About This Journal
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Biblical Foundation of Faith and Learning (JBFFL). We are grateful to so many professionals for the progress made over the past couple years towards making this dream a reality. We would like to thank Ed and Ann Zinke for their dedication to an emphasis on a Biblical Foundation and the importance of the Christian biblical worldview on Adventist university campuses. They have been the impetus behind this project. Their vision is finally being realized. We also would like to thank Bob Young, Vice President for Academic Administration for partnering with the Zinkes and for his steady guidance throughout the development phase which began in 2011 with the first Southern Biblical Foundation of Faith and Learning Conference.
We would like to thank Cynthia Gettys, Executive Editor, for her consistent efforts and commitment which have brought us to the launch of our first issue. A special thank you to the staff at McKee Library and former director Dr. Dan Maxwell for arranging for the cover graphic designed by Sarah Scott Gist, a Southern 2015 BFA graduate with a double major in Graphic Arts and Fine Art. Thank you also to Pamela Jansen, J.D., McKee Library Librarian who served as managing editor during the summer of months of 2016, as well as student workers: Amanda Ruff, Jasmin Flores, Denise Blanton, and Sydney Reed who have assisted behind the scenes to help make this journal a reality. Additionally we would like to thank the blind reviewers and theologian who supported the authors as the papers reached final published form. Finally we would like to thank Southern’s Biblical Foundations of Faith and Learning Conference Organizing Steering Committee: Robert Young, Greg King, Keith Snyder, Ed Zinke, John Wesley Taylor (through 2013), and Cynthia Gettys (beginning in 2013) for spear-heading this entire endeavor.
The Journal of The Biblical Foundations of Faith and Learning (JBFFL) has been established to share scholarly papers building an intentional Adventist biblical foundation within courses offered on Seventh-day Adventist college and university campuses. More specifically the JBFFL is designed to disseminate the knowledge and experience gained by professors who are currently teaching at Southern Adventist University. This peer-reviewed journal calls for an intentional paradigm shift from humanism to biblical thinking in college and university classrooms. The scholarly papers shared in this issue of the JBFFL were originally prepared by and presented by faculty from Southern Adventist University at the 2015 Biblical Foundations of Faith and Learning Conference. This conference was supported with generous gifts of time and monetary resources by Ed and Ann Zinke.
The fundamental issue in the discussion of the relationship between faith and learning is the question of foundational authority. Such authority provides one’s worldview which makes possible a cohesive understanding of the world in which we live. How do we know what we know, and what foundation provides the lens through which we understand the world? The pages of this journal will speak against rationalism, empiricism, existentialism, and any other form of humanism that makes some aspect of humankind the foundation and measure of all things, as that role should be reserved for God and His word alone.
Adventist professors acknowledge that secularism and materialism are fundamentally opposed to the biblical message, for they are humanistic at their foundation. Yet in public university preparation coursework, many have often been taught to accept other ideas equally, such as empiricism and rationalism as a foundation of life and thought. Some may see these epistemologies as producing criteria for our acceptance of truth in the Bible and as providing the foundation for our understanding of the world. Professors may make a clear distinction between the material world that God has given us to use and enjoy and the materialism that makes material goods the god of our lives; yet often fail to make that same distinction between reason and rationalism, the five senses, and empiricisms. Professors may critique the world within which we live for its commercialism, immorality, and materialism; yet accept the world’s humanistic epistemologies as providing the framework within which the world should be known and understood, and in which our lives should be lived. This journal is intended to assist professors to teach from an Adventist biblical worldview and make clear distinctions as they analyze their own perceptions through a biblical lens rather than through humanistic epistemologies.
The Seventh-day Adventist church was founded and grew up with “the Rock,” “the Word of God,” and “Sola Scriptura.” Now that our denomination is one hundred fifty plus years old, the following questions arise: Do we still understand its significance? In the 1800’s and 1900’s we were well known as “the people of The Book.” Our mission was tied to its message; but the question remains, do we still comprehend what it meant to say? Is not the Bible the authority not only for our theology, but also for our lives and how we interpret the world around us? If so, what are we doing to pass this understanding on to our university students as they develop their own worldviews?
In an effort to support scholarly thinking and share it with faculty members not attending the Biblical Foundations of Faith and Learning Conference (BFFLC), JBFFL Volume #1 is a summary of papers from the March, 2015 BFFLC. JBFFL Volume #2 is a summary of papers from the March, 2011 BFFLC. Volume #3 will include papers from the upcoming March 2017 BFFLC; and additional volumes will be published following each conference.
Please enjoy this first edition of our e-journal and keep the feedback coming! We are eager to make each of the upcoming volumes informative and filled with best practices and applied research about teaching from a Biblical Foundation. Please check back regularly for new editions of this journal. We anticipate publishing Volume 2 soon, and Volume 3 following the 2017 spring break Biblical Foundation of Faith and Learning Conference in the Eastern Caribbean, during the summer of 2017.
See the Aims and Scope for a complete coverage of the journal.