Pastoral Notes - August 20, 2017

Last week we began a three-week sermon series entitled, “From Generation to Generation.” The aim of this series is simple—to awaken or reawaken us to the biblical priority of passing on the truth of the gospel to the next generation.

This priority—passing on the truth of the gospel to the next generation—has been a central value of Cornerstone from the very beginning. And it’s one of the reasons we’ve joyfully hosted and closely partnered with New College Franklin (NCF).

Beginning ten years ago in 2007, NCF exists to train up the next generation in the Lord. As noted on the NCF website, true education doesn’t merely train for the marketplace, though that’s critical. Instead, the focus is “… cultivating the physical, spiritual, and mental aspects of man into the image of Christ.”

For centuries, the curriculum for such holistic training has been the liberal arts or the freeing disciplines. NCF walks in this classical tradition, immersing students in the drama of history—that is, God’s story—by engaging deeply the great classics of literature, theology, philosophy, poetics, mathematics, science, art, architecture, music, and language.

What I love about NCF is that the academics, though important, are not the point. At NCF, it’s not just about being smart; it’s about being sanctified and ready to serve. As the mission statement makes plain, the study of the liberal arts is simply a means of pursuing “…godly wisdom in order to form students to be missionally equipped for lives of humble service wherever God may direct them.” 

And the Lord sure has called and directed New College Franklin graduates in many different directions over the years. There are graduates in seminary, business, ministry, finance, education, graphic design, medicine, politics, marketing, and more.

As an adjunct faculty member, I’ve worked closely with faculty and administration at NCF. I’ve also had the privilege teaching students of NCF theology and other electives. From top to bottom, I’ve seen first-hand the commitment to growing in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom for the purpose of living ordinary lives of Christian loving service.

Further, as the Pastor of Cornerstone, I’ve had the double privilege of watching a number of NCF faculty and students become active members of our fellowship, attending and serving in so many ways within our body. Truth is, one of the big blessings behind, underneath, and running through the community of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church is the presence of NCF in our midst. 

We want you to get to know New College Franklin better. To that end, you’ll hear reports this morning about the ministry of NCF, including ways that you can get to know, befriend, pray for, and support this important ministry. To learn still more about the college, take time to visit their website at and like them on Facebook.