Glorifying God and Enjoying Him Forever

How do we think about what to teach in RUF?

This coming fall I’ll be teaching through the early chapters of Genesis at Harvard. There are plenty of reasons why it could be a headache. For one thing, these chapters come with plenty of interpretational arguments. For another they can seem really bizarre to modern readers. More than that, they confront some of the most deeply entrenched positions of the modern world – our sense that God is distant (if there even is one), our self-defining intuitions, and our simultaneous indifference and romanticism about the world.

Yet there are reasons to take students here. In the early chapters of the first book of Scripture, we see the foundational features of a biblical world- and life-view. Here we hear the initial notes upon which the rest of God's revelation will improvise. Here we find material on nearly all of the pressing issues of college life: work and rest, sex and relationships, justice and mercy.

We also, most importantly, find the basics about who we are and why we were made. God made everything out of his love and joy, and he made us to bask in his presence. For all the grandeur of God’s creation, for all beauty of it, for all the brilliance of humanity, there is one thing that makes our life really worth living – being in God’s light, life, and love. Here we find that majestic hope for our lives held out!

There’s no better place to take students than back to the fundamental reality that we were made to glorify God and enjoy him. Perhaps no one puts it better than Augustine of Hippo in the opening of his Confessions:

Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise, your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we humans, who are a due part of your creation, long to praise you – we who carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. Yet these humans, due part of your creation as they are, still do long to praise you. You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you.

Jeremy Mullen, Campus Minister at Harvard
August 8, 2014 • 610-691-0988 • 631 Fourth Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018