"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions"
2 Timothy 2-3
Readers of this blog,
Being a theology major, I'm exposed to...well...a lot! Even though I have gained incredible insight, it's not the Biblical insight I was looking for. Rather, through roughly two semesters of "theology" classes I have literally sat through every type of argument on everything. It's quite entertaining.
APU plays a key role in the development of so many views, opinions, and beliefs in the Theology Department. However, very few of these are Gospel-centric. The professors are encouraged to teach through "exploration, not proposition." Thusly, there are as many views on Scripture as there are people in the classroom, and sometimes more! After all, we are just seeing the Word through different lenses right? Yours are green or blue, mine are orange. Some are new, some are old, most are in the middle.
Rubbish!! Your lenses are broken, and many fail to realize this and are still attempting to see through them. Scripture is not about bringing our experiences, opinions, believes, or these "lenses" to it, but rather what can we take from Scripture? This, accordingly should then shape our beliefs, experiences, etc. Scripture informs and conforms us, instead of us trying to inform and conform Scripture.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God many be competent, equipped for every good work."
Many professors no longer teach through sound doctrine but provide what the students itching ears want to hear. Yes, todays churches often cover those hard to swallow, convicting passages in Scripture. Sin and repentance are almost non-existant. And pastors continue preaching about love. But this fundamental issue arises earlier, in the classroom. Students pay thousands for their B.A., M.Div., Th.M, D.Min, etc. They graduate having it all! Yet lacking one thing: their spine.
"For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction."
So we're encouraged to "explore", to develop our own answers. And on the occasion that a student throws a hardball question, its deflected with a "lets find the answer through further discussion and reading, shall we?" And why not? This is only the resulting consequence when you teach a soft, watered-down Gospel. One that is easy to stomach and doesn't offend anyone in the entire world. Because God forbid, someone disagreeing with the Scripture we teach! Either that, or they're terrified of James 3, and rightly so, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
So, what now? Here's a charge from Isaiah, "Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn."
Yet, it's inaccurate to paint all professors and pastors in this light, or lack thereof. There are those who still have their backbone, profess Truth and honor God, notably Dr. Baloian. God bless you, Dr. B! Keep it up.