Last night I checked the mail and it is official. All my requirements for my Master’s Degree from Moody Graduate School are now complete. I started six years ago almost to the day.
Thanks to the good people of First Baptist Church in Fremont, Michigan and the support of my family and others, I have been able to accomplish and life-long goal. In May I will get to do what I set out to do in August of 1977 when I was only eighteen years old. I will graduate from Moody Bible Institute, the Graduate School. I have met with God there at Moody many times. The place is sacred ground to thousands and I am among them. It has always been a very good place to learn, for me.
Have you ever considered, though, that formal theological institutions like Moody are not the primary place God intends for people to learn? There is no institution on earth that is better equipped as a place of learning than the simplest Christian home. There are no professional teachers or professors who can have the impact that a father or a mother can have on a child in the home.
The idea that the primary place to learn theology is in high-arched halls of academia did not come from the Bible. Oh, anyplace is a good place to learn theology, including theological institutions, but the primary place God intends for us to learn theology is at our father’s side, at our mother’s feet, and in our Grandpa’s lap.
Maybe the best context for learning God’s truth is beside a generous piece of our Grandmother’s apple pie, hot from the oven, cooled by homemade vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with caramel. According to Psalm 78 and Deuteronomy 6 home is the best place to learn theology. Home is where theology really sticks to your ribs. That is why we are commanded to do theology at home.
Last Thursday night we were lying in bed. Our six-year-old, Hope joined us for a few minutes. Suddenly she popped up and said, “Hey, Dad, you know what I’m going to eat tomorrow?”
“No, sweetie. What are you going to eat?”
“Fries,” she said. “You wanna’ know why?”
“Why are you going to eat fries tomorrow?” I asked.
Then she flashed a smile, showing two missing teeth and said with perfect timing and specific emphasis, “Because tomorrow is FRI-day.”
She’s learning lessons in humor and she hasn’t ever been to a school.
The greatest Teacher who ever graced the earth changed the world by training a dozen men as they walked the lakeshore, camped out in the mountains, went fishing, and jostled through the city rubbing shoulders with raw humanity. That’s the way it is at home. Learning just slips up on you when you aren’t paying attention and before you know it you have a lesson in your heart you will never forget. There are so many good things about home. One of them is that it is a great place to teach and learn the most important lessons in life. I am devoted to learning and teaching in my home every day.
Riverfront Character Inn
January 9, 2006
Note from June 2020: This month the country has exploded into demonstrations and racial tension. While reflecing on this it occurred to me that home is where you learn racial prejudice or other ungodly attitudes when they are expressed in the powerful context of conversations with the people who influence us the most.