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2000 Issue 4

A commencement address delivered at the first graduating class of Geneva Academy, June 9, 2000, an educational ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church (RPCUS), Buford, Ga., and humbly offered to all the graduating students among our readership for your encouragement and to challenge you to undertake yet greater works for Jesus Christ.

It is a tremendous honor for me to be here with you this evening as you graduate from high school. I praise the Lord for the good report I have heard of your faith, hope, love, and commitment to his kingdom. The Lord is going to continue his good work in you, and I fully expect he will defeat his enemies and build his Church through your courage. and dedication. May the Lord bless and keep you now and forever as you seek first his kingdom and righteousness.

When we see the words Reformed and Scholasticism next to one another we might scratch our heads and think we are reading an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp. The two terms do not seem to belong together. Just as Tertullian (160-220) once asked what Jerusalem had to do with Athens when wondering what Greek philosophy had to do with Christianity, we might wonder what Reformed theology has to do with scholasticism? Are not these terms like proverbial oil and water? After all, was it not medieval scholastic theologians who debated inane subjects such as how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? Is not scholasticism associated with philosophical speculation that was swept away by the Reformation? The simple answer to these questions is, No. More often than not, there is more myth than truth surrounding the term scholasticism. Moreover, it might surprise some to find out that there is a Reformed version of scholastic theology. In order to define Reformed Scholasticism we want to: (1) define the term scholasticism; (2) show what Reformed Scholastic theology looks like from the pen of one of its advocates; and (3) then examine how the church can benefit from this type of Reformed theology. With this general plan, let us proceed and define the term scholasticism.

The question is often asked by children, "Why do I have to study this?" And the answer is of course, "Because it will do you good." This is especially so when we come to the subject of history. Few things are so calculated to "do us good" as studying those things God has done in times past. This is the reason why the Psalmist in Psalm 78 emphasizes the importance of knowing the mighty works of God, "We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments." (Psalm 78:4-7).

This article will attempt to demonstrate the necessity of an explicitly Christian view of medicine by examining the field in light of its presuppositions and characteristics as a profession. The creedal, ministerial, and non-neutral aspects of medicine will be briefly examined followed by suggestions for bringing this field under the authority and dominion of Christ.

In the 5th Century BC, a physician by the name of Hippocrates formulated the basic tenets of ethical conduct for physicians. The Hippocratic Oath defined the duties and boundaries within the doctor-patient relationship and contained the three basic elements of a covenant: oath, obligation, and a penalty for violating the terms of the covenant.

Having been a high school principal, teacher, and parent, I have heard more than one hundred student graduation speeches. I was quite impressed on the night of Geneva Academy's first graduation to hear Josh Bailey's challenging address to himself and his classmates. Never have I heard a young man take a stand for Jesus Christ and challenge others to do the same in the way Josh did. He explained to his listeners in emphatic terms, backed by scripture, what it means to live for Jesus Christ. Josh cited that the world will present temptations, but strength from Christ enables the Christian to withstand those temptations. It became obvious to me, not far into the speech, that Christ has his hand on this young man and has provided some tremendous Christian teaching since early childhood from his parents, his ministers, and the teachers in the Christian schools he has attended the last two years. Josh is a prime example of the kind of student we want all of our graduates of Geneva Academy to be -- devotedly Christian with an eagerness for learning throughout life!

What are God's works of providence? A. God's works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to His own glory. - Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 18.

Having created the world, how does God relate to it day by day? For some the course of the world is determined by unbending and impersonal laws inherent in nature, with no law-giver or governor behind or above those laws. For others an intelligent being exists behind the universe, but it is "beneath" him to have any concern for the particulars of human life. Still others see God as the creator, who made the world much like a watchmaker makes a watch; but who then steps out of the picture, leaving the watch to run down by itself. And for pantheists, who believe everything is God, all events and movements in the universe are simply God acting and developing toward an absolutely open-ended, i.e., unpredestined, future.