The Ground of All Truth: Deut. 6:4–9 -- By: James T. Draper, Jr.

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 15:2 (Spring 1998)
Article: The Ground of All Truth: Deut. 6:4–9
Author: James T. Draper, Jr.

The Ground of All Truth: Deut. 6:4–9

James T. Draper, Jr.

Christian LifeWay Resources
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Nashville, Tennessee 37234

Kendrick-Poerschke Lecture
Presented at Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC 27587, March 18, 1998

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4–9 NKJV).

The foundation of all truth is that God is, and that He is one. All truth emanates from that basic, foundational truth. My purpose today is to show how far Western education has strayed from this premise. Much of the reason for the abandonment of the Oneness of God as a basis for all truth is the ambivalence in the pulpits and the subsequent fall of the role of the minister into disrespect. We must recapture the character and calling of the preaching and teaching ministry as we declare the essential nature of God, and thus of all truth.

Not far from where we gather today at Southeastern Seminary stands one of the nation’s most respected universities, Duke University. No one today would consider that Duke University as an institution is devoted to anything other than the secular educational mission of most major American universities. Yet, when Duke was established in 1924, its founding bylaws stated, “The aims of Duke University are to assert a faith in the eternal union of knowledge and religion set forth in the teachings and character of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The founders placed a massive Gothic chapel in the midst of the campus and next to it a well-endowed school of religion. What has happened in American higher education in the seventy-four years since the foundation of Duke is reflected not only on that campus, but also across the nation.

Again, in 1924, chapel attendance was required at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as it was at Yale and Princeton. As late as 1890, President James A. Angell of the University of Michigan, an enthusiastic promoter of Christianity on campus, exclaimed that twenty-two of twenty-four state schools conducted chapel services, at twelve of whi...

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