Discerning Truth by Dr. Jason Lisle

Here at last is a clear and concise guide for every believer in defending your faith in the face of adversity.

The school year started recently across America. Several months ago, many Bible-believing students in high school were asking themselves: which Christian college should I attend? Their final choice will be turning into hard reality soon. Sadly, for most of them, their faith will soon be undermined by their Christian college experience.

As a senior in high school a few years ago, I found myself asking the same question. I was eager to follow the Lord’s will, but overwhelmed by the vast number of Christian colleges vying for my consideration—and my parents’ money!

In sifting through tuition rates and campus policies, I also began reading the colleges’ doctrinal statements. Unfortunately, although many promised a “Christian education,” very few espoused a true dedication to teaching the full authority of Scripture. Although I was not then as aware of the importance of biblical creation as I am now, I was well aware of the destructive potential of not developing a strong worldview built upon biblical authority and the foundational teachings of Genesis. Without a commitment to biblical authority (that the Bible’s teachings must be the final, absolute authority to which we defer), a Christian simply has no true basis for discernment on essential doctrinal matters and morality.

Having narrowed the field substantially simply by looking to see which colleges consistently upheld biblical authority, I found myself considering only a few remaining Christian institutions. Thankfully, there were some great choices. Of these, I decided on The Master’s College near Los Angeles. Notably, the college maintained an almost unparalleled commitment to the truth of God’s Word in matters of faith and practice, and in every other area on which it touches.

I majored in Bible exposition, and dabbled in biblical languages, apologetics, and origins research. Through my classes and interaction with my professors, I became further convinced of the critical necessity of upholding the authority of God’s Word. I also became more keenly aware of the foundational importance of the book of Genesis to the entirety of theology. The creation, the Fall, the Flood, the dispersion at Babel—they are much more than Sunday school “stories” to be dismissed or even mythologized, as most Christian colleges do.

As Answers in Genesis has stated so often, the biblical account of the major events in Genesis chapters 1–11 contains either directly or indirectly the foundations of virtually every biblical doctrine, such as sin, the need for redemption, a coming Savior, the sanctity of life, the institution of the family, and so on.

Furthermore, vital teachings like the virgin birth, the atoning work of Christ’s death, the lordship of Christ, and many other beliefs hinge on the fundamental issue of the truth of God’s Word. Simply stated, if a person cannot trust the Bible from the very first verse, that person can have no reason for confidence in the rest of Scripture. Consequently, if people choose to reinterpret or disregard the early chapters of Genesis, their biblical worldview begins to crumble.

Jesus Christ said in John 5:46–47: “If you believed Moses [the author of Genesis] you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” This does not suggest that a person cannot be a follower of Christ without believing in a literal six-day creation. However, apart from a biblical understanding that the record of Genesis is literally true—that it happened just as the Genesis text says it did—it is inconsistent to hold that Christ’s teachings are also true. It is the same Book which teaches both Creation and Christ.

Unfortunately, there are very few colleges remaining that teach a sound interpretation of Genesis 1–11. Ironically, in a nation where there is perhaps more freedom than anywhere else in the world for private Christian institutions to teach openly from the pages of Scripture, the majority of them refrain from declaring the ultimate authority of God’s Word from the first verse. While the number of quality choices is limited, the benefits of attending a college that is not ashamed to take a stand on this vital issue are well worth it. Now in a graduate program (also at The Master’s College), I can see the great spiritual profit it has afforded me.

Many students enroll in what they think are theologically conservative colleges and seminaries, only to discover that compromised teaching—beginning in Genesis—is rampant in their classrooms. Some young students are not very discerning and just accept what they are incorrectly being taught about Creation and the Flood, and often end up on a slippery slope of skepticism regarding the rest of Scripture.

In an age when Bible-believers are often mocked by the world and even by compromising Christian college professors, I am not ashamed to be a creationist.

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