Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lasering Lemke - Issue 1

Issue 1 - Doctrinal Integrity – Will Southern Baptists continue to stand for sound doctrine? Dr. Lemke’s illustration of the seminary student who in class during an in-depth discussion of the Doctrine of Christ blurts out “I didn’t come here to learn theology, I came here to learn how to grow a church,” is also simply an example of the lack of depth that the SBC seminaries tolerate.

I strongly suspect even with the conservative resurgence that not much really has changed since I attended seminary in the 70’s. With few exceptions the teaching was mediocre and the testing evaluated the student’s ability to memorize certain points and the goal of the seminary seemed to be as pragmatic as that of the student’s declaration. To be very blunt, I was not taught very much sound Southern Baptist doctrine or much else during my seminary years that could qualify as in depth teaching.

In fact one professor during my seminary years stated that he wished that on registration day in the fall they would just set up two lines and sell diplomas in the first line for those who were just in seminary for a degree and register the real students in the other line. But alas, that’s not the SBC way of doing things. We’re always more into numbers and therefore will do anything to increase enrollment in the seminaries including dumbing down the teaching, putting satellite centers all over the South where we least need them and starting a college at the seminary that competes for students with our state Baptist schools.

Could it be with our glaring preoccupation with enrollment that the convention is sinking to a lower common denominator of seminary education which is totally unacceptable? Could it be that Dr. Lemke and other seminary administrators and professors share some responsibility for this lack of interest in doctrine among seminary students? Could it be that they suffer from the same lack of education in Southern Baptist doctrine that I did when I graduated from NOBTS?

Don’t even ask me if I was ever exposed in seminary to the Doctrines of Grace or to the historical reality that the SBC was birthed by real flesh and blood Calvinists.

Dr. Lemke begins his discussion o


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