In the above video, Dr. James White gives a rather off-the-cuff commentary on Christian higher education, particularly the nature of today’s seminary environment. I must say that I appreciate every one of his comments here and that his words should be heard by every young man considering a seminary education. To be sure, White isn’t against seminaries (nor am I) but rather what they’ve become in most cases. This isn’t directed at those seminaries which remain connected to the church and are faithful in their stated doctrines.
The temptation to be liked by the world is one faced by virtually every denomination within the church. Since the Reformed tradition is known for its learned men and emphasis upon scholarship, Reformed Christians face the particular temptation of wanting to be accepted by broader academia. I’m not going to give specific names in this post, but I can think of a few well-known Reformed authors right off the top of my head who have compromised on certain essential doctrines, namely the doctrine of creation.
While I’m certainly not against a robust academic tradition within Christianity, it must never be disconnected from the church. The main reason seminaries exist is to prepare men for the ministry. Men who attend seminary should be more concerned with the pulpit than becoming published authors. Again, there’s nothing wrong with publishing academic works–so long as they edify the church. As a seminary student myself, I say that our chief concern should be exalting the name of Christ rather than building a name for ourselves.