800 years ago, the people of Pisa in Italy decided to build a tower. The tower was to have bells that would ring out to the surrounding countryside as witness to the glory of God.
Things began to go wrong almost at once. After three stories had been completed, the tower developed an ominous lean to the north. Construction stopped for about 100 years. Then four more stories were added, built at an angle to shift the weight away from the tilt. But this caused the tower to begin to lean the other way.
Countless architects persisted with the curious structure for another century, trying to compensate for the ever-increasing tilt. The result was that the tower not only continued to lean, but took on a slight curve, like a banana.
The last story was added in 1372. Since then, generations of engineers have tried in vain to save the tower from its slow demise. World War II dictator Benito Mussolini ordered it to be straightened by adding hundreds of tons of concrete to the base. it only made matters worse.
The problem is the foundation. The tower is built on weak, unstable subsoil that could not support its weight. Sooner or later the tower will topple, although modern engineers have added 800 tons of lead to the base, perhaps stabilizing it for another 300 years.
Let’s hope so, because it is one of the world’s architectural treasures. But sadly, most people who see it don’t think of it as a building dedicated to reflect the glory of God. The first impulse is to laugh, and then to wonder what’s keeping it from falling down.
The leaning tower of faith
Do you ever feel that your faith is a bit like that tower? Most of us have not learned to be Christians in a systematic way. It has been a bit here, a bit there, with experiences adding up and knowledge of doctrine and the Bible coming together in a haphazard way. Like the builders of the Tower of Pisa, you keep going, but you are not really confident of your foundations. You’d like to be better equipped for the Christian life, and better equipped for service.
We have some classes that we believe will help you do that. Foundations of Christian Faith consists of four classes specially designed to equip men and women for more informed and effective service in the gospel. The first class, Spiritual Formation, provides practical help for students to develop their personal and corporate spiritual lives. Next, Survey of the Bible takes you on a grand tour of the world’s most important Book. Then, Foundations of Faith takes you through the basics of what Christians believe and why—how we can know God, what God has done for the world through Jesus Christ, the reality and power of grace, and how God equips us for our journey of faith. And finally, Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ explores the life, death and resurrection of Jesus with an in-depth look at his teachings and how they apply today, including an important segment on the principles of sound Bible study.
“I have been filled completely and highly blessed by the classes. I recommend them to all! Thank you for the opportunity to study Gods word in such a way.”
“I’m thoroughly enjoying this class (SF) and highly recommend it.”
Perhaps Ambassador College of Christian Ministry can help you too. For more information visit www.ambascol.org today.
For those who are interesting in more advanced study, see Grace Communion Seminary, at www.gcs.edu