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Protect Your Noggin


Oct 27, 2020

If an academically free space is possible in society, it can only exist at a Christian University. 

Some folks mistakenly think that the Lutheran Confessions represent a constraint on an individual believer's freedom, or a way to give churches conclusions about Scripture that allow members to bypass the important work of engaging directly with the Bible. While recognizing that the Lutheran Confessions can be misapplied in such ways, I will explain how a philosophy of knowledge (epistemology) inspired by William of Ockham and adapted by Martin Luther made it possible for laypeople to stand boldly for the Gospel with a shared Confession, despite authoritarian political and religious pressures. I will show how this same Lutheran approach to knowledge can help protect the minds of all congregation members, especially young people, from spiritual abuse and various forms of manipulation. I will offer practical suggestions about how Lutheran church-related education--whether it be in schools, confirmation classes, or adult studies—can cultivate healthy critical thinking and empowerment of individuals who confess Christ.