Education in Arts and Sciences

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: November 29 – December 5

Texts: Romans 1:18-21; Psalm 19:1-6, 96:9; Genesis 3:6; 1 Timothy 6; Proverbs 1; Job 38

 

As a result of the CORONA-19 virus, numerous universities and colleges are shuttering arts and science programs. For example, Valparaiso University in Indiana recently announced that it was phasing out several academic programs.

Valparaiso University’s spokeswoman Nicole Niemi shared, “The university will no longer enroll students in its secondary education major, theatre major and minor, Chinese minor, French major, and Greek and Roman studies major and minor.”

The university was already suffering a shortage of students in certain programs and furloughed 200 employees this spring after the pandemic hit. The music department was sliced back, along with the elimination of men’s soccer and tennis programs. Even the university president’s salary was cut by 30 percent.

Those who may not have a heart for arts and sciences might think, “Whatever. These aren’t really essential programs anyway.” But this week’s lesson study, “Education in Arts and Sciences,” isn’t so flippant about these areas of study.

The Bible provides a strong foundation in both art and science, in beauty and origins. Scripture outlines God as the originator of life and creativity. The Psalmist draws our mind, through music and poetry, to the glories of both earth and sky, as a testimony of a loving Creator. Moses, Paul, and other inspired writers unhesitatingly identify God as the maker of all things.

When we recognize and worship God as the Creator, our creativity is then guided by the principles of God’s Word in discovering and expressing the wonders of our world through mediums such as the arts and sciences that point to the all-powerful and infinite One who began all things.

 


For Reflection

Connecting: Share an art or science class that you took in high school or college that you really enjoyed. What most inspired you in this class?

SharingRead Romans 1:18-21. What does Paul teach us regarding the sciences in this passage?

  1. God’s wrath will be expressed against false sciences and arts
  2. A revelation of God can be found in nature without Scripture
  3. The universe reveals the character of a loving Creator
  4. People without any knowledge of God can discover truths about the Lord in the sciences
  5. Unrighteous people may try to suppress truth about God, but they will be without excuse
  6. Other…

Applying: Your co-worker invites you to a star-gazing party and asks you to give a short talk on your personal beliefs about the universe. Write out your first three sentences along with three Bible verses that outline your convictions.

Valuing: Have you spent time observing God’s creation lately? Why not plan to meet with someone this next week to go for a walk in nature and to spend a little time praying and praising the Lord for the beauties of the earth and what they can teach us, through art and science, about the Creator?

~ Curtis Rittenour

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