst for knowledge—and its availability—has certainly characterized Western civilization. The availability of education in the Christian West is one of the great gifts that can come to the young and inquiring mind.

As we have suggested, the acquiring of education must be accompanied by a concomitant acquisition, namely moral values. In fact, the acquiring of technological knowledge, absent from moral values, can put the entire culture in deadly peril. It is like placing a machine gun in the hands of an eight year old child and telling him to shoot in any direction which he pleases. So it is easy to show that technology without morality is a time bomb that could be very destructive indeed.

Out of this, a very particular question emerges. That question? Where do we get moral values? What final authority can tell us the difference between right and wrong and can do so with moral authority?

The suggested answers to this question are many and certainly include some of the following:

1. Moral knowledge and authority comes from the academic world. Yes, the world of academia has lifted a voice for ethical standards. The problem, however, is that it has lifted a thousand voices. The person who would discover moral direction “from the books” will soon realize that academia does not speak with a single voice about morality.

2. Moral values come from the government. There are many governments in our world that would like to think this is true, but alas, it is obviously not. In fact, we are living in a time in which governments across the world are accused, and rightly so, of representing wickedness rather than righteousness. Indeed, many demonstrate the truth that “the whole world lies in wickedness.”

3. Moral values come from religion. This is probably the most popular view, and it brings up the troubling question, “Which religion?” We have religions aplenty across the world all the way from raw paganism to mysterious spirituality. If ever there was a genre of things which is filled with complicated contradictions, it is the world of religion. As many evils have been done in the world in the name of religion, as anything else. Often the darkness is thickest behind the altar.

No, if we would find moral values, we must look in another direction. That direction is the Word of the living God. Yes, the Bible is the only valid, final authority for the whole question of right and wrong. That is why the Scripture says, “For ALL FLESH IS AS GRASS, AND ALL THE GLORY OF MAN AS THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER THEREOF FALLS AWAY: BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOR EVER. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you” (I Peter 1:24-25). This being the case, the most valuable content of any decent education is a knowledge of Holy Scriptures that is a dependable guide in any circumstance of life. It is authored by Jesus Christ himself who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6).

That's What The Truth Is…
But isn’t this being rather narrow and authoritative? The answer is, “yes.” That’s what the truth is, narrow and authoritative. About the Lord of the universe, the Bible says, “… let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, THAT YOU MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR SAYINGS, AND MIGHT OVERCOME WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED” (Romans 3:4). I promise you therefore, that a life lived in allegiance to Jesus Christ and in obedience to His Word will be successful and fulfilling. Anyone who tries to live otherwise will deceive himself in life and come to a tragic end. About any other way to know God, the Bible says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death(Proverbs 14:12).

What then is the key to a joyous, happy, and wonderful life? It is to know Jesus Christ as personal Savior. The Bible says, “He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life” (John 5:24). We, therefore, can read with absolute confidence, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This familiar verse can bring the assurance of salvation and the joy of the presence of God in one’s life from now until he steps from earth into heaven.

Think about stepping from earth to heaven. How fantastic! This deserves our attention as well. If there is a universal mistake that people are making, it is that they think more about earth than they do about heaven. This is quite foolish because we are going to spend eternity in heaven and only a few quickly passing days in this world. What is life in this world? It is “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17). It is to go to the place of which the Bible speaks when it says, “…EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM” (I Cor. 2:9).

Going to heaven is like moving out of the garbage dump into the palace. It is to go from the mean streets of this world into the place where the streets themselves are paved with gold. It is to go to the place where there are no more problems, no sorrow, no crying, no death, no pain for the former things have passed away. Whatever else we may do, therefore, we do well to think about heaven at least some time every day.

This is a good time to speak about one of the philosophies that ties us to this world. Millions of students are even now being taught that they are the result of a strange, indefinable evolutionary process. They began in the La Brea pits of the past and will live and die only in this world. The teaching of evolution is the idea that man is a human animal and is akin to the beasts of the field. The difference between a human being and a gorilla is thereby accidental for they are of one blood. Just the other day on television, I heard little children being taught and learning a song, “We are one blood” and at the same time dancing with the crocodiles and the birds. This ghastly message is being taught today by people who pretend at intelligence. It is very sad to build this form of nonsense into the minds of young people. If you teach a child that he is an animal when he is five years old, when he is fifteen, he will begin to act like one and see nothing wrong. If evolution is true, then morality is a charade.

What To Do?
Sensing the philosophies of our world, which are hostile to Christianity, many a thoughtful student says, “What shall I do?” If we don’t watch out, the world will seem overwhelmingly strong and we may seem pitifully weak to ourselves. Do not succumb to this attitude. The Bible says, “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). It also says, “Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:5). When we believe in Christ, we overcome the world in a most amazing way. Why?

  1. Because His Word is final truth.
  2. Because His presence is ultimate reality.
  3. Because His triumph is inevitable.

Believing in Jesus Christ today guarantees that you will stand one day as a son of God in the wideness and the wonder of eternity.

Let me say that I wish you well in this semester at school. Be sure to take the time every morning to pray. Ask God to give you an enlightened mind for the demands of that day. Know also that I will be praying for you as well.

As it becomes possible, be a witness for Christ. You are in the midst of many confused guys and gals who are looking for reality in the wrong place. You can introduce them to Jesus Christ, and what a difference that will make. I hope by this time you are in Inter-Varsity, Campus Crusade, the Navigators, or another Christian group. They will present a good opportunity for Christian fellowship.

Remember, one makes no mistake when he or she decides to live for Christ in a world like this. Remember what Paul said, “thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place” (II Cor. 2:14).

All the best to you then in the challenging and potentially wonderful year to come.

Taken from the writings of Dave Breese
Edited by the Christian Destiny Staff