Monday, November 26, 2007

B.B. Warfield: The Purpose of Seminary

Ed. note: I believe that in this case one my freely substitute the word "diocese" for "presbytery" for Anglican clarity's sake.

...For this, we say, he [the seminarian]needs to know the gospel: to know it at first hand, and to know it through and through. All the work of the seminary must be directed just to this end. For one thing, the minister must learn the code in which the gospel message is written. He must be able to de-code it; to de-code it for himself. No trusting the de-coding to another! This is the message of salvation, and he is the channel by which it is conveyed to men. He cannot take it at second-hand. He must get it for himself, and convey it first-handed to those entrusted to his care. He must, in other words, know the languages in which the gospel is written; and he must be skilled in drawing out from the documents the exact meaning. And, then, he must know the message, thus drawn out, thoroughly, and all its compass, and in all its details, in its right perspective, and in its just proportions. Otherwise he cannot use it aright. Ofcourse, he must also be skilled in winningly presenting this message, thus thoroughly known, and in helpfully applying it, point by point, to emerging needs. These things constitute the core of the seminary's teaching. ...
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