It has come to my attention that there is a fundamental flaw with education on this campus. We claim to know the Bible and we use its verses in our arguments and discussions, but we have not properly trained our students in how to read the Bible. Differences and disagreements arise over things such as hermeneutics, different ways of studying the Bible, and a lack of knowledge about the Biblical story.
At a Christian university, shouldn’t students learn how to read, study, and use the Bible in discussions?
There are many arguments that precipitate from a lack of hermeneutical awareness. People are reading the Bible differently without knowing it and arguing about it with others because they do not understand the different ways of reading the Bible: Christo-centric, Dispensational, Flat Bible, Epistle Centered, etc.
I have also noticed a lack of awareness about inductive (Exegetical) biblical research that has led to misinterpretation and a lack of knowledge about discovering the meanings of biblical texts hidden in culture and time. Much of our biblical knowledge comes from overhearing what others have said, assuming that they know what they are talking about.
EMU is not equipping students with the tools and the know-how to discover what the Bible means for themselves. Students, as a whole, are not taught about the differences in the types of Bible study: Devotional, Topical, Guided, and Inductive.
How many students graduate from EMU saying that they know the story of the Bible? How to approach the Bible without feeling overwhelmed? How to study the Bible objectively and critically?
If EMU wishes to maintain its Christian identity and its place as a destination for faith development, if EMU wishes to have conversations about the Bible and faith as a broader campus community, then I propose that the university consider adding a required Biblical Overview class to educate its students about the story of the Bible, how to study the Bible, and how to have constructive discussion centered around confusing or difficult Biblical passages.
Somehow, EMU needs to take its identity seriously, stop using it as an advertising gimmick, and start being genuine about maintaining, broadcasting, and passing down the faith.
-Jacob Landis, Contributing Writer
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