16 Feb Seminary in Church
I was sent this article by a friend today that appeared in Ligonier’s TableTalk magazine. It is refreshing to hear a seminary president affirm what I have a passion for. Given finances and jobs and time, it would be easy for a seminary to try and replace the church by way of theological education. There must be a sweet wedding between the reclusive theologian and the beautiful bride. The first step is acknowledging that everyone is a theologian. The question is how faithful one is to the text of Scripture.In other words, we cannot think that merely having an M.Div or PhD or some other title equips us to rightly divide the Word of truth. What is more, a degree does not guarantee that a theologian will advance the Kingdom of God on earth through lovingly rebuking and admonishing others in the faith.After tracing the history of the Church and seminary, Mohler writes:All this points to the fact that a theological seminary, if it is to remain faithful, must be directly accountable to its churches. Lacking this accountability, the institution will inevitably drift toward heterodox teachings. A robust confessionalism is necessary, but the constant oversight of churches is of equal importance… The local church should see theological education as its own responsibility before it partners with a theological seminary for concentrated studies. The seminary can provide a depth and breadth of formal studies — all needed by the minister — but it cannot replace the local church as the context where ministry is learned most directly.