The University Code

As summer simmers down, the Da Vinci Code-fever is also mercifully breaking. I only wish that the curiosity that drove 40 million people to read Brown’s thriller would drive millions more to take up a more noble quest—a quest for veritas, or truth. That’s a quest that Kelly Monroe Kullberg has been on since long before Dan Brown’s name became a household word. Kullberg’s real-life quest, detailed in her new book Finding God Beyond Harvard, led her through the gates and archives of America’s Ivy League institutions in a search for truth. She found clues in Harvard’s wrought iron gates etched with a mysterious Latin phrase, Christo et Ecclessiae, “For Christ and the Church,” and among Princeton’s founding records and ancient seals, which bore the motto, Vitam Mortuis Reddo, “I restore life to the dead.” Clues unfolded in Dartmouth’s Rollin Chapel where drywall covered over priceless stained-glass windows of a robed man, healing, hanging on a cross, emerging from a tomb. Kullberg did not need a cryptologist to decipher the code. And unlike the Da Vinci Code’s insinuations that there is a cover-up afoot in the Church, Kullberg found the real cover-up is happening in our universities, where academic elites are seeking to hide the fact that truth exists, that it is knowable, and that its foundation is Christ Himself. Kelly discovered this cover-up firsthand when she enrolled in Harvard Divinity School. She writes: “I went to Harvard Divinity School expecting to be challenged by both secular and Christian professors, students, and a broad curriculum. But by the end of the orientation lunch, I gathered that I was not to speak of Jesus or the Bible without a tone of erudite cynicism. I quickly learned that subtle mockery trumped reason. . . . Ironically, everything was tolerated except that for which Harvard College was founded—In Christi Gloriam—Jesus Christ’s glory.” But thankfully for thousands of university students, Kelly didn’t adopt the attitude of the culture around her. Instead, the hush-hush about the name of Jesus moved her to dig deeper. What she found was that her search for Truth led her again and again, not to a thing, but to the person of Jesus Christ. And so, what began as one student’s honest quest for truth led to a movement that is now on nearly fifty campuses. The Veritas Forum, which Kelly first organized on Harvard’s campus in 1992, encouraged students to ask the hard questions and gathered notable speakers, like Ravi Zacharias, who asked them, too, with talks like, “Is Atheism Dead?” Today Veritas Forums are still pointing students to the Truth, a not-so-secret “code” emblazoned for nearly two centuries in Harvard’s school shield. That shield combined the school’s motto, Veritas, with the name of Jesus, citing John 8:32, “If you hold to my teaching . . . then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” So if you’re ready for a real page-turner, I’d encourage you to pick up Kelly Kullberg’s Finding God Beyond Harvard and explore the clues that point to the most thrilling secret of all time: Christ is veritas, and you will be reminded that your job in life is to seek and defend that truth.  
For Further Reading and Information
Today’s BreakPoint offer: Rewired—a tool for teens, a tool for truth. Tell your youth pastor about it! Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Finding God Beyond Harvard (InterVarsity, 2006). Read excerpts from the book. Kelly Monroe, ed., Finding God at Harvard (Zondervan, 1997). Visit the Veritas Forum website. Mary Jacobs, “Author Q&A: Harvard Forum Lets Students Ask Deeper Questions,” United Methodist Reporter Interactive, 7 September 2006. Julia Thompson, “Accepted,” To the Source, 23 August 2006. BreakPoint Commentary No. 041221, “Avoiding the Freefall: Choosing a College.” BreakPoint Commentary No. 050812, “Fears and Fallacies: How to Stand Your Ground.” Ken Myers, “The Idea of the University,” BreakPoint WorldView, April 2004. Arthur F. Holmes, “Wanted: Christian Scholars!” BreakPoint WorldView, April 2004. David S. Dockery, “Integrating Faith and Learning in Higher Education,” speech, 20 September 2000. Gina R. Dalfonzo, “Seizing the Moment: Church, Culture, and The Da Vinci Code,” BreakPoint WorldView, March 2006.


Chuck Colson



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