Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Bible, "Theological Education Matters!"

This week, while reading in Acts, I was struck by a passage that says a lot about the need for people to do theological education. By theological education, I mean more disciplined, thorough, systematic reflection upon the teachings of Scripture. It can be done either at a seminary OR in a local church context.

That theological education matters is NOT obvious to all people. Many, many people reject it as too intellectual or as tending to make people disobedient, "ivory tower" type Christians. For a while, when I was younger, even I demurred seminary education. This criticism is short sighted and unbalanced.

In Acts 18, we hear of Apollos,"He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit,he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue" (Acts 18:24-26a)

This guy was obedient, read his Bible, preached the gospel, was bold...why mess this guy up with theological instruction? Yet, continue reading..."but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (Acts 18:26b-28).

If we don't have pastors and leaders more thoroughly competent in the Scriptures, beyond attending Bible studies and having "quiet times", our churches will tend to fall victim to the shortcomings of our traditions and to the subtle lies of heresy and worldliness. It is not enough to settle on "the simple basics". Deceptions are never so "simple". To take such a minimalistic view is to disregard the importance of God's entire Biblical revelation....Anyone willing to say they want to throw out Romans and Hebrews because their too "heady" and "theological"?
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