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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Keith writes 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.

I did a 3 year Bible College course back in the 60s and learned how to use some very valuable study tools but my main concern with Bible Schools is the shere amount of work they try to get through. It is very difficult for a Bible College to provide an atmosphere in which an individual can respond thoroughly. Often newly discovered truths need time to be integrated into our conscience and life-pattern. The danger with Bible Colleges (and Christian Performance in Music etc) is that the schedule demands a move on to the next item, and to leave the conscience no time to respond is a very dangerous practice. Such intensive times of study can produce the phenomena called 'lecturing' where "the lecturer's notes become the student's notes, without having passed through the mind (or heart) of either"

Wesley had a word to say about half-awakened consciences...
"I am more and more convinced that the Devil himself desires nothing more than this, that the people of any place should be half-awakened, and then left to themselves to fall asleep again; therefore I determined, by the grace of God, not to strike one stroke in any place where I cannot follow the blow." John Wesley's Journal III


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/14 7:02Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
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 Re:

I started and quite my first Bible school. The good part was that God can work through any endeavor. If I studied Genesis, God was there. If I studied Principles of Ministry Training, God was there. I also met others who loved the Lord.

The down side is the credentialing process. Not all men are led by the Spirit. So one may have to sit under the teaching of one who is living under the law.

The best teaching comes from being involved in ministry in the local church. Find a Spirit led church where the fruit of holiness is evident. The Lord will provide.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/14 14:32Profile
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Joined: 2004/3/28
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 Re:

Quote:
The danger with Bible Colleges (and Christian Performance in Music etc) is that the schedule demands a move on to the next item, and to leave the conscience no time to respond is a very dangerous practice. Such intensive times of study can produce the phenomena called 'lecturing' where "the lecturer's notes become the student's notes, without having passed through the mind (or heart) of either"

Wesley had a word to say about half-awakened consciences...
"I am more and more convinced that the Devil himself desires nothing more than this, that the people of any place should be half-awakened, and then left to themselves to fall asleep again; therefore I determined, by the grace of God, not to strike one stroke in any place where I cannot follow the blow." John Wesley's Journal III

Very helpful thoughts, thank you.

Perhaps the moral of the experience is: make 3 year Bible college courses into 6 years?

They'd probably just fill in the space with more stuff :)

 2004/5/14 16:30Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

It is very difficult for a Bible College to provide an atmosphere in which an individual can respond thoroughly. Often newly discovered truths need time to be integrated into our conscience and life-pattern. The danger with Bible Colleges (and Christian Performance in Music etc) is that the schedule demands a move on to the next item, and to leave the conscience no time to respond is a very dangerous practice.



Indeed, this is my main complaint with Bible College as well. Systematic Theology is often presented in 2 classes, and the pace is often very quick. Had I already not known a bit about what I believe, and knew some of what others believed, my two semesters of Systematic Theology would have been a total waste, and probably only left me more confused than anything. Also, some of the "not-so-important" aspects of theology are glanced over, namely, ecclesiology and eschatology (at least in my experience.) Granted, some areas I've been exposed to over and over again, in various ways in different classes. In some classes such as Pastoral epistles, where we look at everything verse by verse and discuss it in depth, things were simply not glossed over. But some of the bulkier, and perhaps more important classes have not permitted it due to time constraints.

I'd say if anybody goes to Bible college, they should already have a good grasp of what the Scriptures say. Bible college has been a wonderful experience for me, and I have experienced the presence of God in many classes. It has broadened my horizons, and made me a lot more careful in jumping to conclusions about passages in the Scripture.

Also, one must be careful that while they do not get traped into academic ways of speaking. Though phrases like "the eschatological significance" might be useful in the world of academia, if you used such words during Sunday morning, you'd lose 99% of everybody in the congregation, sometimes probably even more. I once encountered a fellow in a chat room where we were talking on a discussion, and he started teaching on a passage as follows (paraphrased, perhaps exaggerated):

"One of the first things we must do when examining a passage of Scripture is to apply the hermeneutical rule of looking at a pericope in context."

He sounded more like a science teacher (as he looks at hermeneutics as an exact science), than a teacher of God's word. Granted, he was very precise and exact in his wording, and what he said was TECHNICALLY correct. However, he'll frighten a good deal of people away, especially in a congregational setting, if he talks like that (btw, this room i was chatting in was not a formal theological chat room). He could have simply just said "when you study a passage in Scripture, you need to look at it in its proper context."

An academic trapping I have noticed is that some very insightful people learn to say some of the most wonderful things, but you have to be an intellectual elite and possess knowledge of a third language to understand them. Take for example, folks like Os Guinness and Philip Kenneson, two authors for whom I owe a debt of insight to. Some of their insight is absolutely amazing. However, I fear I cannot understand half of what they are saying, because often they are writting at a Masters/Ph.D level, and take for granted you know the in's and out's of history, philosophy, theology, economics, sociology, psychology, etc. Sometimes I frankly have to just skim some pages, and pan for a nugget here and there. While I think it might be fine if you are writing at an academic level to academics, some of their even more "practical" books fail to break free from the strangle-hold of their education. Perhaps some of these folks just need to get baptized in the Holy Spirit.

As Ravenhill aptly pointed out, the reason behind our need of Bible colleges and Seminaries is that the Church has failed to truly disciple and mentor believers. Besides the formal academic reasons for going to Bible colllege & seminary, believers should be able to be aptly trained at the local level in understanding God's word. But instead of teaching and pouring one's life out as a drink offering to establish others in God's word, many ministers are simply caught up in other things. Funny, when Paul told Timothy that those who preach and teach God's word ought to be compensated for them working hard at such, I don't think he had in mind the simple giving of a Sunday Morning/Evening and Wednesday night message. Sounds like it was probably something they worked hard at on a daily basis.


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Jimmy H

 2004/5/14 16:34Profile
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Joined: 2004/5/2
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 Re:

I am currently studying online with Berean School of the Bible (www.globaluniversity.edu). It's a great school, and I'd highly recommend it as an alternative way to get a good Bible education. Berean is very economical, and it is possible to become an ordained Assemblies of God minister through them in as little as three years. :)

 2004/5/15 21:20Profile
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Hi Elisabeth, Thanks for sharing! I would love to know more about this school. Is it part of the Assemblies of God denomination? I have been looking into taking a few distance courses and then possibly going full-time this next year or even winter semester. I am still researching, praying and weighing my options. How has your experience been so far from this? Is the 3 years required to be an ordained Assemblies of God minister ungraduate, or graduate studies? hmm it appears that www.globaluniversity.edu is down right now but I will check back later on it.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/15 21:45Profile
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heres a page I found on the university in the meanwhile, it is quite cheap and is run by the Assemblies of God. neat.

http://colleges.ag.org/college_guide/gu.cfm


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/15 21:52Profile
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 Re:

Hi Greg,
Berean is an accredited Assemblies of God school. It is a division of Global University, which offers Undergraduate and Graduate degrees (all online). Berean is a certificate program, and it offers certificates for all three of the A/G ministerial levels: certified, licensed, and ordained. It takes one to two years to complete one level of the Berean ministerial program. One third of the A/G ministers have received their credentials through Berean. Their website is down tonight, unfortunately!
I've loved Berean. The courses are very well written, and neither too difficult nor too easy, in my opinion. I do highly recommend them. Berean is Pentecostal in doctrine, and seem very solid. When I started with them December 2003, I was a Baptist who had become charismatic in doctrine, so it did require some adjustment! I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and have become A/G since then, however. :-)
I'm always happy to answer questions! :-)
Blessings to you,
Elisabeth

 2004/5/15 23:26Profile
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Quote:
Berean is a certificate program, and it offers certificates for all three of the A/G ministerial levels: certified, licensed, and ordained. It takes one to two years to complete one level of the Berean ministerial program. One third of the A/G ministers have received their credentials through Berean. Their website is down tonight, unfortunately!


Hi Sister, thank you for sharing. Does this ministerial program require an undergraduate program first? Just to let you know I go to a presbyterian Church but I would say my doctrinal beliefs are much closer to a pentecostal like belief. Have you finished the program yet? Are you planning to do a pastorate at a church? I would love to know more about what you are feeling led to do with your life. By the way welcome to sermonindex :-D


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/15 23:33Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Hi Sister, thank you for sharing. Does this ministerial program require an undergraduate program first? Just to let you know I go to a presbyterian Church but I would say my doctrinal beliefs are much closer to a pentecostal like belief. Have you finished the program yet? Are you planning to do a pastorate at a church? I would love to know more about what you are feeling let to do with your life. By the way welcome to sermonindex :-D



There are no other requirements for taking the ministerial program. I think you need a highschool diploma, but that's it. The A/G don't require as much education of their ministers as some denominations do. I hope to finish the program June 2005. I will probably have completed the requirements to be an ordained minister, but I do not intend to pastor a church. I plan to go into church ministry of some sort, probably as a pastor's wife, but I am not comfortable with women as ministers. ;-)
One thing I appreciate about going to Bible school online is that it's easier to stick to doctines that might vary with the denomination, since there aren't professors to deal with in person. When I started Berean, I was a Calvinist, and as you might know, the A/G is Arminian. I'm somewhere in between Calvinism and Arminianism now.;-)

Thanks for the welcome, brother--this is a great website!

 2004/5/15 23:45Profile





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