Who Would Your Rather Have As Your Pastor?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by TCGreek, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Who Would You Rather Have As Your Pastor?

    Isn't it interesting that some of our churches would rather have someone who has a Ph.D from a state university in a secular field, which has nothing to do with the bible, rather than someone who has a masters from a not so well known seminary or unaccredited seminary, but yet credible.

    What are your thoughts? Who would you rather have preaching to you?
     
    #1 TCGreek, Feb 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2007
  2. rbell

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    The person that God has called to be my pastor.
     
  3. Martin

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    It does not really matter. As long as they love the Lord, are following Him, and know His Word. I don't care what subject their PhD is in. My pastor's ThM and ThD are from Covington (unaccredited) yet, and I say this honestly, he is the best pastor I have ever had. He earned his degrees years ago before the rise of modern distance learning. He was also very poor and did not have the resources to go on to three years of seminary (MDiv) and then more (DMin, etc).

    I want to see people get accredited degrees because of the limitations/stigma that come with unaccredited degrees.
     
  4. TomVols

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    Truthfully, I can only think of one man that has a doctorate from a secular university that is a pastor. I just don't see the premise you state as being wide-spread. I also don't think it matters, assuming he does have some ministerial training.
     
  5. TCGreek

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    I quite agree with Martin,

    Because of the stigma attached to UA degrees it would be best for pastors to have accredited degrees. But when you think about it, the average church member only wants to know, one who is spiritually discerning, if her pastor knows the Scriptures and can preach it effectively.

    As we all know, accreditation, whether RA or NA, is one way of keeping institutions academically "honest," because anyone can rise up with a pc in their den, calling their seminary Princeton Baptist college and seminary (not a bad name).

    Bottomline, however, is the call of God to ministry. When I think of Amos, neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but just a shepherd, who was called by God. When I think of recent times, a Martyn Lloyd-Jones, for example, who was an MD before being called to the ministry. God continues to defy human standards in his calling.
     
    #5 TCGreek, Feb 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2007
  6. gb93433

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    A Ph.D. is a research degree. Not much research is done by pastors.
     
  7. TomVols

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    Pastors do research all the time...every week, if you want to be technical about it :)
     
  8. StefanM

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    \

    ...but not typically in the sense of original contributions to the scholarly literature. :)
     
  9. swaimj

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    Probably prefer the candidate with more education in biblical studies. Individual results may vary.
     
  10. TomVols

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    I believe the late Jame M. Boice argued eloquently for the advanced education (including research doctorates) of pastors. The idea that the pastorate requires less education than the academy is a rather silly notion. Just my four cents worth (inflation, you know) :thumbs:
     
  11. gb93433

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    The late A.T. Robertson argued much differently. Having been both a scholar and pastor he knew that pastors did not have the time to do the research that scholars have.

    You will know the difference in doing a research doctorate when you complete a dissertation.

    Sometime when you get a chance read

    The Best of A.T. Robertson
    Compiled by Davis S. Dockery
    Edited by Timothy and Denise George Foreward by Herschel H. Hobbs

    CHAPTER TEN
    Preaching and Scholarship, the Inaugural Address to the Faculty, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, October 3, 1890
     
  12. TCGreek

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    The late James M. Boice is just one voice. However, I think he was on to something. Let's not forget that there are different levels of research (we can get technical about this).

    I do believe that pastors should be efficient in the biblical languages (proper exegesis requires such). But let us not forget that it all has to do with how much desire a pastor has for critical and deeper studies. Some pastors are content with just consulting commentaries for their sermons instead of doing serious exegesis of the biblical text.

    According to Piper, pastors must develop a reputation for wrestling with passages for themselves, if it means several hours with one word in a verse.

    I remember a conversation I had with Bill Mounce (that Greek guy), now pastor of a church in Spokane, Washington, and he told me that if he had to do it all over again, he would still have done his Ph.D in NT at Aberdeen. The overflow of his research-oriented Ph.D has blessed his ministry.

    I have not done a doctorate, but I have done a masters in NT Greek, and it has taught me how to do serious research, and now that I am a pastor, I continue to reap the benefits of how to do proper research; again, it all has to do with the desire of the pastor and how discipline he is.
     
    #12 TCGreek, Feb 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2007
  13. gb93433

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    I am about to finish my dissertation and you are absolutely right. There are those professors who believe that God has called the person now it is time to help that student get through. There are others who believe that God has called the person and that student must be well prepared.

    I have been blessed to have had great professors both in seminary and secular schools. However there were a few who did not like it that I was a Christian and somehow “made me pay”. I never received my master’s degree in an area of study because two of my professors in the department were Mormons and I had shared my faith with several Mormon students at the university. But the university I am at now gave me credit for the work I did toward a doctorate because I have a M.Div.

    Sometimes in the effort to wrestle with one word there is the chance of not seeing the forest from the trees. I have known some who stretch the matter so much that they become proud and try to over analyze it too much.

    The problem is when someone has the degrees “to get a job” and little temperature. Too many think of the M.Div. as a ticket to a job. I found that insulting to me especially considering the fact that I went to seminary to learn.

    I would much rather have a man with few degrees and a lot of temperature. Of course both is best.

    Over 30 years ago I met a preacher who pastored a large church in CA and he had only a fourth grade education but by listening to him you would never know it. He may have only gone to the fourth grade but he never stopped learning.

    It has been my gripe for a long time that too many are teachers and preachers who guide the lives of their listeners when they themselves are not learners. They stopped learning years ago. They owe their listeners their very best.

    How can anyone drink from a dry well?
     
  14. TCGreek

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    You are right! Congrats on your doctoral pursuit! We need more doctoral students who would prepare themselves to take on "intellects" who scoff at Christianity.

    Those of us who are pastors and professors should offer nothing but the best to those entrusted to our care. The Scripture is filled of references that upholds excellence in any godly enterprise.

    We should all be encouraged by the discipline of pastors and professors of yesteryears, who devoted their lives to mastering the Word of God. When I think of pastors like John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, CH Spurgeon, etc. Besides, they didn't have all the distractions that we have now.

    Bottomline, if you have been called to the classroom, glorify God; if you have been called to the pulpit, glorify God, and if you have been called to both, glorify God.
     
    #14 TCGreek, Feb 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2007
  15. TomVols

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    Read it (albeit a long time ago). Pastors have no option but to be textual and theological "scholars" if you will. The caricature of the pastor reading a theology manual while his sheep are uncared for is a gross misnomer. The pastor can be a dilligent student and shepherd. In fact, he cannot be one without the other. Does that mean that he will not have the luxury of engaging in trifles? Sure. He'll have to work hard. He won't be able to sleep til 10 every morning. He won't be able to make the Garden Club Potluck subcommittee meeting the Rotarians are having. But he'll be able to shepherd his sheep. What a concept! :thumbs:
     
  16. TCGreek

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    A.T. Robertson was absolutely on target. Today's pastors would do well to heed his advice. But what a discipline he is calling us to.
     
    #16 TCGreek, Feb 27, 2007
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