In an article today at “Between the Times,” Danny Akin and Bruce Ashford remind us that the calling of SBC seminaries is “to serve the churches of the SBC.” They issue four challenges to that end, but it was number two that caught my eye as an educator in an SBC school:
“A second challenge for the seminaries is to produce ministry-minded graduates instead of seminary eggheads. The brutal fact is that seminaries sometimes produce students who can discourse on theological abstractions but who are detached from real-life ministry.”
Amen to that. The academic study of theology is not an end in itself. We serve the church, or our work is vanity. This line reminded me of a similar exhortation that Wayne Grudem issued to evangelical scholars in his 1999 presidential address to the Evangelical Theological Society. Grudem’s short article would be worth the read for anyone else out there in my line of work. You can download it here:
Grudem offers six suggestions to evangelical scholars:
Suggestion #1: Consider the possibility that God may want evangelical scholars to write more books and articles that tell the Church what the whole Bible teaches us about some current problem.
Suggestion # 2: Consider the possibility that God wants the Church to discover answers and reach consensus on more problems, and wants us to play a significant role in that process.
Suggestion #3: Consider the possibility that God wants evangelical scholars to speak with a unified voice on certain issues before the whole Church and the world.
Suggestion #4: Consider the possibility that God may want many of us to pay less attention to the writings of non-evangelical scholars.
Suggestion #5: Consider the possibility that God may want us to quote his Word explicitly in private discussions and in public debates with non-Christians.
Sugesstion #6: Consider the possibility that the world as we know it may change very quickly.
Read the rest here.