Posted by Dean Paulson

Recently I was thumbing through the college and seminary advertisements in the back of World magazine.  At the same time I was looking at Luke 24:45-47, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” NIV What struck me was that none of the advertisements for these schools, except for Southern Seminary, mentioned the word gospel.  There was scholarship, academic excellence, and cultural impact.  In fact there was a lot of cultural impact and cultural transformation kind of language.

What caught my attention was that many of these advertisements make no mention of Christ at all.  The name Jesus and Christ are absent from these descriptions of what these schools have to offer. My skeptical side says if they can’t say the name of Christ in an advertisement can I be sure that they use it anywhere else on their campus.  Now I know this is pushing it a bit but I still thought it.

  Often the Public Relation departments of colleges and universities are good indicators of what is really being discussed behind closed doors by administrators.  These discussions often revolve around how administrators want the institution to be portrayed.  Usually these institutions want to be portrayed as culturally engaged and culturally relevant.  However, very few want to be known as preparing people in all vocations to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus name to all the nations.

Having worked at a Christian liberal arts college for almost twenty years I feel I can speak as an insider.  The change I have seen across the country in Christian liberal arts schools is a move from training students to preach “repentance and forgiveness of sins” to training them to transform the culture.  The problem is you can transform culture all you want but if sinners do not repent and receive forgiveness of sins they are still headed for a Christ-less eternity.

I guess that leaves it up to the local church.  But I guess that was always God’s design in the first place.  It was his plan that the church would proclaim that there is salvation in only one name, Jesus Christ.  The church needs to be committed to preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ alone.  Made me wonder, what kind of advertisements do our churches have?

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