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Biblical and Theological Education: A Top Priority at SPU

President Philip W. Eaton Why does biblical literacy matter? SPU’s Response magazine recently asked Christian leaders to weigh in on this question. Here is a sampling of replies:

“Without biblical knowledge, those in the Judeo-Christian tradition are highly susceptible to a nonbiblical, ‘anything goes’ worldview. The effects of such a worldview are apparent today in watered down ethics, sexual promiscuity, and feelings of hopelessness about the future of the nation and the world.” George Gallup Jr., Founding Chairman of the George H. Gallup International Institute

“The more you read [the Bible], the more it enables you to have a many-sided engagement with the world for the gospel. If you rely on what you learned at Sunday school, don’t be surprised if your ‘engagement’ gets a little thin.” N.T. Wright , New Testament Scholar and Bishop of Durham

“The Bible always points us to its own living center, the one who matters the most of all, Jesus Christ.”Earl Palmer, author and senior pastor University Presbyterian Church, Seattle

I’m convinced that our culture suffers from a crisis of biblical and theological illiteracy. We live in an age when all stories of what is true and good and beautiful are called into question. But there can be no true education unless there is an authorized story to anchor our learning, and to give meaning and direction to such learning.

That’s why at Seattle Pacific we have placed the Scriptures right at the center of our educational enterprise. This commitment to embracing the Christian story is one of our highest priorities, and one of only five signature commitments at SPU. We desire to give our students — your son or daughter — the tools of theological reflection to help them understand the grand story of the Scriptures.

Already this year I’m delighted by the ways our campus community is taking seriously this call to sink into the Scriptures. Whether in Chapel, in the classroom, in a small group, or on a service project — we are embracing the Christian story so that together we can engage the culture and change the world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Philip W. Eaton

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