Sep 13, 2014

A. T. Robertson on the Purpose of Seminaries

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary blog recently had a nice post on A.T. Robertson here. The blog post focuses on Robertson views related to the purpose of seminaries. According to the authors, Robertson "rejected the idea that the purpose of the seminary was to make scholars." And that, "The question for him was: 'Does the college and seminary training tend to make better preachers?'” To which Robertson responds,

"If not, it is a failure. The German idea is to make scholars first and preachers incidentally. But ours is to make preachers, and scholars only as a means to that end. We have small need in the pulpit for men that can talk learnedly and obscurely about the tendencies of thought and the trend of philosophy, but do not know how to preach Christ and him crucified. The most essential thing to-day is not to know what German scholars think of the Bible, but to be able to tell men what the Bible says about themselves. And if our system of theological training fails to make preachers, it falls short of the object for which it was established. But if it does meet the object of its creation, it calls for hearty sympathy and support. … But my plea is for scholarship that helps men to preach. For after all, the great need of the world is the preaching of the gospel, not saying off a sermon, but preaching that stirs sinful hearts to repentance and godliness" (
Archibald Thomas Robertson, “Preaching and Scholarship” [Louisville: Baptist Book Concern, 1890], 9–10, 15–16).

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