Peter’s Counsel to Parents


Chapter 1—Western Normal Institute Address


Have you ever been asked to explain the advantages that a Christian education has over a secular one? Would you like to know how Ellen White would approach the subject? Near the beginning of this address to the young people, she says, “It is the purpose of our educational institutions to teach students how they may be partakers of the divine nature.” At first glance this description may sound more appropriate to one of the Oriental religions currently sweeping the world. What does it mean to be a partaker of divine nature? PCP 9.1

God does not wish to absorb His creatures into Himself like water into a sponge. Instead, He wants to see them develop and grow as individuals from their earliest years. The unique feature of Adventist Christianity is its emphasis on God's respect for the individual. Ellen White reminds us that we think too narrowly about God's sacrifice of His own Son. It wasn't just a matter of paying a debt for the sins of the human family. Jesus’ life demonstrated God's ideals for His creatures. Jesus’ ministry focused on revealing what men and women could become as children of God, particularly if they were taught to respond to His grace at a young age. PCP 9.2

In what follows, Ellen White is optimistic about personal development after the model of Christ. She describes the individual's growth process as a “plan of addition.” and she refers to God's ability to help us realize the goal of Christlikeness as “an eternal life insurance policy.” PCP 9.3