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 Bible Schools??

As many of you know on this site I have been praying about going to bible school and God willing I will probably be going possibly this summer and then attend as a full-time student this next year. I actually have been thinking just abit about the origins of bible schools and how did the idea of paying for an education in scriptures originate.

So far talking to a few people the one main scripture in acts came up:

[b]Acts 19:9[/b] - But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

A commentary says that this lecture hall was essentially a school where philopshy was taught by heathens (unbelievers). So they assume possible Paul rented out the space? and therefore even got money from people who came in? charged to hear Paul speak? the more I am thinking about this the more I am getting abit puzzled about this situation in our modern days.

I do agree that times have changed and society is abit different. but still.. any thoughts?


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/7 23:11Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
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 Re: Bible Schools??

. . . and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

The pattern of a workday in Ephesus was as follows:

7:00-11:00 a.m.Work

11:00-4:00 p.m.Break

4:00-9:00 p.m. Work

Taking advantage of this schedule, Paul held classes during the afternoon, when the building used by Tyrannus, the philosopher was vacant. I'm so impressed with the servant's heart and mentality of Paul. Not only did he support himself in ministry by making tents, he used his time off to teach about the things of the Kingdom.

[url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1084020432-320.html]http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1084020432-320.html[/url]

From digging around a bit it seems difficult to find any thing relating to Paul's use of the facialties and equating any money changing hands.

This is an aside, but I did get a kick out of it, from my MacArthur study bible:

"Tyrannus was either the owner of the lecture hall, or a philosopher who taught there. If the latter, his name, which means "our tyrant," may have been a nickname given him by his students. Paul used the hall during the afternoon break (from about 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), when it would otherwise be unoccupied."

Hope you get a "Paul" and not a tyrant to study under... :-)

Agree that times are different and the money issue is as well, certainly the lack there of and/or the cost.;-) But as far as it relating to "should" it cost? Well, that is debatable, but it just is a matter of fact...'somebody has to put the plumbing in.' Salaries, maintenance, cushy chairs for the posteriors...

I don't know, I don't see it is niether here nor there, it just 'is'.

Knowing your heart for the Lord I would guess that you will excel in this, I mean, go to bible school and learn [i]more[/i] about the Lord?!
Praise God!

Then you could come back here and teach all of us for free! Sounds like a good deal to me... :-)


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Mike Balog

 2004/5/8 11:03Profile
Delboy
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Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re: Bible Schools??

Hi Greg,
I am sure God will lead you.

Quote:
So they assume possible Paul rented out the space? and therefore even got money from people who came in? charged to hear Paul speak?


Yes this is one big assumption!
Remember this site has many downloads of godly men who never attended a formal training. and also some who have.
The will of God is not a balancing act on a tightrope.Sometimes we have choices given to us;when He says, what would you do?
Personally,I do not see the need for a formal qualification in the things of God.Having said that I am seriously considering a correspondance type of study, just for my own growth
I know some organisations require a formal qualification so thats fine.
Dont beat yourself up over this desire you have, for now just rest in him :-)


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derek Eyre

 2004/5/8 11:30Profile
KingJimmy
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Charlotte, NC

 Re: Bible Schools??

Quote:

So they assume possible Paul rented out the space? and therefore even got money from people who came in? charged to hear Paul speak? the more I am thinking about this the more I am getting abit puzzled about this situation in our modern days.



It doesn't really matter if there was some sort of tuition that had to be paid in order to attend the school. Be it to Paul or the owner of the facilities. We are called to "bear one anothers burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal 6:2) And those who labor diligently in preaching and teaching are worthy of their hire, and deserve to be taken care of financially by whomever they are ministering to.

To go or not to go to Bible school? Ultimately, that is the Lord's call. Understand though, that going to Bible school is a little more than simply reading the Bible, nor is it simply reading other man's ideas about the Bible. It is a little bit of both. Attached to going to Bible school is receiving college credits at an accredited school, as well as a piece of paper that comes with that (should you earn enough credits). Attached with all that is fees and things the school has to do to maintain their accreditation with the agency that validifies them, meeting whatever requirements that agency requires of the school.

Bible school is a great opprotunity to learn more about the Scriptures, the historical situation out of which they arose, as well as what other men of God (and some who are not of God) have said about it. There is some depth to some of the things you can learn, but, it seems in my experience that you are moreso growing horizontally that vertically... which can be a good thing. At Bible school I've learned some deep things of God that I did not quite understand before entering, but a lot more of it seems to have been simply broadening my horizons.

If you plan on being an elder one day in the Church, I think Bible school is a good idea, as I believe such leadership owes it to their congregation to know what has occured historically with the faith, as well as what trends are occuring now. Granted, they don't need to be a scholar... but is being a scholar a bad thing? Jesus didn't seem to think being a scholar (scribe) was necessarily bad thing (Matthew 13:52).

Why did I go to Bible school? 1) Mostly for what I call my "circumcision of academia." My degree even though it doesn't really mean anything to God, does mean something to some people, e.g. publishing companies 2) To learn things I did not know before 3) I want to be able to teach in a college one day should I need to do "tentmaking."

If all else fails, I'll have earned a Bachelors degree in something... which is better than not having one at all on the job market. Even if the degree means nothing towards my job skills, most employers these days look for applicants to have some sort of degree in something, even if it is not related to their job, for it shows discipline.

Now, here are some negative things to consider...

If you are not strong enough spiritually, Bible college, depending on where you go, could be the death of you. There are all sorts of competing ideas, and many scholars tend to ramble and hope to flood you with words in order to get some of their shallow ideas to take you away.

I'd say if somebody has a weak knowledge of the Scriptures, then Bible college could be a mistake as while somebody might learn a bunch of concepts really well, they'll never truly get a revelation of the material presented to them. My Bible college tends to presume somebody already is rather familar with the Bible. Somebody who was not would probably struggle greatly.

Like all colleges, work is heavy and fast paced. Information is often presented very quickly, and then you move on. Sometimes, things just don't sink in as they should. For example, in Systematic Theology, a lot of ideas are presented, and some scriptures are tossed out there in order to support those ideas, but, actually getting a feel for the Scriptures and what they say in their context can be very hard to do.

So, if you go, choose wisely what you want to study. My student advisor advised me wisely when I came to Lee University. I told him I'd like to study theology, and go on to higher fields of study. He persuaded me through the Holy Spirit to reconsider, and instead focus on Biblical studies, where we often go verse by verse in the Bible, studying what quite a large amount of it says. I am more confident that I will be better well grounded in the future because of it.

Also, you never know who you are getting for professors. Some might be quite good, comptent teachers, anointed of God, and live a holy life. Others though, might be the complete opposite, and are simply professional scholars with no relationship with God. Some fall in between these two extremes.

So far my experience has been pretty good, and I believe in the long run, going to Lee University will have been the best decision I could have made in regard to education. Is everything there perfect? No. Would I prefer to see some changes made? Yes. Do I agree with everything being taught? Usually, though not always.

All these are things to consider.


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Jimmy H

 2004/5/8 11:36Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
"Tyrannus was either the owner of the lecture hall, or a philosopher who taught there. If the latter, his name, which means "our tyrant," may have been a nickname given him by his students. Paul used the hall during the afternoon break (from about 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), when it would otherwise be unoccupied."


yes or the hall was named after the founder of it 'Tyrannus' or Tyrannus was actually an philospher alive during that time that Paul converted therefore he was letting him use the hall for free. Or he was simply selling the hall to Paul and the Christians, or or or.. well basically we have NO idea. except that Paul was teaching a group of Christians in a venue on a daily basis.

Quote:
Knowing your heart for the Lord I would guess that you will excel in this, I mean, go to bible school and learn more about the Lord?!
Praise God! Then you could come back here and teach all of us for free! Sounds like a good deal to me...


I will never charge for people to hear me speak. Not sure why anyone would pay in the first place :-P

I am just abit in a knot about it because for getting into Christian "ministry" so called we have this whole system setup for going to school which of course is modeled after the world and the ways of the world. Weren't the leadership of the early Church chosen by the Holy Spirit? I believe God calls men into the ministry and no man can put that called asunder. Just because I have a BA or THmin does that equip me more for the ministry than God Holy Spirit can? I am not being ignorant of knoweldge or learning, but surely the Apostle Paul said we have a wisdom that you do not know about about a 'heavenly wisdom' which is spiritually discerned and can't be understand fully by the carnal mind.

We dont huck out knowedgle and practical wisdom and logic because surely even Gods word and the wisdom from the above works in most cases and co-insides with this way of thinking. But it does surely supersed this type of thinking because its a revelatory wisdom that others who don't recieve it from above are undiserning of it.

How can men teach this 'wisdom from above' for wares? Theres much practical, historical, and customs that I could learn, even knowedlge of original languages of the bible but when it comes down to it, God is my teacher. I hope not to anger anyone who is already in bible school or had that type of training? am I way off tangent here in my thinking? I still desire to get this type of training but I am trying to put it in context in my mind.

Also I am not saying that I could NOT aquire 'wisdom from above' in bible school, surely through fellowship with the body of Christ that are there I will be edifyed and built up.

Quote:
The will of God is not a balancing act on a tightrope.Sometimes we have choices given to us;when He says, what would you do?


Maybe at SermonIndex we should setup some type of free program to send out to people. hmm now im way off tangent. :-P

Quote:
It doesn't really matter if there was some sort of tuition that had to be paid in order to attend the school.


Just because its a 'school' of philosopy doesnt mean that because Paul was there teaching Christians means that that was a Christian School.

Quote:
Attached to going to Bible school is receiving college credits at an accredited school, as well as a piece of paper that comes with that (should you earn enough credits). Attached with all that is fees and things the school has to do to maintain their accreditation with the agency that validifies them, meeting whatever requirements that agency requires of the school.


Who accredits the bible school? God? Sorry im not trying to be tough here or abnoxious but just trying to plainly look at the situation with an unbiased mind as much as possible. And does a piece of paper matter anything to God, could a person have a Phd out of bible school and still be a midget spiritually whereas a young man just praying and seeking God in the Scriptures be a giant in the faith spiritually?

Quote:
Now, here are some negative things to consider...


Thank you for sharing both sides of situation brother, its good food for thought.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/8 15:53Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

Who accredits the bible school? God? Sorry im not trying to be tough here or abnoxious but just trying to plainly look at the situation with an unbiased mind as much as possible. And does a piece of paper matter anything to God, could a person have a Phd out of bible school and still be a midget spiritually whereas a young man just praying and seeking God in the Scriptures be a giant in the faith spiritually?



Different agencies give their mark of approval on the Bible school. You don't have to go to an accredited Bible school if you don't want to. I know several non-accredited Bible schools in the Charlotte area alone, and they are simply extensions of that local church and their ministry to many other people e.g. drug addicts, homeless, sunday school, ladies ministry, etc. But, depending on WHY you are getting the degree, the accreditation matters. If you are just going to learn about the Scriptures, then it does not matter. But, if you are actually wanting to take that degree and go on to higher levels of education at other institutions, then the agency that accredits your school matters, as many institutions do not recognize all other accrediting agencies.

In this, I am not talking about anything so far as becoming approved in the eyes of God as a minister of the gospel. The only one who can validate your ministry is God, and that is all that matters. No amount of formal education qualifies one to minister the gospel.

My recommendations on the 'to go' or 'not to go' to Bible college has nothing to do with gaining approval from God. Had I not gone to Bible college, I'd have probably invested the same dollars in getting the amount of books on your book shelf and actually reading them :) I had already commited many dollars to such a task as it was. One cool thing about Bible school though is actually getting to discuss with other people what they think of the books you are reading. I'm sure sometimes you've read a book and just had a great desire to bounce some thoughts off another person to see what they think of it.


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Jimmy H

 2004/5/8 16:28Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

How can men teach this 'wisdom from above' for wares? Theres much practical, historical, and customs that I could learn, even knowedlge of original languages of the bible but when it comes down to it, God is my teacher. I hope not to anger anyone who is already in bible school or had that type of training? am I way off tangent here in my thinking? I still desire to get this type of training but I am trying to put it in context in my mind.



There is also the wisdom of a plurality of counselors. Yes, God teaches us, and John says we have no need of anybody to teach us anything, but the anointing of God upon our lives brings us into all truth. Yet at the same time, God has given some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who are there to help further us in the faith... and some of these individuals can be found in Bible college, as them teaching at Bible college is often just another method of expressing the gifts God has given them that they use at the local church and in witnessing to the world. Once again, you already have a ton of books on your shelf that you've read to some extent. Going to Bible college is much like that, but just more systematic in its focus than randomly buying books off Amazon.


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Jimmy H

 2004/5/8 16:33Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
How can men teach this 'wisdom from above' for wares? Theres much practical, historical, and customs that I could learn, even knowedlge of original languages of the bible but when it comes down to it, God is my teacher. I hope not to anger anyone who is already in bible school or had that type of training? am I way off tangent here in my thinking? I still desire to get this type of training but I am trying to put it in context in my mind.


Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned at heart, maybe I would rather work with my hands doing something practical in the fresh-air and then enjoy to hear Paul the Apostle speake every afternoon for free. I guess the way society has changed and the cost of living is so high in North America that we just can't exist and make food forourselves but need to fit in somehow with this whole beast and pay our way in the system. Man I'm almost sounding like a mormon now. ok everyone can mentally edit this last bit out. :-P thanks.

Quote:
Once again, you already have a ton of books on your shelf that you've read to some extent. Going to Bible college is much like that, but just more systematic in its focus than randomly buying books off Amazon.


I agree with you brother Jimmy that I need more focus on my studies and thats one of the reasons why I want to go to bible school. Also the wisdom of many counsellors is a great thing that happens in fellowship in groups. Also some professors are hopefully quite mature in the Lord and spritual experience which would be very profitable to sit under them and learn.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/8 17:01Profile
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 Re:

I've thought about Bible College a bit myself, for training, discipleship, and perhaps for credentials (the credentials don't matter to me personally, but in some situations they would be helpful).

The whole money issue is summed up fairly neatly to me: schools cost money to run, and the people running and teaching the school generally need food, water, shelter, etc, and if they have to work another job in addition to their position at the school it could be detrimental. Perhaps they could run off donations and charge the students little or nothing, but sometimes the burden just has to fall on those being taught. I don't think it should be more than is necessary for the aforementioned requirements, since Christians should not seek to profit off one another.

One of my friends told me that B.H. Clendenen more or less makes his front row of pews his Bible school, the men sit there, get preached into the ground, taught, called upon to preach, etc... Something like that would be preferable to me, as I'm mostly looking for discipleship, Bible teaching as only part of it.

My greatest concern about Bible schools or seminaries is they might experience "Dead Sea syndrome" with lots of stuff pouring in, but hardly anything pouring out. I think Ray Comfort put it something like this "While you're gathering fuel for your fire, don't let it go out!" Personally I think any of these institutions of any size should frequently send out evangelism/discipleship teams to the local communities to preach the Word and share the wisdom that God is blessing them with. If these institutions had been practicing this faithfully, I believe the world wouldn't be as far down the depravity spiral.

May God guide us in all our decisions, including these,
-Keith

 2004/5/8 17:18Profile
HakkaMin
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Joined: 2004/4/12
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 Re: Bible Schools??

Greg,

There are some "Bible Schools" out there that are not in the typical "four-year, pass the tests, get your diploma" kind of mold. The "Berean School Of The Bible" is one such school ... a ten-month, fairly intensive walk through the Bible by teachers I highly respect. (Especially Steve Gregg, who started the school yeasr ago.) From what I understand, the "class" is pretty small and there's plenty of time to hang out with the teachers. You can certainly get a good feel for the teaching by checking out www.thenarrowpath.com and more about the school by going to www.bereanschoolofthebible.org.

Then there's YWAM's "School Of Biblical Studies" (SBS) that is quite a bit different format of Bible School. It's not so teacher based as it is personal inductive Bible study based.

One of the things I like about both these schools is that they (for the most part) seem to produce students with a love for the Word and a strong sense of integrity in correctly handling it. I believe that these values serve us much better than just getting a degree and walking away with a lot of dead knowledge.




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Gregg Dennington

 2004/5/8 22:12Profile





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