Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Greektim, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    What do you folks know about this school? It's SACS accredited and seems to be a SBC seminary run at the state level (not sure though). Adrian Rogers thought it worthy enough to provide the school w/ the property for their new campus. They look like they have a beautiful campus and a decent faculty. The biggest problem I see is that many in their faculty are inbred from within. But I like their PhD program.

    I emailed them and asked them what they can offer that Southern can't. I'll let you know how they respond.

    I am basically seeking out all options for postgrad work. Hopefully, someone can tell me more about this school. THanks in advance!
     
  2. Ruiz

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    I attended there, and I would highly recommend you choose another seminary like SWBTS, SBTS, or SEBTS.

    This is an independent seminary, but they have loose ties to the Southern Baptist Convention. There were talks several years ago about them being a part of the Southern Baptists, but they did not entertain any unofficial or official (if these were official) talks in favor of remaining independent. Yes, Rogers did have a lot to do with the Seminary when he was alive, but I would not recommend the seminary at this point.

    If you want to be a Southern Baptist, stick with one of the official Southern Baptist Seminaries. I usually recommend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville Kentucky, but SWBTS and SEBTS have made some great improvements thanks to Paige and others.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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  4. Rhetorician

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  5. Greektim

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    Rhet,

    You are clearly the local expert on MABTS. Let me get your opinion. I can figure out for myself the advantages of SBTS over MABTS (specifically PhD program). However, if you theoretically were promoting MABTS (honestly of course), what would you tell me if I asked about what MABTS can offer me that SBTS, SEBTS, or other schools cannot (but mainly SBTS due to its fairly close distance)? In other words, what are the incentives or specializations of MABTS over other schools? What is their distinguishing factor?
     
  6. Rhetorician

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    Mid America & Southern Alum Both

    GT,

    I am an alum of both institutions. So I have insights into both. I can dialog with you about what I know but would rather not do it publicly for obvious reasons. If you will send me a private post or email to [email protected] I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

    I have friends and vested interest in both camps and both mean much to me for obviously different reasons.

    I hate to be so obtuse but that is the only way I feel I can answer you. :smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all!"
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Location

    GT,

    Where do you live, will you have to move, what is the family size, how much resources do you have put back? I am sure you have considered all such questions already?

    All of these will matter when/if you do a PhD?:smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all?"
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    test post

    test post 1234567890
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    test post

    1234567890 11
     
  10. Greektim

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    No problem. Completely understand. Will email you. You should recognize my email.
     
  11. Dr. Walter

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    I am an alumnus of Mid-America Baptist theological Seminary from 1982. Although it is not officially a Southern Baptist Seminary, not under the control of the Southern Baptist Convention, it is recognized as a Southern Baptist Seminary.

    The current crop of professors were for the most part trained by some of the best men produced among the Southern Baptists. Men like Dr. Roy O. Beaman, Dr. Milikan, Dr. Richard Hendrickson, Dr. Richard Melick, etc.

    MABTS was far more conservative than Louisville seminary. The professor of Homiletcis at Southern is a graduate of MABTS. Southern still has a mixture of liberal and conservative professors. One professor at Southern is now advancing the idea that baptism is inclusive of gospel conversion.
     
  12. sag38

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    One professor at Southern is now advancing the idea that baptism is inclusive of gospel conversion.

    Can you verify this with proof? (Just courious)
     
  13. Ruiz

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    Could you please show me where MABTS is recognized as a Southern Baptist Seminary?

    What professors at Southern are still liberal? I have heard some mention Polhill, but even his book on Paul was used at MABTS. I looked through the list of professors at Southern, the vast majority were hired since Mohler and most of them are well known conservatives. The four senior professors (hired before Mohler) are Cox, Polhill, Stein, and Tate. Polhill, I already mentioned. Stein is not a liberal. Tate, I believe, is retired. I do not know Cox.

    For the most part, most of the books I used at MABTS were written by prof's at other seminaries, many were Southern Prof's. The only exceptions were either rare or, as in the case of Greek, we would have been better off using another book.

    I was going to list the men I thought were one of the top in their field from Southern, but the list became too long. For the most part, unless you attended MABTS, you do not know the professors at MABTS. Most of them studied at MABTS. A couple went to Seminary before MABTS was founded. At the time I went to school there, I called this the "inbreeding of MABTS" for most who went to school at MABTS are prof's at MABTS. No doubt other Seminaries have this problem, but I am not sure it is to that extent. However, a low percentage actually write the books others study outside of MABTS. SBTS has a much higher percentage.

    When comparing, you can study under men who are not well known or you can study under the men that write the books and are considered a top expert in their field. While I respect some of the men at MABTS, I think the caliber is much higher at SBTS.

    And plus, I doubt Mohler will ever go to the local secular newspaper and do an interview calling for the resignation of and air his differences about a local Pastor. Yet, I can't say the same about Spradlin.
     
    #13 Ruiz, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2010
  14. Dr. Walter

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    I said that MABTS was not under the SBC but operated independent from it by finances obtained through SBC churches. However, other SBC seminaries cooperate with it and have visiting professors who present lectures (at least when I was there). Every member of the faculty is an active member of a SBC church.

    Have you read Professor Stein on baptism?

    I ran the first printing operation for MABTS and worked with the faculty very closely and knew all the professors quite well.

    Dr. Roy O Beaman was regarded one of the best linguistics among Southern Baptists efficient in over 40 languages. He was a former Professor at New Orleans Seminary. Dr. B. Gray Allison was a graduate of New Orleans Seminary. Dr. Howard Bickers graduated from Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Dr. Jimmy Millikin from Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Dr. Reginal Barnard from England, Dr. T.V. Farris, Dr. Larry Walker, Dr. Richard Melick and Dr. Richard Henderson were all from other SBC Seminaries. These were some of the professors when I attended.

    I don't know many of the current professors at MABTS but some others were with me in school obtaining their doctorates when I was there and they were taught under those men above.




     
  15. Ruiz

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    The professors you mentioned was "then", but not anymore. Of course, Allison founded the seminary and Millikin went to school before MABTS as did Bickers, who was in the Mission field before MABTS was even founded. Beaman is no longer on faculty.

    Just like things changing, there is not the well known and respected men today at the school as once existed. In the almost 30 years since you attended, the SBTS and MABTS have changed dramatically. Yes, there were past Prof's at MABTS I would have enjoyed learning from and some I enjoyed when at MABTS. Most have either retired or went to other schools since that time.

    As for the seminaries working "with" MABTS, that is true. Forcing the Professors to belong to an SBC church? Yes, that is true. However, they are not recognized as a Southern Baptist School no more than DTS, TMS, LBTS, or other Seminaries. Yet, all four of the seminaries have friendly relationships with entities in the Southern Baptist world (though, LBTS has an official arrangement with the the conservative convention of Virginia, but they are still independent).

    As for Stein and the controversy concerning Baptism. I have read some of what he has written on Baptism. I do not think Stein would argue for Baptismal Regeneration; he argues for step parallelism, which is not Baptismal Regeneration. Rather, Baptism is a part of becoming a Christian and intrinsic to the process, but not necessary (thief on the cross). Yet, I think this is radically distinct from Baptismal Regeneration where Baptism is mostly a mandate to salvation. It also is in contrast to the popular modern Baptist belief that Baptism is merely symbolic. Baptism is neither symbolic (nor is the Lord's Supper) nor fully regenerating. Yet, it is a part of becoming a Christian and has significant spiritual intentions which fully cooperates with repentance with distinct spiritual benefits. I believe his view fits with the statement made in Chapter 29 paragraph 1 of the London Baptist Confession 1689.

    Finally, I do understand Stein's view and believe when SBTS investigated the issue they came to the correct conclusion. However, I also read what Spradlin wrote in the Commercial Appeal and was disgusted by his attack of a local Pastor in a public newspaper.

    I will take Stein's view which has been examined by some of the top theologians in the Southern Baptist Convention (and other arenas) as being orthodox but I have a harder time with Spradlin's lambasting a local Pastor on the front page of a secular newspaper. Allison would never have resorted to such a display. Yet, Allison is no longer the President of the Seminary. For that reason alone I think has dramatically altered the seminary.
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    Ruiz Response

    Dear Brother,

    I was there in the "good old days" that Dr. Walter speaks about. I too was an alum of that era and was glad to be there. It is different today but I am not sure it is any "worse" than then.

    I want you to tell us how you really feel. Tell us, if you will please, why such a spirit towards MABTS? Have they ever done anything to hurt you? If so have you tried to talk it out with the ones there who caused your pain?

    "That is all?"
     
  17. Ruiz

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    First, I have sat in Dr. Spradlin's office explaining my problems with MABTS.

    Secondly, my opposition of them is theological, what I view as narrowness, and academic narrowness.

    Finally, after I left I had a great problem with Dr. Spradlin airing out his specific problems of a local Pastor on the front page of the Commercial Appeal. Much of his statements were rumors and not appropriate.

    Personally, this was not surprising to other things I personally witnessed at MABTS. The Commercial Appeal incident only brought to the public what I believe was demonstrated privately.

    One example of the problems I had with MABTS was the use of the pulpit. I did have problems with them publicly calling out people from the pulpit over "sins" they perceived of their students, calling out people saying they were going to "commit adultery" because those people broke "rules" that were not "rules" at MABTS or the Bible.

    The commercial appeal was consistent to what I saw at MABTS and exemplified the manner in which they sought to resolve issues. They would air them from as public of a location, calling out people, and avoiding talking to those people personally.

    I did talk to them personally. Yet, I was told Matthew 18 did not apply to MABTS because it is not a church.
     
  18. Rhetorician

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    Ruiz Response

    Hello Dear Brother Ruiz,

    I get your point. And I, because I live close near by, probably know the "ins and outs" of the issues you raised better than others?

    But where does one "hold their peace" when it comes to coming on a national bulletin board like the BB to castigate, malign, or otherwise insult an institution for some issues that one person did not get a satisfactory answer? Or is this the place to do just that? Is there a "happy medium?" You tell me.

    I do understand what you have said. I do appreciate your perspective. But please allow others of us who hold MABTS in high regards the prerogative to defend her or come to her aid. I would say, anecdotally, that there are more of us who would be "for her" than feel the way you do.

    I know, and all know who read the BB know, that I have a "vested interest." So you will forgive me if I have ruined anyone's arguments or "rained on anyone's parade"? :smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all!"
     
    #18 Rhetorician, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2010
  19. Ruiz

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    First, all I have cited in this conversation were very public events, public made by officials at MABTS itself. Overall, in this conversation I mentioned the Commercial Appeal, something extremely public and wrong. Secondly, I mentioned an event that occurred from the pulpit at MABTS. Both instances were public.

    As for my grievances, I did let the administration know about 10-11 months before I left the school. As well, I was enrolled for another term and decided to leave 1 day before the start of the term. Thus, I spent that time praying and asking respected men for their advise. I do not think i caused problems after the initial talk but I also was not afraid to challenge and be challenged.

    As well, my criticism is not inconsistent with other things. I was critical of Caner of LBTS, of Falwell's comments on Calvinism, and other issues. I am also critical of some more private matters, but I do not air them publicly.

    In this forum, I have aired theological, academic, and public issues. If the Caner issue was a valid issue, so is the Commercial Appeal and a pulpit statement in a public convocation. If someone considers academics a part of the reason to attend a seminary, I believe a rightful comparison of other schools is helpful. If theology is important, mentioning their theology is important.

    Yes, I do not see a reason someone would choose MABTS over another Southern Baptist Seminary (if you are Southern Baptist). I see no advantage they have over other Seminaries. If here is a reason, I have not heard one.
     
  20. StefanM

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    1) Location for some

    2) Evangelistic focus

    3) Cost

    --------
    These seem to be the reasons I could see someone choosing MABTS over another seminary.
     

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