Praise the Source of Faith and Learning

Back to schoolSchool is just around the corner and parents around the parish are rejoicing while children and youth feverishly finish summer reading, select first-day attire, and change out Facebook cover photos.  Education is one of the most, if not the most important community investment. Over the next year students will strive to stretch the mind with Math and Science, understand the power of words with English and Literature, surround themselves with stories from the past to better understand our present identity through History, reinforce the connection between mind and body through Physical Education, unlock the culture-shaping beauty of the Arts, and so much more.

faith and reasonSome might say that exploration, investigation, reason, and questioning have no room in faith traditions.  This is a sad conclusion.  An ignorant faith breeds terror and a fear of others.  A faithless knowledge gives birth to pride and a fearful lust for power.  To express the beauty of faith and education’s marriage, I will share with you a hymn from the United Methodist tradition titled, “Praise the Source of Faith and Learning.”


Praise the source of faith and learning

That has sparked and stoked the mind

With a passion for discerning

How the world has been designed


Let the sense of wonder flowing

From the wonders we survey

Keep our faith forever growing

And renew our need to pray


May our faith redeem the blunder

Of believing that our thought

Has displaced the grounds for wonder

Which the ancient prophets taught


May our learning curb the error

Which unthinking faith can breed

Lest we justify some terror

With an antiquated creed.


As two currents in a river

Fight each others undertow

Till converging they deliver

One coherent steady flow


Bled, O God, our faith and learning

Till they carve a single course

Till they join as one returning

Praise and thanks to you, their Source.

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Andy Robertson

Sometimes we sing hymns without paying attention to the words. “Praise the Source of Earth and Learning includes the words:

May our learning curb the error
Which unthinking faith can breed
Lest we justify some terror
with an antiquated creed.

The words are by Thomas H. Troeger, copyright 1987. What is he trying to say? What are we afraid of? What is the terror? Are we afraid of war, the atomic bombs, or homosexuality? Or, is he speaking of blowing up abortion clinics or picketing funerals?

A creed is something which “I believe”. I believe that slavery is wrong. Paul does not speak out against slavery in the testament. I would agree that I have the freedom to disagree with other creeds. I do not understand being terrified by the beliefs or actions of others.


Thanks your your comment, Andy. I can’t speak for Troeger of what his specific fear was, but an unthinking, or I would add, an unaccountable faith, can certainly give birth to terrible things in the name of God. Thanks!


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