In this day and age of the dominance of the evolution theory, it is encumbent upon the minister to know not only his Bible, but the scientific evidence that assuredly supports the Word. From the many statements in the writings of Ellen G. White, it is clear that an advanced theological training of a special degree and quality is demanded by the conditions of our time. In describing the need for such training, and the utter unpreparedness of those who do not receive this education, Mrs. White says:
"Neither can they successfully meet the strange forms of error, religious and philosophical combined, to expose which requires knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural truth."—"Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 390.
It seems self-evident that "the strange forms of error" here referred to include the various aspects of the evolution philosophy which we see all around us. And it is certainly a fact that young ministers need "a knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural truth" in order to be prepared to meet these modern issues. Here, then, is an aspect of advanced ministerial training which has hitherto been too neglected, but which is urgently needed today. Again, we are told:
"A knowledge of science of all kinds is power, and it is the purpose of God that advanced science shall be taught in our school as a preparation for the work that is to precede the closing scenes of earth's history. The truth is to go to the remotest bounds of the earth, through agents trained for the work."—"Fundamentals of Christian Education," p. 286.
Some may contend that the "advanced science" here spoken of means the various lines of science embraced by the field of medicine. But even though it may include the medical sciences, we should not limit the meaning to this branch alone. Especially in view of the "strange forms of error, religious and philosophical combined," which we find all around us, we shall be making a sad mistake if we do not realize that the times demand a special preparation to meet the specific needs of the world today—a world sick in body, headed for ruin because of false ideas and false theories.
It was said regarding our first college that it should "take a higher position in an educational point of view than any other institution of learning." And the particular way in which this was to be accomplished is stated thus: "The great object in the establishment of our college was to give correct views, showing the harmony of science and Bible religion."—"Testimonies," Vol. IV, p. 274. Battle Creek College is no more. Instead, we have a number of colleges here and there, but there can be no doubt that the original object in the founding of our first college should still be the aim of all our advanced training schools.
All our colleges carry on acceptable work in the various laboratory sciences, and doubtless these sciences are being taught from the Christian point of view. But it seems that this is not enough. For the special training of our young ministers and other public workers, we need to offer other fields of science which will correlate the results of all scientific study, and show in a definite, concrete manner the ways in which all the modern scientific discoveries are in harmony with Bible religion.
It is only a matter of common sense for us to say that all this means advanced work, very advanced work. It means that these other sciences will probably have to be added to what we have already been giving. What we have been offering is good and necessary. But here is a program of preparing a few capable workers to engage in a very special line of work for these times.
It seems that this is what is referred to as the advanced science which is to be taught in our schools, "as a preparation for the work that is to precede the closing scenes of earth's history." It is not mere scientific work of the laboratory kind that is here referred to; but a wider and higher sort, a gathering up of the results of all that has been discovered, and placing these modern facts in a real Biblical setting, as demanded by the needs of the present day.
Every year we spend thousands of dollars for equipment, and for the teaching of such laboratory sciences as physics, chemistry, and biology. But what is being done in actually preparing our graduates to correlate all these modern sciences together, and to see their bearings on the religious and philosophical problems which they will meet as soon as they step outside college doors? This is a very urgent need confronting our colleges at the present time.