David R. Nicholas, M.S., Th.D.
President, Shasta Bible College & Graduate School
Money is often a key factor in a student’s decision to pursue a Biblical college education. But in reality, the value of such an education is incalculable because if our college-age Christians fail to understand why they believe what they believe, they are sitting ducks for satanic deception. Today the winds of religious, theological and ecclesiological change are sweeping across our nation and the world.
One has only to log on to YouTube under the topic of Islam to find detailed testimonies like that of Joshua Evans, who claims to have grown up in a Greenville, SC Methodist church and even applied to Bob Jones University but now has converted to Islam based on his perception of Biblical inconsistencies and moral failures in the lives of Biblical heroes. His deluded and deficient understanding of Scripture and the Godhead, not to mention his hermeneutical ineptitude, has been viewed over 58,547 times and is available to gullible, Biblically illiterate young people who may be curious about the difference between Islam and Christianity.
Another YouTube video attempts to portray the Koran as inerrant on the basis of its supposed scientific foreknowledge that the sex of a baby is determined by the man. This video has had 1,054,168 views and is said to have convinced a self described Christian to convert to Islam after just one week. Islam’s campaign for converts has obviously descended upon America.
And then there is what I call the “theology of uncertainty” being propagated by the Emergent Church. Over the past 20 years, as Dr. Albert Mohler puts it, “Emerging or Emergent Christianity has done its best to avoid speaking with specificity. . . . they have accused evangelical Christianity, variously, of being excessively concerned with doctrine, culturally tone-deaf, overly propositional, unnecessarily offensive, aesthetically malnourished and basically uncool.”
While some of these criticisms may be justified relative to cultural concerns, their endeavors to transform orthodox Christian theology is dangerous and reflective of last century’s theological liberalism in its avoidance of clear doctrinal assertions. Emergent leader, Brian McClaren, isn’t sure we’ve got the Gospel right yet, and Rob Bell, in his recent book, Love Wins, has a problem with the doctrine of hell. The idea that eternal torment is the fate of those who reject Christ, according to Bell, is keeping people from coming to Jesus, even though Jesus, Himself, warned that such is the case (Matt. 10:28). Bell laments the idea that the doctrine of hell has been so identified as a central truth of the Christian faith that to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. He argues that the gates that never shut in New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:25) mean that the opportunity for salvation is never closed. In so doing, however, he avoids dealing with the previous chapter in which God’s judgment on the unsaved is carried out (Rev. 20:15) and misses the fact that only then are the gates of New Jerusalem eternally open. In 1 Tim. 4:1 Paul warns that “in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” In 2 Tim. 4:3 he warns “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” What is our defense against such deception? Paul tells us in Eph. 6. He says take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. But to wield it, we must know it! SBC & GS exists to help students do just that! Yes, a Biblical education costs money, but Biblical ignorance is far more expensive.