How will the GCR affect seminaries?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by GodsRealTruth, Jun 15, 2010.

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  1. GodsRealTruth

    GodsRealTruth
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    Good Afternoon,

    I have just read that the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report has passed at the SBC Convention. This Great Commission Resurgence has really worried me. I know that part of it aims to reallocate some of the Cooperative Programs funds that would go to seminaries to the International Missions Board.

    I am worried and concerned about how that will affect seminary students such as myself. Will that mean that they will not be helping to pay as much of my tuition in the future? Does it mean that students such as myself will have to come up with more money for tuition?

    Just wondering...

    Thanks

    God Bless You all
     
  2. Siberian

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    I do not believe GCR will affect your tuition rate.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    The GCR was silent about the seminaries. However, if churches don't give to the CP and stop designating money to their favorite SBC cause, eventually the seminaries wll get a smaller and smaller cut of the CP pie.

    But as of now, you should be alright. The GCR was just the "vision", the implementation of it is up to the Executive Com and the Trustee boards.
     
  4. Siberian

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    I'm not sure what this axiom (if churches stop giving to CP, seminaries suffer) has to do with GCR. Do you think a significant amount of churches will stop giving to the CP because of GCR?
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Seminaries are funded through the CP. So if CP giving is down, so will the percentage of money given to the seminaries... unless they start designating their money to the seminaries, which will also hurt the CP.
     
  6. Ruiz

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    My hope is... okay everyone gasp... that each seminary closes their doors.

    I find having a seminary not accountable to a local church not the ideal situation for seminaries. I think the church is the ideal situation to train up Pastors to be both scholars and Pastors.

    Thus, if I were still in the convention, I would hope that the convention would eliminate areas like LifeWay, the Seminaries, and other areas and try to help foster the move towards church seminaries and churches producing their own literature. We should focus on the missions organizations being an outlet to helping churches come together to fulfill the Great Commission.

    Yet, this is my dream... I doubt the recent proposal would accomplish such.
     
  7. GodsRealTruth

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    I think closing the seminaries would be the worst mistake wee ever made. I have been on both sides of the situation you are described. I have been one that was trained up in the church and I am one that is currently in seminary. I have been trained up in the church under many great pastors.

    BUT, I did not truly come to understand the Word of God until I started to go to Seminary. Seminary has been a blessing that has enabled me to understand God's Word like I have never been able to before.

    If we close the Seminaries that would be the worst mistake we could make. I am starting to discover we have alot of teachings within our churches that is not correct. If we do not provide solid biblical education through our seminaries then our churches will be full of false doctrines.

    Seminary education is drastically needed. :jesus:
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    Ruiz Reponse

    Dear Brother,

    Welcome to the Bb. Are you a long time member of an SBC church? If so, or if not, please explain why and how the "big six" SBC seminaries are NOT accountable to the churches?

    To make an assertion like this in an open forum seems to demand an explanation on some levels. I am careful here, I do not want to invoke a debate as such. I only want you to think about what you are saying. I myself, and many hereabouts know, am given to hyperbole. But I would appreciate it if you could and would tie up this loose end for yours truly. Please? :thumbs:

    "That is all!"
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    Ruiz Reponse #2

    Ruis,

    My dear brother.

    I am sorry I missed the fact that you are not an SBCer any longer. I hope you are not taking the chance to "vent" about what is seen from an outsider's perspective?

    I am not sure that your critique or opinion carries much weight in light of your being outside the denomination. I am not trying to pick a fight only trying to keep family matters family matters.

    "If the Pope no playa da game, the Pope no maka da rules!" Know what I mean?

    "That is all!"
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    I would think that a church centered theological educaton would lead to very uneven kind of teaching. I know I wouldn't want to try teaching greek or hebrew. I think we can do more to teach theology in our churches, but that would end up taking more of the pastor's time than he ought to spend. Our job seems to be to lead, feed and intercede.
     
  11. Ruiz

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    Tom,

    I do not think it would necessarily lead to uneven theological education. I know churches who do this and some of their professors and visiting professors are some of the top in their field.

    No, I am not taking an opportunity to Vent. Even Albert Mohler has a similar vision. He said several years ago that his hope is to train himself out of a job, where local churches would take up theological education. So, I am not saying something that is venting against the SBC, but I think consistent with Baptist theology.

    I doubt it carries much weight being outside, but I do know several in the SBC, including Dr. Mohler, who would like to see theological education more on a local church level.

    They are not accountable to Pastors, they are accountable to a board. That is a huge difference. Their first accountability is to a denominational structure, not to Pastors of a local church. Can you tell me which church overseas the Seminary? Which Pastors are they accountable to?

    In the Biblical World, the training of Pastors was done in the local church and accountable to the local church. The Seminary System is not the local church nor does it have direct accountability to a local church.
     
  12. Ruiz

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    By the way, I think current theological education is uneven. In fact, I think putting it under the local church would make it better and more even.
     
  13. Eagle

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    A hearty AMEN to that! Not to the hope that each seminary closes it's doors per se, but to the principle indeed. It is sound, and definitely Baptistic in consistent doctrinal basis. I have thought the same for years. You are doing a good job making your case Ruiz.
     
    #13 Eagle, Jun 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2010
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Our church (even our group of churches) could not afford to have even one qualified seminary professor. So we join with other local churches - just like we do for missions, church planting, camps - to organize formal training.

    I would be a fool to think that I alone could train an elder to the extent that formal seminary could.

    So we ask 4-5 men who are experienced and trusted to oversee the seminary program. THANK GOD.

    The local churches still have an element of "control" - to select these board members and oversee their actions. But it would be extremely vain of us pastors/local churches to not have confidence in the pastors we've appointed to administer the program. A single local church - even a mega-church - is an option for poor training at best. Plus the student would get ONE viewpoint (that of the local church) instead of the broad experience of working with many churches.

    I praise God for formal training and not the inadequate education I've often seen in struggling pastors in struggling churches.
     
  15. Ruiz

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    Dr. Bob,

    I think you have a healthy view. For instance, while my church would be unable to have seminary type of training... I would encourage future ministers to go to a sister church for training. We would help that church, our person would get training, and the education is under the authority of Elders. One such church I recommend is Heritage Baptist in Owensboro KY. As well, I do not think one person can give all the training. While I would be good on some aspects of theology and apologetics, I would be horrible in Hebrew.

    So, I think you are wise of uniting with other churches. I think that is good. I do believe that ministry should be in a local church, but not always your local church but a church you respect and trust.
     
  16. Havensdad

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    Ruiz,

    The main problem I have with what you are saying, is that you are trying to make a Biblical command where there is not one. There is not a command that states that ministers should only be trained in the local church; so why would you limit it in such a fashion? The only command we have is to train them; HOW seems to be left up to us.

    There is simply no way to assure a thorough theological training outside of seminary. Early baptists realized this, which is why we have several of the seminaries we have today. Without them, you would have a very few well trained men, and a whole bunch of guys with nominal training, and a few who were taught outright heresy. This would be unavoidable.

    I have respect for you (and Dr. Mohler), but I disagree. Seminary is the best way to train ministers, and a program such as found at Southern Seminary, is probably about the best model of that.
     
  17. Eagle

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    Again, I have thought the same, and have heard this option explained very similarly before. There is much wisdom in this. Could it be done? Yes. Could it be done now, in our current economy and educational framework to the same level of quality that Dr. Bob mentions? Probably not.

    Dr. Bob's point about getting a "broader experience" or view, tho there may be some benefit, is also the very problem. Going to a seminary that is full of Calvinist professors would turn out more Calvinist 'products' than not - and vice-versa.

    The "element of control" by local churches of which Dr. Bob speaks is also feeble at best. I realize this is probably why he said "element." :tongue3:
     
  18. Ruiz

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    Havensdad,

    I have been to Seminary... and I must say that I do not think it is the best way to train Pastors.

    I agree, there is no specific command in the Scriptures for only church training. However, there were no seminaries in the day of Jesus and Paul.

    However, those who support seminaries like SBTS (which I do believe is a good seminary as far as seminaries go) must say that the church is insufficient to train up Pastors. I think this goes directly against the sufficiency of God's Institutions to accomplish His commands. In other words, it speaks that the Church, a design of God, was flawed in her design and needs an extra ministry to help. I believe the church was designed perfectly for the building up of the Church.

    Rather, I believe the church was not designed in a flawed manner nor can we improve upon the design of the church. As well, I believe that the seminary system is so devoid of actual ministry that it makes an improper division of theology, shepherding, and personal growth.
     
  19. Havensdad

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    I have done both (Seminary and Mentoring). And I strongly disagree. Seminary IS the best way to train up Pastors, although I think it works best when the person is also able to be involved in ministry work, concurrently.


    You also did not need to learn two foreign languages, and 2,000 years of Church History in Jesus' day, either. Nor did you have a mountain of teachers that had went before, that you could learn from. Nor Computer programs that would help in your study of the Word. This things are learned best in Seminary.

    I believe in progressive revelation; this in my mind, includes improved delivery methods for information. Several scripture verses promise, after all, the increase of knowledge as the age draws to a close.


    Not at all. We just need to say that the way you are defining "Church" is not biblical. The universal Church is absolutely sufficient to train up Pastors. And it invented a way to do it (I believe, guided by the Holy Spirit), called "Seminaries."

    Likewise a group of believers are able to train up Pastors (the other use of the word "church.") A Seminary, is for all practical purposes, a "church." It has an over shepherd (dean), services (chapel) and the good ones have accountability and fellowship. One of the Baptist distinctives, from earliest times, was that any group of people could get together, if they were believers, to make a local church. There is no reason a seminary does not fit this bill.


    And I do not believe the Church was designed in such a limited manner. Rather anywhere a group of believers gather to study the word, and live lives together, is a type of "church." This includes seminary.

    I believe in a Sovereign God. And because I do, I have to see Southern Seminary, and other Godly Seminaries, as a work of His hand. And if that is the case, then it is right and proper for them to exist.
     
  20. Ruiz

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    For this reason, I think there would never be an agreement. I see no need for progressive Revelation as progressive revelation destroys the fabric of both sufficiency and innerancy of Scripture, both of which SBTS strongly stands for.

    BTW, I do believe in a Universal Church, but God did not give people for training into the Universal Church but the local congregation.

    Finally, your illustration of methods like computers and the like clearly fall within the bounds that no one would dispute and in no way limits sufficiency of Scripture. To me, this is a strawman. Sufficiency of the Church and Scripture is in no way related.
     
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