Vol.XIX No.VII Pg.7
September 1982

? You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Dear Bro. Turner.

About these schools where the Bible is taught...?


Since many know I am returning to Florida College this fall to teach some special classes, I have several questions along this line, and will try to deal with all in one article.

(1) I do not see the college as an evangelistic or worship institution. Its job is secular education, but that does not negate the school's insistence upon high moral principles on its campus, nor prohibit its use of a daily general assembly to advocate and impress those principles upon the student body. Domestic and labor obligations should be performed "as unto the Lord" (Col. 3:17—4:1) so Christians in the school business should conduct that "as to the Lord."

With all teachers and a majority of the students members of the Lord's church, it is to be expected that peer pressure and much private teaching will be in the direction of conversion and a worshipful life—but I do not believe the school, as an institution, should try to "convert" or "promote worship services" as some put it. That is not its function.

(2) The teaching of Bible contents (per se) is not limited to any particular institution. The Roman Catholic church says "It alone makes known the light of revealed truth;" but I believe the truth was given through inspired writers to the whole world and that the church is the product—the result of receiving and obeying truth.

The church's obligation to "teach others also" does not make it "sole repository" of truth. If we truly believe God's word is understandable in and of itself, then every Bible publishing Co., every Bible sales force, is spreading truth—and who can believe they "usurp the church's place."

Which brings us to (3). A secular school can fill a unique role in Bible teaching. The interpretation of Epistles treats the logical processes for getting meaning out of that form of literature. Hebrew History coordinates Bible matters with its historic setting—or geographic setting, etc. Types of Literature in the Old Testament open to students fields almost foreign to evangelistic type studies. In teaching such matters truth is taught—but it doesn't make college a "missionary society." I took some of those courses in the University of Illinois—hardly a "missionary" U.

I can not defend the forming of a "different institution" to function in the role of God's church; but I do not believe Bible teaching as a Liberal Arts classroom subject is infringement upon "church" work. There will always be abuses, in the church and in the schools, but this should not push us into denying the right of secular schools to use the Bible as one of their textbooks.

Nor should we deny Christian parents the right to support a school which seeks to advance the child's secular education in a setting consistent with Christian principles. Such a school is extension of the home, and is not due church support.