DEI SUB NUMINE VIGET - (Under God's power she flourishes). This motto is part of the Princeton University's shield and is carved into stone over the entrance to the university's chapel. As I entered, my tour guide said, "Sometimes it is difficult to find
God in this chapel anymore." Later at the University Center for Human Values -- a center established in 1990 to support teaching, research and discussion of ethics and human values -- the guide said, "I thought we already had a center for human values at Princeton -- the chapel -- but others thought differently."
The Harvard College Laws of 1642 open with the following. Everyone shall consider the main end of his life and studies to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, and therefore lay Christ as the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. Seeing the Lord giveth wisdom, everyone should seriously by prayer, in secret, seek wisdom of Him.
The words at these two institutions reflect the founders' belief that God the Father and Jesus are at the heart of learning. Isn't it ironic that in our quest for enlightenment, free thinking, scientific endeavor, and "liberated philosophy", God has been eliminated -- as if He is not the author of all these pursuits? These institutions have strayed from their first love. At the risk of appearing "dogmatic, judgmental and unsophisticated" we have given deference to the norms of today. The result -- replacing God's foundational truths with "human truths" that serve our own agendas. In the 1600's Harvard's President, Henry Dunster, warned his pupils by saying, "Take heed of this lest desiring to be as gods, we become as devils."
I wonder; do we view our search for knowledge and our evaluation of current societal thought with the conscious notion that the reality of Christ must be at the foundation? Have we as individuals strayed, as some "institutions" have, from the foundations of truth?
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." (Proverbs 1:7)