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Chapel Honors Former Professor, Seeks Knowledge of God

October 23, 2008

Jett spoke about the omniscience of God, the quest for knowledge, and a source of inspiration for his own learning - James Hurley, a longtime OBU professor for whom Jett's professorship was named.

The chapel service also included an announcement by John Parrish, OBU interim president, of an endowment fund for OBU's biology department begun through Dr. Hurley's estate.

In continuation of OBU's 2008 chapel series, based on A.W. Tozer's book "The Knowledge of the Holy," Jett challenged students to grow in their knowledge of God as well as to use the intellect imparted to them in their studies at OBU, while realizing that humans will never be on the same knowledge level as God.

"We should position ourselves where the new ideas will reveal themselves, because if we neglect the ability to improve ourselves, we will perish," Jett said. He quoted from Proverbs 29:18, which says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

Although humans do not have the ability to know everything in the way God Almighty does, continual striving to do so is vital in obtaining one's full potential, Jett contended. He said one way to study God is to pay close attention to nature.

"Learning about the universe is learning about God," Jett said.

Not only must students ask questions and conduct research to learn, but Jett challenged students to apply the knowledge they obtain to life. But acquiring knowledge comes with a warning, Jett said: it is important to not let the knowledge go to your head. He pointed to 1 Corinthians 8:2, which says, "And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know."

Jett said his learning and teaching is inspired by his former OBU biology professor. Hurley, who died in 2004, taught biology at the university for nearly four decades. Jett joined the OBU faculty in 1998 to fill the faculty post vacated by Hurley.

Jett described his mentor as "a symbol of academic excellence, and the integration of faith in learning."

Through his estate, Hurley, a lifelong educator, contributed $1.5 million to bolster an endowed fund for OBU's biology department.