Exploring the value of the core pt.1

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Exploring the value of the core pt.1

Students preparing to learn in OT messages in Straton Hall, BJU, GREENVILLE, SC, October 22, 2019

Core Bible courses prepare students to view the world through a biblical framework as part of the liberal arts education at BJU. 

Five classes make up BJU’s Bible core: Old Testament Literature and Interpretation, New Testament Literature and Interpretation, two semesters of Bible Doctrines, and Apologetics and Worldview.

Currently, all these Bible courses are three credits, a recent change. Previously, both the Old and New Testament courses were one credit. Dr. Doug Garland, the director of assessment at BJU, said this change occurred to counteract the view that these courses were less important because of their credit load. 

“We did not want students looking at the Bible course and saying, ‘That’s bad,’” Garland said. Garland said the Bible core functions to help students think through problems with a biblical worldview. He said they give students a “grid” to think through ethical dilemmas and determine what the Bible teaches.

“That’s really the primary basis behind the Bible core,” he said. “It’s knowing God and then learning how to think ethically.” In Old Testament Literature and Interpretation, students learn how to interpret the various genres of the Old Testament and see signs that point to Christ before His incarnation. While students do not have to read the entire Old Testament for the class, they are assigned large sections of the Old Testament to read.

Dr. Sam Horn, Dr. Timothy Hughes and Dr. Nathan Crockett teach the course together in every section it’s offered, with Dr. Hughes focusing on literature and Dr. Crockett on interpretation. The class will be offered Tuesday/Thursday at 12:35 p.m. during the spring semester. 

New Testament Literature and Interpretation is a sister class to the Old Testament course, concentrating on interpreting and applying the New Testament. Crockett teaches this course, and it will be offered twice in the spring semester on Tuesday/Thursday at 8 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. Unlike the Bible reading in Old Testament, students read the entire New Testament as part of this class.

Bible Doctrines walks students through core biblical teachings such as the Bible, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, angels and demons, humanity, sin, the church and the end times.  Various faculty teach this course’s different sections, including Crockett, Dr. Ted Miller, Dr. Kerry McGonigal, Dr. Dan Olinger and Dr. Mark Vowels. 

Doctrines I will be offered next semester Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 8 a.m. and noon, and six sections of Doctrines II will be offered throughout the day on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

Apologetics and Worldview culminates the Bible core, helping students defend the doctrines of their Christian worldview while observing other worldviews. In addition to the lectures and readings, students will complete a paper arguing for a biblical worldview in relation to a controversial subject in their field of study. This paper functions as the capstone project for the entire Bible core, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned in their various core classes on this one project.

Miller, Dr. Brent Cook and Dr. Eric Newton teach this course. Next semester, the course will be offered at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m. on Monday/Wednesday/Fridays.