Well, I am heading back to school!! I have finally begun working on my Master’s degree (M.A.) from Oklahoma Christian University. I’ll be taking a combination of Intensive Short courses and Weekend Format courses, Online courses and some regular Tuesday morning classes on the campus of OC during my study. I hope to be able to complete this degree in about three or four years.I am nervous and excited about this next step.
There is no way I would be able to pursue and work towards this goal without the wonderful support and encouragement from the Central elders, my family, and most especially, my wife, Maggie. It is my determination and commitment to not allow these graduate studies to interfere with my local teaching and preaching, visitation, and other ministry responsibilities at Central. Really, I see this hopefully as being an investment and enhancement in the quality of my ministry and service for the Lord’s kingdom at Central.
Just for your curiosity and information, I am taking 6 hours this semester which includes a preaching class from Genesis and Exodus with Dr. Harold Shank and a course on Biblical and Contemporary evangelism with Dr. Stafford North. I have been working on book reviews, assignments and sermons series. So far, I’ve been a little busier on that than I had anticipated, but the classes have been great with a great deal of new ideas and thoughts. Very invigorating
Kent Hughes, widely respected Bible scholar, author, and preacher says that there is a myth that would suggest that too much knowledge of the Bible is not good because it tends to, “cool the heart and stunt devotion.” In essence that too much learning will “spoil faith.” And he does have a point, when you closely examine how many destructive liberal theologians and modern Bible professors you find in the halls of so many secular Universities and Colleges who do more to undermine and even destroy faith in God and His Word.
But, sadly, too often, Hughes says what they discourage is “the rigorous study of the scriptures, which then delimits their knowledge of God.” Author and publisher Frank Sheed describes the folly of such thinking in his book, “Theology and Sanity”, saying:
“A virtuous man may be ignorant, but ignorance is not a virtue. It would be a
strange God who would be loved better by being known less. Love of God is not
the same thing as knowledge of God; love of God is immeasurably more important
than knowledge of God; but if a man loves God knowing a little about Him, he
should love God more from knowing more about Him; for every new thing known
about God is a new reason for loving Him.”
That’s why the Scriptures contain so many admonitions for us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 ), to “increase in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10 ), and to “abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in love” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Our study of the Bible, which is our primary and infallible source of knowledge about God, is everything to the makeup of our spiritual health and life.
It is my goal and desire to increase my knowledge of God’s Word and to become a more effective servant for the Lord. In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your encouragement, patience and most important prayers for me as I continue my journey in learning.