We Don't Need No Education

2012 Ligonier Conference


In this 52 minute session from the 2012 Ligonier Conference, Robert Grodfrey, President and Church History Professor of Westminster Seminary California, shares the story of education's journey in the American church. He explains how the church went from a high view of intellectual achievement to a derisive opinion of biblical expertise. He leaves us with the encouragement to love God with all our minds by using our reason well for His name and glory. 


As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your role.




Dr. Godfrey tells us that anti-intellectualism has invaded the Christian world. This has happened, in part, because many people have incorrectly interpreted Paul's words that knowledge puffs up. We must be careful to wisely and cautiously interpret Scripture, using the intellect that God has given us in the task of discernment.


How have you seen the church cast a negative light on education and the intellect? Have you been guilty of doing this?
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Read 1 Corinthians 8:1–3. If Paul did not mean that all knowledge is bad, what point might he have been making here?
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Dr. Godfrey asked how much time we should give to building up our minds in general versus the amount of time we explicitly study Scripture. How do you think we should find this balance in our study?
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Saint Augustine wrote that wisdom and knowledge are different and are not necessarily always part of the same mind. His uneducated mother was one of the wisest people he knew.


Who are some people you have known that have little education but are blessed with godly wisdom? What attributes of theirs revealed this to you?
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Who are some very educated people you have known that lack wisdom? What attributes of theirs revealed this to you?
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In the Modern era, secularization launched an attack on Christianity as an un-intellectual or naive worldview. Darwinism gave people another theory for the existence of the world, and liberal critics gave people reasons for doubting the truth of Scripture.


What reaction do you have to these observations (worry, anger, confidence, encouragement, hope, etc.)? And what do you think you should do in response?
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How should the church react to these kinds of attacks and accusations?
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The prevailing worldview today asserts there are no moral absolutes, but that all religions and philosophies are equally valid. How might you use Scripture to answer this kind of thinking?
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Read John 8:31–36 and 2 Peter 1:12–18. As a close to this lesson, write a summary statement of what you have learned here and what you are now compelled to do in Christ's name.
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In his session, Dr. Godfrey refers to R.C. Sproul's talk from the 2012 Ligonier Conference. You can find "Have You Lost Your Mind? featuring R.C. Sproul" in the 2012 Ligonier Conference channel or click here.


If you are interested in learning more about R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries, visit their website at ligonier.org