By: Professor John Beck, Chair of the Marketing Media Major and Professor of Business
Christian scholarship is worship.
The Word of God is inerrant, infallible, and all sufficient. It alone has the authority to bind our consciences and is the final standard against which all other truth claims must be measured.
What a wonder it is to participate in the work that God is doing here at The Master’s University! It is a joy to work at an institution where the authority of scripture is defended relentlessly against every contrary wind of culture.
As an instructor in the Business department, I have enjoyed incredible freedom to present research and business principles to students in the light of the objective truth found in God’s inerrant word.
Understanding commercial enterprise in the context of redemptive history has become the heart of our scholarship in business. With the big picture laid out for us in God’s word, we have the freedom and ability to investigate the details without losing our way.
One of the courses that I have the privilege of teaching is Global Business Strategy.
We open the course by laying out a biblical theology of work and move quickly to the question of what it means to be a global businessperson under the great commission. We spend time examining anthropology, history, politics, world economics, marketing, and business strategy all from a biblical perspective.
As a final project, the students propose a business plan that will advance the cause of the gospel globally, support the mission of the local church, and turn a profit. What could possibly be more fun than that?
Unfortunately, there is an alternative available to students in secular education. It starts at the bottom. Let me try to describe what I mean by starting at the bottom.
The goal of secular scholarship is to gather tiny bits of evidence in the hope that these bits will somehow synthesize into a higher truth.
We call this positivism.
There is an old story about several blind researchers feeling their way around an elephant. One says that he must be like a tree, another says he must be like a wall, and still another says he is more like a serpent. You see the point. They were all examining the evidence from their own isolated somewhat myopic position. None of the data they were gathering could ever add up to an elephant.
You can find facts at the bottom. You can build models that attempt to explain contradictions in those facts. You can have excellent methodology, and sound results.
In the end, we simply have no way of understanding the things that God has revealed in history and nature outside of His special revelation in scripture.
Without scripture to navigate academia, our students would be clinging frantically to any bit of truth they could find like so many castaways clinging to bits of driftwood on an angry ocean. Their knowledge would result in shipwrecked souls and lives of inordinate ambition.
Facts simply will not add up to truth outside of the pages of scripture.
When one starts with an acknowledgement of the authority and inerrancy of the word there is true freedom for the scholar. There is freedom to apply rigorous honest methodology, observing the general revelation God in context. We have the hope of arriving at right conclusions measured against the authority of God’s word. Our students grow closer to Christ and deeper in their faith in that process.
The practice of Christian scholarship is nothing less than worship.