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20 Responses

  1. Stephen says:

    Things I’m thinking:. 🙂

    1). Wish I could be around this site more, but the duties of Life do not afford that luxury.

    2). I keep feeling the call (whether it’s now or in the future I’m not certain) to go to Seminary, but right now I don’t see any way that’s possible.

    3). I believe that the phrase ‘if the church has disappointed you you have put your hope in the church not in God,” (or one of its derivatives), is a cop-out and excuse for churches to avoid responsibility and to deflect criticism.

    4). I can’t help if there’s some similarity between Christians who stay at unhealthy churches and people who stay in unhealthy human relationships.

  2. Josh the Baptist says:

    Stephen – Great thoughts! I wish you were around more often, too.

    As an old man finishing my Mdiv in the next year, what’s the hold up on seminary? Time, financial, etc? Just curious.

  3. stephen says:

    Hi Josh,

    Three things, actually:

    1). Financial
    2). My 3 and 5 year old who need daddy to be around and available.
    3). Time (gotta work full time and handle family, after all).

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    #3 Stephen

    Is there a seminary near to you?

  5. Stephen says:


    A campus of Gordon-Conwell is about a 4-hour drive from me.

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    #5 Stephen

    I note they have an on-line MA in Christian Ministries with a one week residency per year in addition to another certificate program that is completely online. It might be worth exploring the possibilities or seeing what could be “tailored” to your particular situation. Of course, I may be telling you something you already know or have checked out! If so, mark it down to my enthusiasm…

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    Stephen – Charlotte Campus?

    I understand the friction, for sure. Gotta pray and do what you feel called to do, but have to take care of the family first. I have a 15 yr old daughter and a 10 yr old son, wife, full-time job, part time church job. So yeah, I understand.

    I went with Luther Rice when I started in 2015 because, at the time, Liberty and LR were the only accredited schools that had online MDiv. 3 years later, most all seminaries have it.

    One thing I did for a couple of years before finally deciding: Most of the seminaries allow you to take 1 online class for free to try it out. I did several. TEDS, Southeastern Baptist, New Orleans, and a couple others. That allowed me to see how the online format would work, and to understand how I might juggle the time. At LR, I’ve been taking two classes every semester, including summers. Some semesters have been nightmarish. Most have been tolerable time-wise. All the material has been fantastic.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I LOOOVE seminary for some reason.

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    Sound advice…

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wow, we have seen this one coming even through some conversations on this blog.
    Unity over theological soundness

    I will believe him when he starts baptizing babies, feeds his people the true body and blood of Jesus and gives up his rapture theology – so that he can be in unison with me. But I am not holding my breath.

  10. Duane Arnold says:


    I’ve come across an even more astounding quote this week…. and I agree with 99% of it,,,

    “It means that they, as we, all have to rethink our doctrine De Sacra Scriptura. Rethink does not mean that we should copy what German scholarship is presenting to us today. Historical scholarship is not what certain people today call the “historical-critical Method”. Such method does not exist. What we need is thorough historical research, accompanied by thorough dogmatic thought. Adolf Harnack was certainly a critical scholar. But strangely enough he held very conservative views concerning the authenticity of the New Testament writings. He was a critic of those scholars who lightheartedly rejected New Testament books or passages because they seemed to them not authentic. The New Testament, said Harnack, is such a small book, the fragment of fragments, that one cannot learn from it only by the methods of solid historical criticism. He demanded that the New Testament professor should at least be at home in another field of historical research, be it Old Testament or Judaism or Patristics. Only the knowledge of many writings could give a man that sense of proportion which is needed for solid judgments. And we should clearly distinguish between historical and theological judgments. The historian as such cannot pass a judgment on the historicity of the Virgin Birth or the bodily resurrection of Christ. If he does this, in a positive or negative way, this is a metabasis eis allo genos [to change to another genre] . I personally fail to see how a Christian theologian can refuse to believe these miracles. If he refuses this faith he acts not as historian.”

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane #11,
    Sounds familiar – was that Sasse’s letter to Pruess?

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    Exactly so… I always have held a special place for Sasse. I don;t agree with all that he wrote, but he was an amazing theological mind….

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – I had to search my desktop file. An acquaintance of mine, a Sasse fanboy sent this article / letter to me a couple of years ago. I didn’t know if you had the entire letter, so here it is. Your quote is the last paragraph.

    Also a letter from Robert Preus 20 yrs later about Sasse.

    Sasse has mixed reception in the LCMS.

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    #14 MLD

    Yes, I had the full letter. I think it rather remarkable.

    I appreciate the Preus letter about Sasse. I had not seen it. I think it is remarkable as well. Seeing the picture of Robert brought back many memories. For all of his reputation as a “fighter”, Preus was a gracious man. I had numerous one on one conversations with him back in the day (including one about me continually parking my sports car in his reserved spot!) and he very much encouraged me in my writing and research. I liked the comment in the letter – “A good theologian is always a humble theologian.”

  15. j2theperson says:

    I read the article mld linked to. They guy in it says…

    *** “It’s too easy to drift into silo thinking and build churches that become characterized by fragmented and random programs,” states the conference’s home page.

    “But if we combine our talents, perspectives, and gifts to lead with one voice we have a different kind of influence with the next generation.”***

    So what is that final “one voice” going to be preaching and what is it that he wants this “influence with the next generation” to accomplish?

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am sure that the answer can be found in Rev 12 & 13 – the Red Dragon and the 2 Beasties.
    Andy Stanley has gone nuts over the past 2 decades —- this explains why his multi site churches are so large. He speaks the words of the Dragon that people just love to hear.

  17. pstrmike says:

    Yep. The call for unity in the church usually is a call to believe as the one calling for unity does, or at close enough for their comfort. The one calling for unity often wants to designate what those parameters are. If you resist and challenge those parameters, you are condemned as unloving and not following Christ’s commands. Its BS.

  18. Stephen says:

    Josh and Duane,

    Thank you both for your interest and enthusiasm…both are VERY refreshing to me, personally.

    At current, dollars and cents don’t match up thing any option at current, but I will fetaibly be keeping my eyes open and prayers lifted for the opportunity.

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    #19 Stephen

    If there is anything that I can do to assist, please feel free to get in touch with me directly… Michael has my email address.

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