Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century Part II: Integrating Faith and Learning: Principles and Process -- By: Kenneth O. Gangel

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 135:538 (Apr 1978)
Article: Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century Part II: Integrating Faith and Learning: Principles and Process
Author: Kenneth O. Gangel


Christian Higher Education at the End of the Twentieth Century
Part II:
Integrating Faith and Learning: Principles and Process

Kenneth O. Gangel

[Kenneth O. Gangel, President, Miami Christian College, Miami, Florida.]

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of four articles delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, November 1–4, 1977. This article is adapted by the author from his article “Integrating Faith and Learning: Principles and Process,” in The Philosophy of Christian School Education, ed. Paul A. Kienel (Whittier, CA: Western Association of Christian Schools, 1977), and is used by permission.]

On September 20, 1912, the great Christian apologist, J. Gresham Machen, addressed the convocation exercises at the opening of Princeton Theological Seminary’s one hundred and first year. The address stands to the present hour as one of the great classics on what is now called “the integration of faith and learning.” Perhaps Machen tipped his hand that day regarding the caliber of his address when he added these words in the very first line: “One of the greatest of the problems that have agitated the Church is the problem of the relation between knowledge and piety, between culture and Christianity.”1 The gauntlet was laid, the banner was raised, and over more than six decades later Christian educators are still attempting to practice what Machen said in that hour.

And yet most educators are able to talk about the integration of faith and learning better than they can practice it. Indeed, in some quarters it becomes almost a symbol, a shibboleth to be uttered but not demonstrated. Invariably it is a rallying cry which will bring nods of approval from the faithful multiplied hundreds of teachers in

Christian classrooms at all levels of education as they continue to grope for evasive implementation of the ideal.

The phrase, “integration of truth” refers to the teaching of all subjects as a part of the total truth of God thereby enabling the student to see the unity of natural and special revelation. Though this may seem simplistic, it requires a lifetime of effort and the best possible education a teacher can bring to his task in order to achieve what Machen challenged educators to do that September evening.

Principles for Integrating Faith and Learning

The cardinal essential for the achievement of the integration of truth in the Christian classroom is a commitment to the authority of the Bible. Gaebelein identifies several reasons why the Word of...

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