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from GCS President

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Perhaps you have seen the slogan “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Some people view it as a statement of faith in the Bible, but it goes wrong at two points. For one, we could find commands in Scripture that such people ignore. But perhaps the biggest flaw is that such people think that their own belief settles the matter. They think they know everything that needs to be known.

Most people are able to read Scripture, and able to benefit from the reading. Scripture has long been a key component in spiritual formation and growth. But a person could memorize the entire Bible and still not understand how to live by it. When we read a random verse in Leviticus, we may know what it says, but we don’t always know whether we should do it. Belief does not settle the matter—for that, we need some theological perspective on the book of Leviticus.

Every believer should try to understand, but with a measure of humility—sincerity does not guarantee truth. One value of reading Scripture in a community is that we can compare our understanding with people who have studied it more than we have—and that includes people from the past, people in other places, and people in our own faith community. Scripture is like most subjects: people who spend more time on it generally learn more, and people who enroll in formal study generally learn much more.

For example, each of us does something for our health every day: we eat, get some exercise, and avoid dangers. We may be influenced by expert advice about what we eat, how we exercise, and what to avoid. The existence of experts does not eliminate the importance of our efforts, but if we are willing to listen, the experts can help us make our daily routines more effective.

Similarly, the church has various levels of specialization in theology and Scripture. This does not mean that believers should throw up their hands and passively absorb whatever the “experts” teach. But it does mean that believers should be willing to learn from people who have studied more, so that each believer might study Scripture more effectively, think about God more accurately, and live more fruitfully.

Grace Communion Seminary is designed to help you learn more about God, who he is, what he has planned for us, what he teaches us, and how he wants us to respond to him. In some respects it is a simple message, but there is a profound depth to it. As the center of life and the center of all meaning, it’s worth exploring in greater detail by Christians who love God and are involved in teaching others.

We can help connect you with people who have explored the territory and have reported what it’s like. We can connect you to other travelers on this journey. We don’t have all the answers, but we believe that we have a perspective that can help us all go forward, a map that helps us understand the landmarks and points of interest. God is love, and those who worship him are transformed by that love. We seek to live and serve others in the love shown to us in the Father, Son, and Spirit. We invite you to join our traveling party!

Michael Morrison, PhD