Tension Between Local Church Ministerial Training & Education

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear to hear:

    Being as the local Baptist churches are not doing an adequate job of training pastors (see many many discussions of this on the BB);

    And as;

    Being the seminaries, Bible Colleges, Liberal Arts Christian Colleges and Universities, and Grad Schools of Religions are training said pastors and vocational church workers in the place of the local congregations;

    How is it that the tension between Indoctrination and Investigation can best be maintained? Or, does it need to be maintained?

    Indoctrination should be framed for this thread by what the churches should do.

    Investigation should be framed for this thread by what the institutions of higher learning are doing.

    Please RSVP in a thoughtful, gentlemanly, prayerful, and respectful manner.

    We usually rush off in this direction or the other when trying to balance this tension. It is one that has plagued my thinking for many a year.

    Your help sorting it out for me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    Rhet, I'll be watching to see if there is any interesting discussion. Since the thread on formal ministry education degenerated into something other than what you originally wanted, I think I'll sit this one out.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    rlvaughn,

    Although you and I have had some disagreements, I have always appreciated your timely and insightful and wise comments.

    Please do not hesitate to join in the discussion. Remember, "In a multitude of counselors there is safety."

    sdg!

    rd
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    This is a real problem. Bible College/Seminary are great ways that churches can COMBINE TOGETHER to make sure pastors have the ACADEMIC training.

    BUT that said, the PRACTICAL training in the local church is often greatly overlooked. Like a Medical Doctor, a "resident" or "intern" levels of hands-on experience SHOULD be part of the entire educational program.

    IF a man has a good Bible college education (with pastoral/greek/theology) he should have a shorter route with formal Seminary classes. Then at least a year of "residency".

    IF a man has just a liberal arts education, he will need an additional year to "catch up" in seminary. But still also take the residency.

    I would rather a man earn an MA in pastoral theology (34-44 credits above college) and then do a year of residency than go the 90-96 MDiv route without the hands-on training.

    Just my 2 cents to get discussion going.
     
  5. TomVols

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    As Al Mohler said (I believe in an interveiw with the SBTS magazine on his 10th anniversary of becoming SBTS president), indoctrination has become a perjorative term used by liberals who accuse seminary professors of squelching "academic freedom." While I understand that a certin modicum of freedom is necessary to keep from, say, 5 point calvinists from silencing 4 pointers in discussion and so forth, we must teach sound doctrine in order to be faithful to 2 Tim. 2:2. The only indoctrination proper that I've ever heard of goes on at the liberal schools and the extremist fundamental schools where traditions are taught as the precepts of God.

    Using your terms, I believe both can be done by both. Some of the best investigative (dare I call it inductive?) Bible study I've seen has come in a Sunday School class.

    I'm at the head of the line when it comes to calling for a higher place in the local church for ministerial education. I'm just failing to see how the existence of a brick-and-mortar or online entity called a "seminary" or "Bible college" means the church has jettisoned theological/ministerial education, especially in the SBC where the churches govern the seminaries.

    Churches should provide healing, yet why is no one upset at the existence of Baptist Hospitals?
     
  6. TomVols

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    By the way, let me put my moderator's hat on: if this discussion is hijacked (as some previous ones have been) it will be closed and punitive measures taken. Stay on topic. Observe all BB rules at all times.
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Dr. Bob & Bro. Tom,

    I am so glad I posted this thread. You two guys are "really in the know."

    Thank you for spurring along the discussion.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

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    {Snip}
    My solution to the "tension" is to practice total separation of church and "institutions of higher learning." Let the churches do their God given task - indoctrination. Let their colleges do their self-assumed task and let not the churches support them in it.

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ February 02, 2006, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  9. UZThD

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    First, I do not think it unlikely that an experienced pastor could well mentor one in the praxis of pastoral ministry.

    But second, I doubt that said pastor could do as well in teaching the other disciplines commonly associated with seminary learning such as pastoral counseling, Biblical languages, hermeneutics, historical theology and church history, and systematic theology.

    That is why I elsewhere raised the question if whether much of the debate over seminary vs. church pastoral education has the underlying issue of what a minister should know. As an example, is it really worthwhile for a minister to understand the issues of current debates among evangelical, Bible believing Christologists?

    Of course, I think it is. IMO Christology is the center of our faith. I think it important that Christians have clear and defensible concepts about the Person in whom they believe. And I don't think the pastors duty is just to build a large church. He should be concerned with understanding his people have about the Person ofd Christ. IMO it is his duty to teach. But a teacher must understand the issues.

    Let me exemplify:

    (1) Some, as Erickson, say God the Son laid aside the use of His divine attributes when incarnating. Others, as Grudem,deny that God could stop using His divine attributes. Which view is right? Why?

    (2) Does Philippians 2:6 mean that Christ has both form and equality with God as Hawthorne and Athanasius say or is Dan Wallace right that Christ has the morphe but not the hisa because the meaning of harpagmos (deemed it) and the articulated infinitive drive a lexical/grammatical wedge beteen the two statements? Does harpagmos take an idiomatic meaning when used with certain verbs as hegesato as Hoover's disseartational research shows ?These are exegetical issues.

    (3) Is Hodge correct that the humanity of Christ has its own intellect and will and is an entity that acts or is Buswell right that the human soul of Christ is the divine soul made human and the humanity is just a collect of qualities? Or is the Lutheran formula correct that the divine nature shares attributes with the human?

    (4) Is God the Son eternally role subordinate to God the Father as Ware says or is He only economically and temporally so to effect our salvation as Derickson teaches?

    (5) Is the Son eternally begotten or essentiated as Berkof says or can it be shown that "Son" does not indicate derivation and neither does the Greek "monogenes" (only begotten)?

    BUT do these issues really have anything at all to do with pastoral work? Certainly they must because the pastor in teaching surely must explain the many Biblical texts which directly concern these very issues(I could state scores and scores of such texts) . If we are to remain in the doctrine about Christ ( 2 Jo 9)and if we are to evaluate doctrine by what we learn (Rom 16:17) and if the pastor's job is to know enough doctrine to recognize the false and convincingly correct it (Tt. 1:9), then it would seem that such issues as I've outlined come within the scope of what should be pastoral expertise.

    Of course I am not saying that the pastor should preach a semon on Cyril of Alexandria vs. Nestorius, or on Logos sarx vs. Logos anthropos Christology. No! What I AM saying is that the pastor in his teaching obligations will come across passages of Scriprure to interpret and that this interpretation should be influenced by the pastor's grasp of the technicalities of the exegetics and the task of presenting a particular doctrine which coheres with the belief system he feels his church should espouse.

    But my question is, is the average pastor able to provide his apprentice with the exegetical and theological skills and knowledge even to precisely define the Person of Christ Who is the Center of our Faith? Or, is such knowledge and skills best taught by experts in the respective disciplines?

    Thanks for considering my opining,

    Bill

    [ February 03, 2006, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: UZThD ]
     
  10. jw

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    At the seminary I attend they require internships to be done at a local church of your choosing.

    The church I am interning at is great. I get the opportunity to preach about once a month, and my sermons are thoroughly critiqued by my pastor. I go on hospital and shut-in visitation with him every week. I get to work with the youth, and teach there every now and then as well. He assigns me various different projects to work on in the church. He also presents me with various different practical, hypothetical scenarios to work out a Biblical solution to, then we sit down and talk about them when I think I've come up with the answer. He's very gracious, and always allows for his interns to have different opinions and approaches to the ministry. He's not there to make us cookie-cutters, but to help us learn, grow, and get grounded in our doctrine and faith.

    Sometimes he dumps more work on me than I can handle, but I really do love it. I get to be involved in almost every aspect of ministry.

    Of course, this is just the pastor I'm under. Some don't have it as good as me [​IMG]
     

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