You are a theologian, a bible interpreter, and a philosopher. I’m certain about this because I know that you have thoughts about God, about what the bible says, and about the world around you. Even an atheist has thoughts about God, namely, that He doesn’t exist. It’s not a question of if you will be doing theology, biblical interpretation or philosophy. It’s a question of whether or not you’ll be any good at it.
In Jesus’ day, the public had wrong thoughts about him. They thought he was John the Baptist, Elijah, or some other prophet from the past. Jesus asked his disciples a profoundly simple question, “but who do you say that I am.” Peter answered, “The Christ of God” (Luke. 9:18 – 20). The crowd got it wrong; Peter got it right in mind and heart. That made all the difference in the world. Things have not changed. People think Jesus is a prophet, a guru, one of many ways to God, a wise man, a political revolutionary, a fairy tale, etc. But the question remains, who do you say that he is? Truth matters to Jesus; it should matter to you as well.
Getting good at thinking about God shouldn’t be thought of as a callous academic discipline. Sure, it requires some thinking and some effort; but it’s more than that. Getting good at thinking about theology and the bible can be an act of worship. Think about what we believe: God humbled himself, took on the form of a servant, lived a perfect life, was executed and rose from the dead so that we can have life (Philippians 2:1-11)! That’s amazing! Why wouldn’t you want to learn as much as you can about what God has to say through his written word?
Learning about God, however, isn’t just about truth and getting smarter. It’s about learning to love God and one another. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he answered without hesitation, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:34-40). Learning about God is about developing your mind as an act of loving Him. It should also be something that transforms your heart and your soul, which naturally translates to you loving your neighbor as yourself.
The Rolling Hills Bible Institute (RHBI) is an opportunity for you to learn to worship and love God with your mind. It’s an opportunity for you to develop thoughts that are true about God. It’s an opportunity to learn to love God and one another more deeply. I hope you’ll take some time to prayerfully consider taking a class this year.
I look forward to hearing how God works though you as you engage your mind for his glory!