Christlike Intellect

“Cultivating intellect and virtue through the biblical worldview.”

               This is the motto which guides Providence Preparatory Academy’s structure, culture, and operations. Its meaning lies in the truth of growing, learning, and striving in the example and teachings of Jesus Christ—the very core of Christianity. PPA is not the first school to model itself in this way and probably not the last either, and yet, in a world shaped by human interests and personal gain, it seems like an almost revolutionary concept.

               The reason lies in how we view education or, rather, how we have been persuaded to view education. In public schools, there is a strict separation of church and state. Because America is a country wherein its citizens are allowed to believe and follow whatever religion they choose, including none at all, the idea of faith is removed altogether. In most higher education settings, this idea is swelled to the point of rupturing, and the meaning behind it is sharpened into a barb. It isn’t that faith, particularly Christianity, isn’t mentioned; in fact, it is. Faith isn’t encouraged—not because it isn’t allowed but because it isn’t intellectual. In short, the idea that is taught and has been bought into by academics and, whether we realize it or not, many believers, is that the Bible doesn’t belong in schools because it contradicts rational, logical thought.

               For many reasons, this is a fallacy. We live in a structured world—every environment, every creature, and every season has its purpose. There’s a reason that the world can keep turning every day, and that reason is because God created it do so. Order does not now, nor has it ever come from chaos; order points to an intelligent, powerful, and omnipresent Creator. The mantra, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” is a bit cliché at this point, but it still holds truth. Our world today is based often on the idea of absolute proof—if it cannot be proven, it cannot be true. As an extension of this, science gets pitted against faith in God. However, a rational mind can identify that, even removing religion from the question, there is nothing about our lives that exists on the idea of absolute proof. You have no proof that, when you turn the key in the ignition of your car, it will start without regularly checking that the pinion will meet the flywheel and turn the engine. Yet you press your foot on the brake and turn the key most mornings without ever popping the hood. You have no proof that the pills a doctor gives you for a cold will actually contain medicine and not poison. Yet you take it at the prescribed time without running it through a lab kit first. You have no proof that, when you go to sleep tonight, you will wake up in the morning. Yet you prepare for coming days and make plans for the future. From the strongest of Christians to the most vocal of atheists, we all operate a great degree of our lives by faith alone. You have no proof of anything in life working—until it no longer does. Yet human beings, driven by our sinful nature and fleshly arrogance, often reject God despite all logic pointing to His existence in a desire to not be held to the judgement and supremacy of the Lord.

               Faith is not irrational. It is not illogical, and it is certainly not the antithesis to intellect. The greatness of God is something we can never truly fathom, but it points to the notion of truth that we as humans are built on: Everything must come from something. An intelligent creation must come from, not a random big-bang or a cosmic belch in a chasm of nothing, but from an intelligent, great, and Holy God. Without Him, there is no science, no math, no reading, no writing—there is no intellect at all apart from God. He didn’t create you to be unthinking or unfeeling. He created you and this entire world to observe, to practice critical thought, and to use that thought and logic to glorify all He has done.

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Cultivating Intellect and Virtue through the Biblical Worldview.

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