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Why Seminary Education Does Not Equate Spiritual Maturity!

The thrust of this article is quite similar to what my former Church History teacher Dr. Micheal Oh once wrote titled, “The Dangers of Fruitfulness Without Purity.”  It only goes deeper, as it addresses heart issues.  Paul Tripp has ministered to me and my wife, indirectly, through his marriage seminar titled: What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.  He is very gifted in bringing the Gospel to bear on heart issues.  I hope this article serves you as it has served me.  Below is an except from a recent article he wrote, titled, “The Recipe of a Successful Pastor.”   Paul Tripp writes:

Only Christ can turn an arrogant, “bring on the world” seminary graduate into a patient, humble giver of grace.  Only deep gratitude for a suffering Savior can make a man willing to suffer in ministry.  Only in brokenness before your own sin can you give grace to fellow rebels among whom God has called you to minister.  Only when your identity is firmly rooted in Christ will you find freedom from seeking to get your identity out of your ministry.

We must be careful how we define ministry readiness and spiritual maturity.  There is a danger in thinking that the well-educated and well-trained seminary graduate is ministry ready or to mistake ministry knowledge, busyness, and skill with personal spiritual maturity.  Maturity is a vertical thing that will have a wide variety of horizontal expressions.  Maturity is about relationship to God that results in wise and humble living.  Maturity of love for Christ expresses itself in love for other.

Thankfulness for the grace of Christ expresses itself in grace to others.  Gratitude for the patience and forgiveness of Christ enables you to be patient and forgiving of others.  Your daily experience of the rescue of the gospel gives you a passion for people experiencing the same rescue.  This is the soil in which true ministry success grows.

Read the whole article here.

Could that soil be a Church-based theological training?  In other words, can there be a midway between traditional Seminary and what Churches are currently doing?  The possibilities are great today!

  • Should churches train their own ministers?- John Piper.

  • Should Pastors get an M.Div?  -John Piper. 

  • And should Pastors get Ph.D’s?  – John Piper. 

We desire to start an intensive, radical training program, something in between what Seminaries and local Churches are doing one day.  See here. 


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