Non-baptist seminaries

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Rev. Joshua, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    In the liberal and even the moderate world it's not at all unusual for pastors to have attended non-baptist seminaries. Here in the Southeast, we are seeing a lot more Emory and Duke grads since the completion of the fundamentalist takeover/resurgence at the six SBC seminaries.

    (As a side note, even our baptist seminaries are very intentionally ecumenical. For instance, John Claypool - an Episcopal priest - now teaches preaching at my alma mater Mercer. I assume that's not the case at SBC/IFB seminaries.)

    Is it uncommon, or even unacceptable these days for a pastor in an SBC (or IFB for that matter) church to have graduated from a non-baptist seminary?

    Joshua
     
  2. MHolmes

    MHolmes
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    I would say, not unusual at all. Although Southwestern Seminary accounts for a huge percentage of Baptist pastors and church leaders in Texas, there are a significant number who attended and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, which is not Baptist.

    My own pastor, who is a lifelong Southern Baptist and has been in the ministry for 15 years, opted to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School largely because he saw the six SBC schools heading down the road of becoming indoctrination centers more than actual seminaries. He is finishing his doctorate this semester by distance learning from Fuller Theological Seminary. The number of Baptist pastors in our area with degrees from Fuller is pretty high as well.
     
  3. Johnv

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    There are presbyterians who attend Baptist seminaries, and Baptists who attend Presbyterian seminaries. I don't see the problem. After all, Baptist theology is not the only flavor in the Neopolitan ice cream called Christianity.
     
  4. FearNot

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    The persons personal outlook and doctrine is more important than the school itself. The problem is that some schools are teaching wrong doctrine.

    I myself would not attend somewhere that I will spend more time compairing what is taught with Scripture than studying the required reading. I went through that once and won't do it again.

    What is your oppinion of what has happened at Gardner-Webb University. Which is a CBF school now. For more details look at my post about it in the news effecting Christions worldwide room. The students there will now have to suffer from the actions of their leader.

    I came back to add an answer to Rev. Joshua's question. No a SBC seminary probably want have another faiths leader teach a class. After all, why would you have a music teacher teach mechanics? In other words, you don't have someone come teach from a viewpoint that doesn't agree with your doctrine.

    I have a return question, when was the last Conservative Southern Baptist teacher hired at one of the liberal universities?

    [ September 16, 2002, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: FearNot ]
     
  5. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    They are just mean and hateful people that worship the Bible and aren't concerned with the feelings of homosexuals and murderers. Why would a liberal seminary want one of those?

    Besides, don't you know that tolerance is only for those who are tolerant of your own views?

    Out like the liberals from the SBC (thank God).
     
  6. MHolmes

    MHolmes
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    The fundamentalist idea of "seminary" seems to be more like indoctrination than learning the truth about scripture. The approach seems to be that what is taught there must agree with your presuppositions and your own human-initiated beliefs about what the scripture says--with no exception--or it is, (bad, bad word!) liberal.

    However, fundamentalist interpretations of scripture, and their required overlays of doctrine, seem to be determined first, then applied to the Bible. I always thought that the idea was to study the scripture, in its historical context as it was written to its original audience,in order to determine what it means and how to apply it to the life we live today.

    Fundamentalism is nothing more than a human interpretation of the scripture, no more on target, doctrinally correct or accurate than "liberal" Christianity, however you apply that definition. It is all man-made speculation about our relationship with God through Christ. I hope there are some people who visit this board and realize that not all Baptists are like the fundamentalists. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." says the apostle Paul. No one group of Christians has a corner on the truth, and those who claim to do so should be avoided for your spiritual health.
     
  7. Daniel David

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    So, if you had a serious injury or disease, you would want a team of doctors who don't know for sure what to do versus one doctor who not only knows what to do, but will call the others on the carpet for betraying their job?

    Out like my welcome within liberal circles (not that I am complaining).
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Preach,

    I've always thought that the metaphor of medical education was an excellent one for what happened at the SBC seminaries. Before the takeover, the seminaries were teaching and producing scholarship that was consistent with what the mainstream theological community produced. The takeover was led by people like Adrian Rogers who felt that the seminaries should teach what the average person in the pew - who has no theological training - believes.

    This would be analogous to medical schools teaching that HIV is transmitted by hand-holding if that's what the average patient believed.

    Personally, I'd rather have a physician whose education was accountable to those trained in medicine. Likewise, I'd rather have a pastor whose education was accountable to those trained in theology and the academic study of religion.

    I know, however, that many fundamentalists would rather simply have someone who tickles their ears by reinforcing their biases and socially conservative world view.

    Joshua

    [ September 16, 2002, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua ]
     
  9. TomVols

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    This is uncharacteristic of you Joshua. First, your ad hominem is showing! Yes, the pew demanded change once they learned what was really going on at the six SBC seminaries. Problem is, if the poorly education laity of the SBC knew something was the matter, how poorly does that speak of the product the seminaries was putting out? :D

    Second, you're forgetting that the trustee boards of the SBC who have direct control over the seminaries are made up more now of pastors and theologians than ever before (A refreshing change from the liberal days when you just had to be a part of the good ole boy network).

    Now to speak to your original question. It's never been uncommon for SB pastors to go to non-SB seminaries, especially when the six SBC seminaries were so poor during the liberal days. Over one third to one half of the SBC pastors I know did their work at non-SB seminaries. I suspect that will change now that the seminaries are improving.
     
  10. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Tom,

    No ad hominem intended. Preach raised the issue of the training of physicians, and I simply pointed out that if he wanted to use that as the paradigm the new mandate of the SBC seminaries is less consistent with that model than the old mandate.

    I do think that the new SBC seminaries are more in line with what the average member of an SBC-affiliate church believes; and I think that is in part due to the failure, lying, and deception of the "moderate" graduates produced when my side had control of the seminary. Too many liberals and "moderates" either hid in the academy or lied in their pulpits rather than teaching and preaching what they really believed.

    Joshua
     
  11. Johnv

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    Fundamentalism is nothing more than a human interpretation of the scripture, no more on target, doctrinally correct or accurate than "liberal" Christianity, however you apply that definition. It is all man-made speculation about our relationship with God through Christ. I hope there are some people who visit this board and realize that not all Baptists are like the fundamentalists. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." says the apostle Paul. No one group of Christians has a corner on the truth, and those who claim to do so should be avoided for your spiritual health.

    Huzzah! Well said!!
     
  12. swaimj

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    In my seminary (IFB) and its mother church, I can think of only two pastors/professors who do not have a degree from a non-Baptist seminary. The two who do not have M.Divs (and do not teach in the seminary) but all who have doctorates have studied outside of Baptist circles.
     
  13. LRL71

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    In my seminary (IFB) and its mother church, I can think of only two pastors/professors who do not have a degree from a non-Baptist seminary. The two who do not have M.Divs (and do not teach in the seminary) but all who have doctorates have studied outside of Baptist circles.</font>[/QUOTE]I can vouch for swaimj! I went to the same seminary, and it is an independent, fundamental Baptist school with most, if not all, of its professors having received their degrees in seminaries outside of 'IFB' schools-- even in non-Baptist-- and definitely not fundamentalist-- seminaries. So to say that fundamentalists only want to 'indoctrinate' their seminary students is totally an unfair argument!

    [ September 17, 2002, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: LRL71 ]
     
  14. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Actually, I'm just asking. I'm the first to admit how little I know about the IFB world.

    So what non-baptist schools do IFB and fundamentalist SBC types go to?

    As I said, here in Atlanta we see a lot of Duke and Candler/Emory grads, as well as some from Columbia or Vanderbilt. Union is another popular one, although more so for Ph.D.'s. The Ivy divinity schools carry a lot of prestige, but in my experience very few of their alumni go into the pastorate.

    Joshua
     
  15. FearNot

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    Joshua, sorry that the following is not on topic, I just want to reply to some other statements.

    MHolmes, first let me ask have you ever attened a SBC Seminary? If so, give me examples of this so called indoctrination. I say this because I attend a seminary, and I haven't been indoctrinated into anything. The school urges you to minister, witness to the world, read Scripture, pray, be loyal to God's word and to your family, stand up for truth, be worthy of the call you received, obey God etc. There are no classes here for indoctrination.

    Secondly Preachtheword (name edited due to crediting a comment to the wrong person, my bad), If you call standing up for the Word of God, calling a sin a sin intolerance than you need to reavauate where you stand. Scripture says that murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, adultry is wrong, when I say those are sins, am I being intolerant then as well. I have nothing against gay people personally, I have had several gay friends (as well as friends in careers that aren't very moral). I don't condone their behavior, but I also won't say that it is ok or right. According to Scripture it is not. Just because I believe someone has the right to do something wrong, doesn't mean I have to accept it as right. I also won't allow someone who is intolerant of my beliefs try to take my rights away. In other words, if and when I have kids, they will pray wherever they want, no school, Judge or athiest will stop them.

    Preachtheword, I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or serious, please elaborate.

    [ September 17, 2002, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: FearNot ]
     
  16. Daniel David

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    If you read my "out" takes, you would see my intolerant view of those who promote tolerance (except for my intolerance of course).
     
  17. MHolmes

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    Fearnot, I think you better read my post again. I don't recall that I said anything about SBC seminaries "indoctrinating" anyone. I was referring to a comment made by my pastor, who has been fairly outspoken about why he did not attend an SBC seminary. I did, in fact, graduate from Southwestern in the mid 1980's. There are things that have changed doctrinally at Southwestern since then, and there are some things I would characterize as "indoctrination" rather than "education" particularly pertaining to women's involvement in ministry. Personally, I think requiring professors to sign the BFM2000 is a limit on essential academic freedom to have the kind of atmosphere that you speak of, and I know many people who would very much say that Southwestern is in the indoctrination business. However, I did not say that I believed it was.

    I've never suggested that someone should not preach against sin, though I think it is always better to preach Christ and let the Holy Spirit work on the conviction of sin. My pastor, trained at Vanderbilt and currently working toward his doctorate at Fuller, preaches, believes, and lives his belief in the Word of God in front of his congregation. Not attending a Baptist seminary did not hurt him at all. In fact, I think he is able to bring a whole lot more to our congregation, and expand our knowledge of the scripture, than he might have been able to do had he gone to one of the SBC seminaries today.

    And I don't recall saying anything about tolerance, either. Fact is, I'm not very tolerant, especially of the narrow minded, bigoted, low view of scripture that is often espoused here and called "standing up" for the "word of God."

    [ September 17, 2002, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: MHolmes ]
     
  18. swaimj

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    Joshua, off the top of my head, some of the schools are Westminster Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Dropsie University, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Grace Theological Seminary, and Mercer (just kidding ;) ).
     
  19. FearNot

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    MHolmes, I edited my prior comments I accedentally put your name in place of Preachthe word.

    I don't know what goes on at Southwestern, I have never been there, so I can't say what they do or what they don't do.

    Mholmes, let me ask, Why do you not like when people "stand up for the word"? Scripture is pretty black and white, when people intentionally or unintentionally teach something biblically wrong it needs to be corrected or people will begin to believe it, since the majority don't read the Scriptures at all.
     
  20. Rev. G

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    So, what is wrong with indoctrination exactly?

    "To Timothy, my true son in the faith....remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine."
    - St. Paul, 1 Tim. 1:2-3

    "If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctine which you have carefully followed.... Till I come give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.... Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."
    - 1 Tim. 4:6, 13, 16

    "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge--by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith."
    - 1 Tim. 6:20-21

    "Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."
    - 2 Tim. 1:13

    "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
    - 2 Tim. 2:2

    "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
    - 2 Tim. 4:2-4

    "For an elder must...hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict."
    - Titus 1:7, 9

    Rev. G

    [ September 19, 2002, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: Rev. G ]
     

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