Seminary Question

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SolaSaint, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
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    I was watching an old video clip from Gary Habermas today on Textual Criticism and he stated that in the 70s a great % of Seminary profs didn't believe in the bodily resurrection or Christ being God in the flesh. He says now the tide has changed and the greater % now believes. I've heard RC Sproul state a similar claim about Seminary educators.

    My question is when did this trend start concerning so many profs being liberal an unbelieving? Were the Seminary's back in the 1800s Orthodox, if so how did this infusion of liberal educators happen? Is there a good book on the subject?
     
  2. SovereignMercy

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    Here's a list of every apostle and prophet and where they went to seminary:
     
  3. SolaSaint

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    You obviously don't watch TBN for they claim many Apostles and Prophets...lol
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    There's a really good book out there by Stan Grenz called Renewing the Center where he talks through the historical movements that led to the situation in post-World War II western institutions that questioned the basic beliefs of Christianity.

    Anyways, to get to the bones of it...you can trace the start of this back to the German theological schools. Following the Kantian revolution (you can't get away from Kant in western history) another philosopher/theologian arose named Schleiermacher. He changed everything. Between the two a massive intellectual shift began occurring in western culture.

    Now, because the US was isolated from these movements by a fairly large body of water, the shift never made it to the eastern shores of the fairly new country. Well, it made it but it didn't have much impact.

    In Germany and France the shifts were absolutely massive. The growth of the German Liberal tradition (we use a capital "L" for a reason) began out of the end of these two men's lives. With the explosion of Cartesian Modernism in Europe, coupled with the growth of continental philosophy, the idea of absolute certitude became king.

    So, many theologians began digging deep into the Scriptures to ensure that we had a proven, absolute biblical text. Imho, they started off with good intentions. However, they had a terrible time of it because neither science nor archeology, and not even linguistical theory, had evolved to the point to truly offer answers to many of their questions. At the end of the 19th century, several schools arose as principal chairs for the theological growth and shift towards modernism (or what we might call liberalism...little "l.")

    By the time the Titanic sailed, the German Liberal school had won the day in Europe and we would see the slow demise of a Christless, baseless, groundless Church. There's a reason so many churches and cathedrals are empty. They emptied themselves theologically first...the people soon followed.

    So by the time the Titanic sailed a new school of advanced theologians was arising. The major theologian of the time was Wilhelm Hermann. Hermann had two significant students: Rudolph Bultmann and Karl Barth.

    Long story, terribly short...Bultmann became the greatest exegete of last century. He also became the greatest theological liberal of last century too. Barth was headed down that same path, though his field was systematic theology...or dialectical theology. But Barth changed.

    Anyways, by the end of WWII the ship of liberalism had sailed and many of the primary institutions in America were filled with German and French scholars and students of scholars. The major institutes and seminaries all changed for the most part. I think of where Union was and now is, the same for Harvard, Yale, and several others.

    Once the 1960s came, the whole Christian theological system was up for grabs. Nobody believed in any of it (mostly thanks to Bultmann's demythologization.) And an entire generation of scholars working in schools accepted denials of the resurrection, Jesus as a historical figure, and many other core doctrines. In secular studies, Christianity was seen as a bunch of primeval wackos.

    However, Habermas is right btw, the tide is shifting.

    Because of the growth in linguistical theory, some archeological data, and time to work through many of the problems presented by the German Liberal school, we've been able to establish some core beliefs and doctrines as legit. It took a generation to catch up (probably due the after-effects of the failed Fundamentalist-Modernist controversies) but orthodox Christianity is one of the most well supported religions historically.

    Even agnostic scholars like Bart Ehrman accept that Jesus lived on earth and died by crucifixion. This shift is due to significant research and people who dedicated their lives to answering parts and pieces of the questions thrown at us.

    When I think of scholars like Hurtado, Plantinga, Bauckham, Wolterstorf, Wright, etc etc etc who have re-established the core positions of Christianity in their own unique ways...well, there is a greater day ahead.

    This doesn't mean its all bells and whistles through the academy in 10 years. That isn't going to happen. However, it does mean that we have an increasing body of literature, scholarship, and research that supports the basic message of Christianity and scholars both religious and secular who back this stuff up.

    We are amid a really interesting time. :)
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    You forgot one named Paul
     
  6. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
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    Thank you very much PiJ. No need to buy a book on the subject, I think you filled in a lot of the spaces I was searching for. I wondered if the German Theological shift had moved to America. I just wonder why such sound institution allowed this to happen? Again Thanks, I will check of the book you referred to.
     
  7. Thomas Helwys

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    Thanks for this good summary.
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Having attended 3 good fundamental Baptist (or baptistic) seminaries I do NOT see many seminaries "changing". It has become "replacement" instead, with evangelicals simply starting new schools when the older main-line schools drifted into apostasy and error.

    Higher criticism (the father of the bastard uber-liberalism and modernism) began on the Continent in the 1860-80. Many Americans who wanted higher education after an MDiv left the IUS and spent time studying under these men. They returned to become US seminary profs AND pastors of larger, influential congregations.

    By 1900 there was a reaction in almost every denomination against this liberalism. Some fought and won to keep their group more evangelical. Most fought and lost.

    Among the two mega-US Baptist groups - the NBC started the drift and the fundamental Baptist fellowship began to have its own pre-convention. They tried and failed to enforce a mandatory doctrinal statement (every pastor and church agree or they leave the Northern Baptists). It failed in 1922.

    Seeing this failure, the SBC in 1925 introduced and passed the Baptist Faith and Message statement of agreement = all missionaries, profs, churches signed agreement.

    Since then, the major NBC seminaries have been ABANDONED by evangelical/fundamentalist. New schools have started to replace them and remain unchanged and true to the Word.
     
  10. SolaSaint

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    Thanks Dr. Bob, great explanation, is there a good book on the history of this?
     
  11. go2church

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    Not to be picky, but the signing of the BF&M didn't start until 2000, Southern still doesn't use it officially. Up to then it was more along the lines of this is what we believe, what do you believe and can you teach according to our standard in good conscience. Much more of a gentleman/woman agreement. Some have championed the change others have not and moved on to other teaching posts.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Because so many of the liberals (SBC calls liberals "moderates" but hey, they are liberal!) simply lied. They said they agreed but didn't.

    If you have bad theology, like the progressive/cooperative Baptist bunch that left the SBC, lying is par for the course.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Amen and amen!
     
  14. Thomas Helwys

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    That's a blanket statement and painting with a broad brush which is unfair and inaccurate. It is equivalent to my calling all fundamentalists liars, which I would never do because it is untrue.

    And if you think the CBF is liberal, what would you call the Alliance of Baptists?
     
  15. preachinjesus

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    I'm not Dr Bob, but if you're interested in one seminary's journey, check out Reforming Fundamentalism by George Marsden.

    It's about Fuller Theological Seminary.
     
  16. Aaron

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    In short: Darwinism. Once it was considered scientific and sophisticated to deny Genesis, the rest was easy.

    Today, we've cut the thorns and briars (mostly), but the root remains.
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    Think the percentage of those denying the bodily resurrection, atonemnt, bible inerrancy/infallibility MUCH higher among"NT scolars", as those with PHDs in study'field of the NT, as they seem to have bought to large extent the teachings of liberal/critical schools of thought!
     
  18. go2church

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    The embarrassing truth is that there was lying on both sides during the resurgence.
     
  19. Havensdad

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    From the founding of Southern (1858), all teachers were REQUIRED to adhere to the Abstract of Principles; which not only affirms the basics of the faith, but also affirms at minimum a mild form of Calvinism. The document they have been required to affirm (LONG before 2000!!), is in many ways MORE strict than the BF& M.

    After liberal theologians began to take Southern over, then they began making professors sign it, because the professors were lying in order to get teaching positions.

    GOOD FOR THEM. No SEMINARY should allow a teacher that denies the basic tenets of the faith. Would you allow someone to teach at a medical school, if they denied the necessity of scalpels, and asserted instead that surgeons should use butter knives??! Any professor that denies the virgin birth, or the deity of Christ, or the resurrection, should be instantly let go.
     
  20. SolaSaint

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    :thumbs: Amen
     

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