Conservative Teaching @ a Liberal Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 1, 2009.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an interest:

    Gentle people:

    I hope what I have presented on the BB over my tenure here has been perceived and received that I have and hold to a conservative theology and high view of Scripture. With that being said, I want to put forth a question to all of you:

    How would you (do you) feel (I don't like the word) about one such as myself teaching at a Liberal and Ecumenical seminary? I have taught (lead or facilitated) a Spiritual Formations group at a Liberal seminary here abouts this past year.

    Questions, views, even "angry exhortations?" Please be kind. I know what God's will is for me and that may not fit your paradigm. Please be kind in your expressions and opinions.

    I know that I am opening myself up to slander and ridicule. I only hope that my past integrity will carry me and be coupled with your grace of attitude and comment.:praying:

    "That is all!"
     
    #1 Rhetorician, May 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2009
  2. webdog

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    What would you be teaching?
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Webdog Response

    Webdog,

    Thanks for the inquiry;

    I was teaching, leading, facilitating Spiritual Formations.

    Thanks!:laugh:
     
  4. webdog

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    Your wording made it seem like Spiritual Formations was something you taught in the past, and that a new opportunity has presented itself.

    Honestly, does it matter what man thinks if God leads you?
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    Teach, listen, read, pray, discuss and learn. Always be open to God showing new truth ... accept truth where you find it. My personal philosophy.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Rhetorician, As you know, I received my doctorate and masters at the most liberal university in America; Chicago Divinity, and taught at a semi-liberal school in Canada for 25 years.

    It is not the most comfortable place to be, but my view was that I had opportunity to influence some of the future ministers in liberal churches.

    I know of some who were saved, and I know of some that preach an evangelical gospel to-day. If we influence one, have we not gained?

    I consider myself to be an evangelical conservative and hold strongly to the basic fundamental doctrines.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. michaelbowe

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    Rhetorician:

    I am not sure if you know, but I am not a conservative. I fall in the moderate to left on some issues, and moderate to right on others. I also attend a moderate to liberal seminary, and find the education process insightful. The cry of moderate to liberal clergy is good scholarly education. There is a claim that the 6 SBC seminaries only indoctrinate not educate to train. I do not know the accuracy of such a statement because I have never attended nor visited any of the 6, they would not be a good fit for me. If they are for anyone here, Great!!! If you are qualified, and by the post I assume you are, and if you have the opportunity, which I assume you do, then go for it. I only caution about fitting. You would not be comfortable at a moderate to liberal church, just as I would not be at a super conservative one. While seminary/academia is not church there is a faith community, at least in the seminary circles. Anyway, liberal seminaries do not have issues with conservatives, just a different view of interpretation. If you can handle these differences then have a blast.

    Michael Bowe

    p.s. Are you a member of SBL?
     
  8. michaelbowe

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    I think harvard Divinity falls under the most liberal at this point, but I'm sure there is great debate over this subject.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    Rhet, you go where God leads you and do what He leads you to do. Everybody else will just have to work how they feel with thier own self.:thumbs:
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    I agree with those above who have said go where God leads. Sound advice.

    Liberal, moderate, conservative...they're all labels and it depends on one's perspective. One man's liberal is another conservative. :)
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    Rhet, a little conservative salt and light will do that seminary some good. Bloom where the Lord plants you.
     
  12. gb93433

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    I would be more concerned with the attitude then the label. Those who listen and enjoy challenges are far better than those who think they know everything.

    For example, how does one deal with the issue of female deacons in a church and what is the historical teaching and practice. Some conservatives I know would simply ignore that issue and never deal with it. They would continue to follow the party line rather than accept the challenge of dealing with the issue. There are some real and not very real issues on the other side of the fence that can sharpen a person.

    I do not see in scripture where one with God is a minority.
     
  13. JohnDeereFan

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    I think it depends on the seminary. If they're orthodox in their doctrine, but liberal in the application of that teaching, then I think it would be OK, as long as you proceed wisely.

    Ain't that the truth. I've only been here a short time, but one of the things I learned pretty quickly is to keep your guard up.

    I never thought I'd find a message board that made ChristianForums look friendly by comparison.
     
  14. PilgrimPastor

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    I am very conservative in biblical terms, well socially too. I always intended to Pastor a Baptist or Independent Bible Church but circumstances (God) led me into the Congregational Churches. Many (Most) of my Congregational brethren are liberal.

    I have found, though, that God has given me a great ministry to many folks who are honest about Christ but have just not tended to have ministers who were honest about what the Bible actually teaches. In my current Church there are many who have always loved the Lord but had Liberal Pastors. For these types of people, it is a great blessing to have the Bible opened up and Evangelical theology preached / taught.

    I think that if your moorings are solid then it is a good idea. For a brand new or very young Pastor or Teacher, I would say not so much. When you are inundated with Liberal Theology, the pull is strong toward it.
     
    #14 PilgrimPastor, May 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2009
  15. Pastor Larry

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    It probably won't be a surprise that I am the odd man here, and I will probably get more grief for my comments than you will for yours, but I am uncomfortable with it at best.

    Depending on the seminary and how liberal it is, it seems you are participating approvingly with apostates and unbelievers who deny the Word and the gospel. These are the people that Paul said to mark, expose, and separate from. Teaching spiritual formation does not seem to fit the NT pattern. Preaching the gospel and converting unbelievers is not the purpose of seminary education. These are seminaries who attack the very foundations of the faith. This is not a small matter. To be a colleague with them is outside the bounds of Scripture, is it not?

    If they were inviting you to give a contrary view, that would be one thing. But being on the faculty is going to appear that there is a high degree of approval of their doctrine and practice. I think Scripture seems clear about that.
     
  16. TomVols

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    How is being on staff failing to be seperate from them, but being there to give a contrary view is not? Just curious. Isn't both a level of association?
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    It's both association, but of a different nature. One is confrontational (I don't mean nasty and ugly, but it confronts the error); the other is collegial. One is to teach in opposition to; the other is to teach in conjunction with.
     
  18. michaelbowe

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    Your not the odd man here. I mentioned concerning about being able to fit. There are certain tendencies to a "liberal" seminary, but if both parties know the theological positions of one another and understand, what will happen then things should be fine. In general, things do not work well that way; I do not know many seminaries that hire to teach opposition theology/spirituality etc. There is conflict, ugly debates, and ostracized. I think there would be a difficulty finding colleagues doing this. There is a problem of fitting in.
     
  19. Havensdad

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    A conservative in a Liberal seminary, huh?

    I knew this guy Al Mohler, once...:laugh:
     
  20. michaelbowe

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    I'm confused. Are you stating Al Mohler is not conservative?
     

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