Inquire of Past Generations:
LESSONS FROM CHURCH HISTORY
As we study “Lessons From Church History” at the 2018 Florida College Lectureship, we will learn lessons to help us lead “The Way Forward” for current and future Florida College students.
Dr. David McClister (A.A. ’80), chair of the biblical studies department, selected this year’s lectureship theme in honor of the 500th anniversary of the event that started the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. As one of the major events in church history after the New Testament period, this act should lead us into deeper study of the past to learn lessons about how to improve the future.
“We can see the paths that others have taken and evaluate them, and then turn that evaluation upon ourselves,” McClister said. “We are not the first people to wrestle with how to think of the person of Jesus. We are not the first generation to feel pressure to make the church more like the world in terms of organization and worship and appeal. We are not the first people to claim that we are trying to restore Christianity to its original standards. When we study church history we can see how others have dealt with these challenges and we can learn from what they did, both positively and negatively.”
While many fail to see the benefits of studying church history, Dr. Dan Petty (A.A. ’72), Florida College’s vice president and former chair of the biblical studies department, eagerly anticipates this year’s lectureship. He believes understanding the lessons of the past are crucial to the future of the church and of Florida College.
“The study of church history allows our generation and the future generations to learn from lessons and ensure we are headed in the right direction moving forward,” Petty said. “Florida College is one place where there is a firm commitment to New Testament Christianity and giving students an education within the parameters of a biblical worldview. That is what is critical and what you can’t get anywhere else in quite the same way.”
College is a critical time for young people as they transition into independence, and most institutions of higher education encourage tolerance and self-exploration incompatible with Christian principles. According to Fuller Youth Institute, 50 percent of young people leave their faith in college, and less than half of those return. There is a desperate need for a place like Florida College that encourages people to grow spiritually as well as academically during these formative years.
“In a world, like we are in today, that is becoming increasingly secular and increasingly opposed to divine principles, Florida College is the kind of place we need for our young people more than ever,” Petty said.
As our condensed mission statement, “Learning, Living, Leading His Way,” implies, Florida College purposes that everything done during this critical time in young people’s lives should be done with acknowledgement of a commitment to the way. This effort is not intended as a shelter for students, but has been a foundation since the institution’s inception that allows students to seek their identity and build their lives from a Christian perspective. Florida College leads “The Way Forward” for college students across the country who are looking for an environment where they can develop the whole person in light of a biblical worldview.
Join us for the 2018 Florida College Lectureship to study “Lessons From Church History” and recognize Florida College as “The Way Forward” for today’s young people.