This posting stems from a podcast episode of The Briefing by Dr. Albert Mohler that I listened to recently. The part of the episode was about the Harvard College student organization Harvard College Faith and Action, the largest Christian fellowship on the Harvard campus, being put on a one year probation. In addition to the probation it and must server ties with Christian Union, it’s parent organization. Christian Union serves all the Ivy League schools, and develops Christian leaders at some of America’s most influential, and deeply secular, universities.. The reason for the probation is because the Christian Union dared to dismiss one of the students in leadership for engaging in a same-sex relationship. You can read the story here.
Dr. Mohler begins the episode with a brief history of Harvard College to draw a contrasting line between the origins of Harvard College and the Harvard College of today. Some of the origins of Harvard College he pointed out that really stuck with me is the fact that Harvard was founded and named by Puritans. The college was founded in 1636, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It was built in order to educate men who were called to the clergy for the new commonwealth, a “church in the wilderness”. The college was named for John Harvard, an English minister, graduate of the University of Cambridge, and English Puritan.
The other origin of Harvard College named in the podcast was the symbolism that still exists around the college to this day. An example of the symbolism can be seen in the photo accompanying this blog posting. In the photo you will see a shield with three books centered in it. The top two books represent the opened Old and New Testaments of what Christianity knows as the Bible. The book on bottom is a closed book and represents the witness of Jesus Christ’s return in the future, which has not been written yet. Inscribed on the books of the shield is the word “VERITAS”, which is the Latin word for truth. In addition to “truth”, you will notice above the shield a ribbon with the words “CHRISTO ET ECCLESIAE” which is also Latin for “Christ and Church”. For the Puritan founders the separation of God and academia would have been unfathomable.
So, now we have a scenario where the oldest school of higher learning, created to educate folks for the ministry of church leadership, forcing the student campus organizations to totally contradict the very principles set up by the designers and builders of the institution. I believe this will have some major ramifications for Christians in all institutions for higher learning in the future.
Please be in diligent prayer for our schools.
Soli Deo Gloria!!