Degree- worth the paper?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Luke2427, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    In a previous thread Amy made the following observation:


    It should be noted that havensdad never said that laymen could not understand the Word of God. He, I am certain, does not believe that as I am sure NO ONE on here does. He was mischaracterized in the above words.

    But he stated that it is striking that those who are most educated tend to be Calvinistic. Now I don't know if that is in and of itself true. I think it is probably accurate seeing that Presbyterian pastors usually have to have at least a seminary degree and that the largest Southern Baptist Seminary, which is also the largest on earth at times, is thoroughly Calvinistic. But that is for another thread.

    What this thread is about is this- Is it arrogant to say that people who are thoroughly theologically trained and educated tend to have a stronger grasp on the Scriptures than those who have no formal training whatsoever in this matter?

    Is it not also arrogance for laity to assume that they can go to the Bible and dig out as much or more than those who have dedicated a decade of their lives in universities specializing in the study of the Scriptures?

    Is it not the epitome of arrogance to not do the work that others have done and then claim that you are at least as able as they are?

    A laymen can go to the Bible and get all he needs.

    A scholar can go and get more by way of historical grammatical exposition.

    If this is not true then why do we have seminaries?

    Isn't it arrogant for a person who has little more than a Sunday School education to act as if he knows at least as much about the Bible as one who has painstakingly and at great expense dedicated his LIFE to the study of it?
     
  2. matt wade

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    I think it is arrogant to believe that a person must attend a university or seminary to dedicate their life to the study of God's Word. Your statement seems to infer that unless one attends a "place of higher learning" that they are unable to study the Bible beyond a Sunday School level. Maybe that wasn't your intent, but it reads that way to me.
     
  3. Winman

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    It depends. If you go to a Catholic seminary you will have a thorough education in error. You will understand the scriptures not for what they say, but for what you are taught.

    Education can be both good and bad. In the 1930's the German people were the most literate and educated people on earth. Why did Germans embrace Hitler's theories of race and superiority? Because the Germans were thoroughly indoctrinated in the theory of evolution. They were taught that some people were more advanced than others, and the "survival of the fittest". They were taught that it is right for a superior race to eliminate an inferior race so that mankind would be advanced.

    That is why it was easy for them to send millions into the gas chambers and ovens.

    Being educated does not mean a person can think critically.
     
    #3 Winman, Dec 4, 2010
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  4. exscentric

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    Seems to me over the years I've seen both types look down their noses at the other but thankfully there are many in between that realize God leads/teaches believers in different ways for different purposes and seems to assure each one knows what they need to know for His purpose.
     
  5. Luke2427

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    That is not what I mean. I think all born again Christians devote their lives to the study of the Word of God.

    But those who go the extra mile and at great expense painstakingly devote years of their lives to NOTHING but the study of the Scriptures- spending thousands of dollars and thousands of hours with their tired faces buried in theological and linguistic books and their ears tuned to brilliant professors and their hearts fixed on little more than being proficient at ministering for Christ in this world- I am saying that it is not arrogant to say that those folks have a leg up on laymen who live the most of their lives in the secular world.
     
  6. Luke2427

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    This thread is about good education being a great advantage in the understanding of the Scriptures.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    An education is just that. It provides tools of study. You observe information and make decisions on its truth. You decide what that piece of paper means to you. Far too many place far too much imporance on a piece of paper.

    You will express your education as soon as you opwen your mouth. Perhaps we should learn to shut up.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    There was a laddie in college named Breeze,
    Weighed down with Ba's and Bd's,
    Said the doctor, "It's plain,"
    "You're killing yourself by degrees."
     
  8. John Toppass

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    It is definitely arrogant to think that Holy Spirit will guide one person more than another when they earnestly seek God's Word and Will. The level of education does not make one more worthy than another. Just as age does not necessarily make one smarter than one who is younger (tho that trend sometimes does not seem to hold here).

    The guidance of the Holy Spirit trumps all levels of education! This is spoken with authority!
     
  9. Luke2427

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    Are those who dedicate thousands of hours and many thousands more dollars to becoming proficient at the study and ministry of the Word of God doomed to be void of the Holy Spirit?

    Are only those who do not make such investments in the Kingdom privileged to be filled with Spirit?


    Should we not then close Seminaries if they do not give their students advantages in ministry work?

    Shouldn't we take those billions of dollars poured into those seminaries and build prayer chapels where young men are told to go and pray until they get filled with the Spirit and never burden themselves with the study of linguistics and theology and Church History?

    Are the thousands of young men in Protestant Seminaries wasting their time and tears and treasures and talents in such places since all they really need is to get the Holy Ghost?

    Or do you suppose that God might have called those people to those places and fill many of them to the brim with the Holy Spirit for dedicating their lives so completely to the study of His Word?
     
    #9 Luke2427, Dec 4, 2010
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  10. Winman

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    What you consider a good education I would probably consider indoctrination in error.

    If you are being taught error, then education is not a great advantage, it is a great detriment.
     
  11. Luke2427

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    That's a shame. I am attending Liberty University which is no Calvinistic institution.

    Where did you go?
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Even errors can teach! Again, it is the student who must learn, and error oftens opens truth.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. John Toppass

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    Maybe if you read slowly what I wrote, you will see that nothing you have responded to was even said in my post.
     
  14. Winman

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    I attended North Florida University many years ago. I primarily studied contract law. I was a good student and made excellent grades, but I have probably forgotten most of what I learned.

    But back to the subject, I have seen on other threads where you hold to doctrine even when you have clearly been shown numerous scriptures that refute your view. Why do you hold to your view? Because you have been indoctrinated.

    It is a known fact that the higher an education a person has, the higher probability of that person being an athiest. I am not saying anything like that about you, I am just pointing out that higher education often indoctrinates people in falsehood.

    Try to tell a person who has been indoctinated in evolution about the creation account. Their mind is so blinded by error that they cannot understand you.

    I am not putting education down, education is very good in many areas. An educated person tends to earn more and will enjoy a better standard of living. But there is also much error taught that is difficult to shake.

    You know, the old devil has used education from the beginning. Didn't he tempt Eve that she would gain knowledge if she ate the forbidden fruit?

    2 Tim 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.


    The old devil takes lots of folks in the snare of education. And it is a snare, once you have been taught to think in a certain way, many have great difficulty in escaping it.
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    Here is an article that speaks to why some refuse to read and learn what the church has historically believed.....so they repeat errors of the past because they choose to.......remain in ignorance......[not meant to be arrogant,or abrasive, just descriptive as in 2 Pet 3;]
    5For this they willingly are ignorant of

    But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing

     
  16. Winman

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    Your post reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld.

    Marlene- I can't be with someone if I don't respect what they do.

    Jerry- You're a cashier!
     
  17. Amy.G

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    Luke, it doesn't matter how educated a person is if God has not chosen them for ministry. You should understand that since you claim you understand the sovereignty of God.

    God will choose who He wants to educate the laity regardless of their "formal" education. He can even choose a fisherman or tax collector.
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    I have not seen seinfeld,so I am not sure how this connects to the post.:confused:
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    I'm not in the other thread so I'll confine my comments to the questions asked.

    I'd say it is always an advantage to have more education. That said it is a misnomer to believe that a degree automatically equals knowledge.

    Too many times I've seen a fresh guy out of seminar with a crisp new MDiv get shredded by a lifelong learner who is a deacon, Sunday School teacher, or layperson.

    As someone with a PhD in theology I'll let you in on a secret, we're (Western educational systems) giving out tons of degrees to fairly uninformed people every year.

    That said when it comes to the higher level hermenuetical, theological issues we should go to the more informed scholars before the average joe in the pews. Honestly, how many lay people have a grasp of Paul's utilization of Hillel's rules of biblical interpretation in the pastoral epistles?

    Yet when Augustine talks about scholarly versus lay interpretation the final test of it is application. How is your life different because of the text? I know a lot of biblical scholars who are pretty immoral people.

    There's enough low-low cost, or free, information out there to get a complete seminary plus education for the informed and motivated person. Heck, I can rattle off on my fingers 10 places to go to get started.

    That said I think you're making the issues too extreme. There are levels of conversation when it comes to interpreting the biblical text. Most lay Christians can hit the initial level: understanding basic principles of exegesis. A few can get to a middle level: some more complicated issues (i.e. stuff detailed in a text like Carson's Exegetical Fallacies, this includes a lot of pastors. Yet usually only scholars and a smaller percentage of professional clergy get to the high level.

    The reality is that is okay. Most, the vast majority, of theological issues and textual issues that mean anything to the Christian life are within the first two levels.

    I mean how truly beneficial is a Sunday School lesson on the development of the tetagrammaton in early Ugaritic? It's important but not terrifically useful.

    I disagree with this completely.

    It isn't arrogant as much as it is misinformed. Usually all you need to do is sit the Sunday school guy in the same room as the scholar and you'll see the difference by the end of the first sentence. That said most scholars are very gracious people who honor the commitment and heart of laity to lay off a bit.

    Doesn't mean the lay person can't read the Bible and be edified by it.
     
    #19 preachinjesus, Dec 4, 2010
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  20. Don

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    Luke,
    You have a tendency through this thread to add the words, "and many thousands more dollars." I'm wondering why the layout of money is so important to you.

    Would you say that the individual who spent many hours studying the bible, but never attended any university or institution of higher learning, has any "lesser" biblical knowledge than someone who spent thousands of hours and many thousands more dollars?

    It's like that one kid in class that really irks you. You study your heart out, and barely squeak out a B. Meanwhile, you know for a fact that he never studies, but breezes through the class with an A. It ain't fair that you put in so much time and effort to be a fair-to-middling knowledgeable person on the subject; while he seems to put in so little effort, and is the recognized expert. It ain't fair, but it happens, because God gives us different talents and gifts and abilities.
     
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