2. Who Are We?
2.2. What Do We Believe?
The National Institute has a strong biblical statement of belief which affirms the historic doctrines of the faith. Being an educational institution however, the National Institute is particularly interested in what the biblical narrative teaches about knowledge, humanity, creation and culture.
We believe that all knowledge comes from God - or, as Arthur Holmes put it, “All truth is God’s truth”. God is good to all and enables all kinds of people to discern truth from engagement with His creation. We therefore honour learning and insights from a range of sources. We also believe that the true, coherent meaning of knowledge is only found in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Bible. Furthermore, we believe that in our natural state people suppress the coherence of knowledge found in Christ and worship a god substitute. The ultimate faith in humanity is a common example.
We believe that human beings have great dignity due to their creation as God’s image bearers; that we were created to develop and care for the world God made; to reflect God’s character and to be in relationship with Him. We believe that humanity has rejected this relationship, image and task and, in seeking to be God, we have disowned our dignity and become enslaved to falsehood. We believe that this image is perfectly restored in the historic person of Jesus and progressively in those committed to Him.
We believe that creation is everything that exists, apart from God, and that everything was created according to God’s will and that it was “very good”. Although God’s hand can still be discerned in the order and beauty of creation, the world is not as it was meant to be. Because of human refusal to submit to God’s authority and rule as His representative, the creation has been given over to frustration and groaning. We believe, however that creation is still loved by its maker and is being restored through the obedient sacrifice of Jesus. We look towards and teach in the light of the new creation.
We believe that human culture is a part of God’s creation. The inherent dignity of humanity is that we have the task of ordering God’s world as we develop culture. In our natural state, despite God’s sustaining goodness, we develop culture in disobedient ways, reflecting the worship of god substitutes. And yet as part of God’s creation, we look towards the renewal of culture and seek to engage with it in the light of God’s ordering purposes as our minds are progressively renewed in the likeness of Jesus.
These biblical beliefs guide our scholarly endeavours as we exercise our task as a rigorous tertiary education institution. We acknowledge that our best efforts are tainted with compromise and ignorance and yet we are bold to proclaim that the National Institute seeks to celebrate the Lordship of Christ over all creation as we engage with the whole of the Bible for the whole of life.