The Seminarian A TBS Student Magazine No. 2 March 2014
It is more than a voice; It is a lifestyle.
Publisher: The Seminarian Editorial Board Editorsâ€“in-Chief: Rev. Kirk Wellum, Rev. Keith Edwards Editors: Hallam Willis Caleb Senneker B. Andrew Song Contributors Karen Hudson, Eric I. Long, Hannah M. Long, Anna MacInnes, Josh Nadeau, David Robinson, Caleb Senneker, B. Andrew Song, Kirk Wellum, Hallam Willis
Contact information Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College 130 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 3T4
March 2014, No. 2 Copyright ÂŠ The Seminarian
Let us both sup-
From the editors By the end of February, one of our editors was sick with appendicitis. The day after his appendectomy, the surgeon came to visit him. Knowing the personality of the surgeon, which was very extroverted and talkative, our editor had a two-hour conversion with him. In their conversation, topics like suffering, death, God, virtue and Christianity were covered. As the surgeon enjoyed the conversation, he expressed his surprise of the possibility of having such “intellectual” talk with Christians. As the surgeon asked and knew his patient was a seminary student, the surgeon asked: “Are you going to be an evangelist?” If you have ever been to a seminary, you may have the same experience: as soon as people (regardless of the situation, in the church or the world) learn you are a seminarian, they ply you with tons of questions regarding your studies and your future. One thing is sure: The study of theology cannot make you a billionaire! Then, what is the value of seminary and theological training? We have been told by experienced pastors that there is an urgent need for trained pastors in local churches. But what we need to recognize is that seminary is not (and will never be) a factory of pastors. Man can make preachers, but only God can make pastors. Seminary is a means God can use to transform, disciple, and prepare men and women for his work. What then should we expect from seminary? How do we move through this time of training so that we do not lose sight of why we went there in the first
place and who we are really working for? These are thorny questions: how much training is too little, how much may even be too much? How are we who are engaged presently in being trained and equipped to serve as leaders in the Church of Christ to understand our vocation now with an eye always on the future, which involves humility and self-sacrificial service? In this present issue of The Seminarian, we have carefully selected three articles. In Principal Kirk Wellum’s article, a clear overview and explanation of the different theological disciplines is presented. Dr. David Robinson, understanding the importance of local church, challenges seminarians to love, care and spend time with those they serve, and Mrs. Karen Hudson, from her own seminary experiences, encourages her fellow female students to treasure their seminary life. We hope this issue will help you to understand more about seminary and theological education. We also sincerely apologize for the belated publishing of this present issue. We invite your feedback and urge you to share this issue with others. TS
Wellum: Theological Studies & Why We Pursue Them 8 Robinson: Seminary Studies & the Smell of Sheep 12
Did yo u k n ow … Starting in January 1932, students from Toronto Baptist Seminary started to issue “interesting pamphlets” bi-weekly. In these pamphlets, TBS students would report the practical works they were engaged in. This was the earliest form of The Seminarian magazine. (The Gospel Witness, January 21, 1932, p12).
Hudson: Women Attending Seminary 17 Engaging â€Ś
News & Events 20 Book Reviews 21 Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians Kapic, A Little Book for New Theologians Mathis and Parnell, How to Stay Christian in Seminary Moore, Good Christian, Good Husbands?
Three Questions with Stephen J. Wellum 24
Brent Downey (3 year Diploma, 1974–1978) has three roles beyond his family duties: (1) Brent serves at Christian Horizons; (2) Brent serves as a deacon at Faith Baptist Church, Scarborough; (3) Brent also is the president of TBS alumni council. Brent’s daughter Katrina also graduated from TBS with a diploma (2007).
Sheila Evans (B.A., M.A., U of T) began serving as a professor of English at Toronto Baptist Seminary in August 1975. She taught courses like English Literature, Teaching, and Principles and Methods of Bible Study. Her godly character influenced many students. Though Ms. Evans retired her professorship in April 2010, she is still teaching ESL classes at her church.
Haddon A. Haynes (L.Th., 1974–1978) served as a pastor at Essex Baptist Church from his graduation (there he served in total 19 years!). As the senior pastor of Richmond Hill Baptist Church, Pastor Haynes spent time mentoring TBS students. In September 2013, as thanks for his cooperation, TBS granted Pastor Haynes a church partnership reward.
Rev. Rudolph H. Wiebe (B.Sc., M.A., M.Div.) served as a high school teacher, and pastored a church for four years. Pastor Wiebe came to TBS as a faculty member in 1975, and served as the seminary’s registar until 2004. Today, pastor Wiebe and his wife serve as missionaries in Nigera.
Theological Studies & Why We Pursue Them Princiapl Rev. Kirk Wellum
Theological studies refers to the study of God and everything that flows from the fact of his existence as the transcendent, sovereign, creator, sustainer, and ruler of the universe. Theologian John Frame has defined theology as the “application of God’s word by persons to every area of life.” This is an excellent definition and starting-point because it helps us realize that theological studies are like a culminating task that brings together different strands of knowledge and human inquiry under the authority of the triune God. But unlike other disciplines where the goal is frequently knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or the discovery of new income streams, or the alleviation of a human problem; the goal or chief end of theological studies is to know God for the purpose of glorifying and enjoying him forever. For many today, the suggestion that we can know God is viewed as a religious delusion and as bit of wishful thinking left over from a bygone era. But the scriptures teach that God not only exists but he is knowable because he has made himself known to human beings who he has made in his image. Theological studies, therefore, are not an optional extra, but are incumbent upon us as human beings that God has made to know him and 8
to have a relationship with him. A failure to know God will result in an overall failure to realize the purpose for which we were made with all the frustration inevitably bound up with such a life that never discovers the ultimate reason for existence. In the end there can be nothing more important than knowing our creator and sustainer – the one who rules over the universe. When we read through the Old and New Testaments we see that God’s rule has a purpose and is heading in a very particular direction. That purpose is to rescue humankind from their foolish and sinful rebellion in order that we might know, love, and serve him. To this end God sent his Son into the world to die on the cross and he raised him from the dead as the firstborn of the new creation to indicate that there is new eternal life for all who come to God through him. When we study theology we are “thinking God’s thoughts after him.” We are exploring all that he is and all that he is doing to bring all things together in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Theology, rightly pursued is not an abstract, intellectual exercise, but something that demands faith and obedience. It is something that makes intellectual, moral, and spiritual claims on us as stu-
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dents because it brings us face-to-face with God and insists that we look at life in light of him. Other disciplines and areas of inquiry do not make the kind of demands on us that theology does because they do not bring us as clearly to the God whose demands are total. God leaves no area of our lives untouched. He requires that we love him with all of our minds, hearts, and souls (Deut. 6:5; Matt.22:37). It is tragic when the study of theology does not led us to know God better and to love him more. Yet, sadly this is often the case. Sometimes students study theology as an end in itself, other times it is nothing more than a career choice, but
foundation for all that follows. Biblical theology traces God’s plan of redemption through the biblical text while at the same time it helps us appreciate the unique contribution of each of the biblical authors to the whole. While the Bible was written by about 40 authors over 1500 years these writers complement rather than contradict one another. It is conscious that God did not reveal himself all at once but gradually and progressively down through the years. It picks up the promise/fulfillment motif that runs through the Bible and links persons, institutions and events in one era of redemptive history to the typological counterparts in later periods. And all the while it
Theological studies, therefore, are not an optional extra, but are incumbent upon us as human beings that God has made to know him and to have a relationship with him. anything short of loving devotion and submission to God is an unacceptable outcome. As a result of their studies students should grow in their walk with God and they should be more useful in the church and in the world as well. Not only is God transcendently glorious but he is personally involved in all areas of life. As our sovereign Lord he sustains and rules over the universe and he governs the lives of all people. We know this because he has revealed himself in all that he has made, but even more importantly, he has revealed himself in his word – both the written and the incarnate word. This means that the word of God must become the particular focus of our attention. To this end there are a number of theological subjects that have traditionally been studied when it comes to theological education. Exegetical theology is the study of the biblical text. Its purpose is to exegete or open up the meaning of the biblical text at the most basic level. It involves the study of words and language, of grammar and literary genre, of the historical context and geographical background. This is the kind of theological investigation that is found in biblical commentaries and it forms a
draws our attention to Jesus Christ who is at the centre of God’s redemptive purposes and consequently holds all of them together. Historical theology proceeds on the basis that Christians have been reading and interpreting the Bible for over 2000 years. We are not the first ones to wrestle with the meaning of God’s word. Humility and wisdom require that we pay attention to what other Christians have said about the biblical text and the big themes and doctrines that emerge from it. This provides a much needed check on our theologizing. It means that if we discover something that no one has ever seen before in the history of the church we need to move forward with great caution. We may have uncovered something new, but it is far more likely that we have made a mistake. This is not to say that there is not a need for new and fresh applications of God’s word to the present situation, it is just a reminder that we are not called to innovate but to faithfully pass on the faith from one generation to another. Philosophical theology applies the teaching of the Bible to the big questions of philosophy like the question of being or metaphysics, the ques9
tion of epistemology or knowing, and the question of ethics or what is right and wrong. This branch of theology reminds us that the truth of the Bible applies to all areas of life in one way or other. God cannot be put in a box or contained within a certain area of human life. He is the basic presupposition for all knowledge and the answers to the most profound questions of life are intricately tied to him. Then finally there is systematic theology. It is called systematic because it builds on the other theologies and seeks to systematize or organize the biblical data so that we can understand what God has revealed to us and wants us to know. In systematics we are seeking to discover what the Bible says as a whole about any given subject. As such it is like a culminating task in that it brings together all of the other theological disciplines so that we can accurately apply biblical teaching to every area of life.
When we do systematic theology we take what the Bible says about God, human beings, creation, fall, Christ, redemption, calling, the Christian life, the Holy Spirit, the church, and future events, and we apply it to our life here and now. Theological disciplines that are related to systematic theology include apologetics which is the defense of the Christian faith and pastoral theology which zeroes in on what the Bible says about how we should conduct ourselves in the church. We study all of these theological subject areas and more because this is what is necessary if we are to glorify God by being obedient servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and guard and faithfully pass on to the next generation what has been already passed on to us (cf. 2 Tim. 1:14 cf. 2:2).
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Biblical Counseling A basic introduction to biblical counseling theory and techniques. Attention is focused on the Scriptures and theology that form the foundation and substance for biblical counseling. Basic counseling skills are discussed and developed, and basic knowledge is presented regarding brain-soul relations, human development, and the typical kinds of problems pastors deal with.
June 9-12, 2014 Course: Couns 103, 123 Professor: Dr. Eric L. Johnson Tuition: Undergraduate $660; Graduate $720; Audit $100 Syllabus available in March 2014 at www.tbs.edu/academics
TORONTO BAPTIST SEMINARY AND BIBLE COLLEGE 130 Gerrard SU&BTUtToronto, ON M5A 3T4 Canada UFM tJORVJSZ!UCTFEV
Seminary Studies and the Smell of Sheep David Robinson (PhD, St. Michael’s) Dr. David Robinson is an associate pastor at Westminster Chapel, Toronto, where he overseas various ministries and leads weekly Bible studies. Dr. Robinson is married to Megan, and they have four children.
The Psalmist says of David’s leadership in Israel, “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand” (Ps 78:72). Likewise, Paul exhorts Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). The call to pastoral ministry requires training and testing. The pastoral heart needs to be proved and the pastoral hand needs to be trained; however, the integrity of the pastoral heart cannot be proved in the classroom and the skilled hand of pastoral leadership cannot be tried by writing term papers. The pastoral heart and hand can only be tried and tested among the sheep in the Lord’s pasture. Seminary students must actively serve in their local church. Guiding the flock with a skilled hand means rightly handling the word of truth. Theological training is necessary; however, it’s easy to
get caught up in theological and biblical studies and lose sight of the men and women, boys and girls, to whom God has called you as a minister of the Word. Rightly handling the word of truth is more than rightly exegeting the Word. It’s also rightly expounding and applying it. Exegesis is step one, which lays the groundwork for exposition and application. You can learn exegesis in seminary, but exposition and application are learned in the local church. God has called you to be a minister of the Word to a particular congregation, to particular people who have various needs and struggles. Good exegesis depends on how well you know Scripture; good exposition and application depends on how well you know your congregation. The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus looked at the rich young ruler and loved him, before he said to him, “you lack one thing” (Mark 10:27). Likewise, the apostle Paul
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knew his sheep and his letters demonstrate intimate pastoral care. For example, he writes to the Corinthians, “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready.” (1 Cor 3:1-2) While there are profound theological moments in the Corinthian correspondence, we don’t find there the soaring theology of Ephesians. You don’t feed steak to a baby. Alas, many young seminarians, having tasted the steak for themselves, want to serve up 16 ounces of it Sunday-by-Sunday (even while they’re still chewing on it). Skilled exposition and application depend on experience with the flock. If you’re training to be a shepherd in the Lord’s pasture, you must spend time with the sheep. You have to get the smell of sheep on you and learn how to feed and care for each one. God says of his own shepherding: “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy” (Ezek 34:16). And again, Isaiah says of God, “he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Is 40:11). The call to pastoral ministry is a call to seek the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the injured, strengthen the weak, destroy the fat and the strong, carry the young, and gently lead those that are with young. The pastoral work of seeking, restoring, binding, strengthening, disciplining, and gently leading is learned on the job. You have to be with the sheep in the pasture. Gregory of Nazianzus (330–390), one of the Church Fathers, writes about the call to pastoral ministry: “What a struggle
ought ours to be, and how great skill do we require to treat, or get men treated properly, and to change their life, and give up the clay to the spirit. For men and women, young and old, rich and poor, the sanguine and despondent, the sick and whole, rulers and ruled, the wise and ignorant, the cowardly and courageous, the wrathful and meek, the successful and failing, do not require the same instruction and encouragement” (Oration 2.28). Gregory the Great (540–604), devoted the bulk of his Book of Pastoral Rule to practical guidance on how to minister to all and sundry. He gives advice on how to provide particular instruction and care to 70 different kinds of people (e.g., young and old, rich and poor, married and single, lazy and hasty, obstinate and fickle, etc.). The Church Fathers were experienced pastors. General principles of exegesis may be learned in seminary, but exposition and application are always specific to the men and women God entrusts to your pastoral care. The skill of exposition and application must be learned alongside exegesis. This is one reason why seminary students must actively serve in their local church. There’s another reason. The call to pastoral ministry must be tested. This testing requires both personal self-examination and communal approval, both of which require the experience of active ministry in the local church. First, serving in the local church will help you examine your own calling to pastoral ministry. Peter writes, “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under com13
pulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly” (1 Pet 5:2). Pastors willingly and eagerly lead and care for the flock. Jesus looked at the rich young ruler and loved him. Pastors love their sheep. The pastoral work of seeking, restoring, binding, strengthening, disciplining, and gently leading is grounded in love. Shepherd the flock, “not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you.” Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) called this the desire for pastoral ministry: “This desire should be one which continues with us, a passion which bears the test of trial, a longing from which it is quite impossible for us to escape, though we may have tried to do so; a desire, in fact, which grows more intense by the lapse of years, until it becomes a yearning, a pining, a famishing to proclaim the Word.” The only way to test this desire is by the experience of active ministry in the local church. Second, your call to pastoral ministry needs to be tested by the church. The sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd and follow him. You may do well academically, but that doesn’t mean you’re fit for pastoral ministry. Again, Spurgeon offers a helpful character sketch of pastoral fitness: “Sound judgment and solid experience must instruct you; gentle manners and loving affections must sway you; firmness and courage must be manifest; and tenderness and sympathy must not be lacking. Gifts administrative in ruling well will be as requisite as gifts instructive in teaching well. You must be fitted to lead, prepared to endure, and able to persevere. In grace, you should be head and shoulders above the rest of the people, able to be their father and counselor.” We’re not the best judges of our own abilities and gifts. Better to let the faithful men and women in your local church evaluate your pastoral fitness. Paul exhorts Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved” (2 Tim 2:15). This is not to say you should expect unanimous and universal approval from day one, as if there is no room for growth. You should receive constructive criticism from those who love you and recognize your calling. Welcome it with humility and gratitude. I’ve learned much and am still learning from the admonition of those who are wiser than I. Even so, the smell test works both ways. The smell of sheep isn’t 14
just the odour of sheep on us, because of our pastoral ministry among them. The smell of sheep is their discerning sense of whether we have what it takes to lead them. Again, Spurgeon warns, “churches are not all wise, neither do they all judge in the power of the Holy Ghost, but many of them judge after the flesh; yet I had sooner accept the opinion of a company of the Lord’s people than my own upon so personal a subject as my own gifts and graces.” God promised Israel: “I will give you shepherds after my own heart” (Jer 3:15). This promise is fulfilled in Christ, the Good Shepherd, who is in the bosom of the Father (cf. John 1:18); however, when Christ ascended on high, he gave gifts to men, including pastors and teachers (Eph 4:8, 11). I’m called to be a pastor after God’s own heart. It’s the heart that needs to be tested while you’re training for pastoral ministry. As the Psalmist says of David, so I pray he would say of every pastor who is entrusted with the care of souls: “He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” (Ps 78:70-72) The church in Canada needs such pastors; however, the integrity of the pastoral heart cannot be proved in the classroom and the skilled hand of pastoral leadership cannot be tried by writing term papers. The pastoral heart and hand can only be tried and tested among the sheep in the Lord’s pasture. TS
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Women Attending Seminary Karen Hudson Karen is a ministry wife in Fergus, ON. She is married to Rev. (LCol. Retâ€™d) Paul Hudson of Bethel Baptist Church. Karen raised two sons and one daughter, and homeschooled them until university. Paul and Karen graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. Karen and Paul together have twice taught a course at TBS.
B. Andrew Song When a woman is considering attending seminary, there may be two questions on her mind: Should women attend seminary if they have the opportunity; and, what is life like for a woman while a seminary student? Why should women attend seminary? Women make up only a small percentage of the student body at conservative, complementarian seminaries. Few women see a reason to pursue theological studies since they will not become pastors, unless called to missions, etc. (Men frequently make a similar incorrect assumption.) This thinking is short-sighted. Becoming well grounded in the Word is never a waste of time or energy. The greatest scholar of all time, whoever he or she may be, has only begun to see and learn the depths of God's Word. However, looking at the spiritual state of many churches, I would like to raise an alarm. It is lack of sound biblical knowledge among the members of the congregation leads to all kinds of theological and spiritual disasters. Churches everywhere are chasing after the latest good-looking trend and hardly anyone makes an effort to see if this aligns with Scripture. Perhaps someone comes into a church with lots of energy and ideas, and is given carte blanche to do as he pleases, and again, too few
people know if the activities align with Scripture. Perhaps the preacher has lost focus and no one knows the Word well enough to notice. These things happen because, although church members say they want the church to be scriptural, it is not able to be so since the people do not know the Word, not even well enough to know they need to get to know the Word. While preachers should be teaching people how very important it is that they know the Word, we must all remember that it is our own responsibility to know the Word, be transformed by it day to day, to be alert, see that all is done in order, and that our leaders are qualified men of integrity. "All we like sheep have gone astray"(Is. 53:6) is true of us all, true of all churches, and it is our own fault. Christian women, this is about us as well, not just the men in the church. It is never a waste of time for a complementarian woman to attend seminary, if she has the opportunity. My dear sisters, we have a responsibility to know the Word, live it out, teach others what we know, teach them how to be good students of the Word, and hold our leaders accountable when they are slack or in error. All Christians everywhere should be growing in their knowledge of the Word, and at16
tending seminary should help accelerate this growth in theological understanding and spiritual maturity. How did I come to be a seminary student? I am sorry to admit that I did not always see the usefulness of a theological education for myself. I might not even have decided to apply, except that my husband was going to be a student, a foreign student to be precise. My own legal status left me with only two choices: I could be a full time homemaker, which is a fine and honourable occupation, or be a student, as well. At first this seemed to be a poor reason to attend seminary, but I quickly realized that with all my children now in college, and few responsibilities at home, it was God's hand opening the door to this once in a lifetime opportunity. God also provided me with a job on campus, the only legal option for employment, thus covering all my tuition costs. I am deeply grateful to have had this opportunity. What were the positive aspects of being a woman at seminary? The positive aspects were quite likely the same for both men and women. It is exciting to be in daily contact with those who have long thought great thoughts in any discipline, especially in the case of theology. For example, to hear a theologian, who may well be a genius answer a question with, â€œI have thought about this for 25 yearsâ€? is truly sobering, but also exciting. You know you are going to get an answer which is useful and worth remembering. You are being shown an example of deep thinking, one, which you can emulate. In one course, as I was doing research for a paper and going to the library to consult the writings of the experts, I discovered that one of these experts had consulted my professor before he wrote his book. These are exciting and humbling moments! Discoveries like this encouraged me to be a better student, not for some future fame, but because the Word of God is worth my greatest efforts, and that is what these professors had given to their studies, as well as their
teaching. As a woman, I was able to lay a much better foundation for ministry in the rest of my life, whatever form it took, than I would otherwise have done. My professors set such a high value on the study of this the most valuable literature that has even existed, the living Word, that it made me a better student for the rest of my own life. It was indeed worth taking advantage of this opportunity to go to seminary, and there were times when I needed to remind myself of the value of this for the future. There were other positive experiences that came from attending seminary. Professors were always approachable and genial, always willing to chat during breaks and at the end of class. A doctoral assistant to one of my professors once advised us all to "milk seminary for all it's worth" such as having lunch with professors as often as possible. This would have been inappropriate for me to do on my own, but I regret that my husband and I did not think of doing this together, and of course I could have made lunch plans with women professors. The few women professors were also always warm and friendly. I regret not having the time to know them better. The young women students were friendly, and happy to be sociable with all ages. This is, as it ought to be in all seasons of life. However, we did not often get to know each other very well as we were all in a hurry and going in different directions outside of class. Not living on campus further reduced interaction. What were the negative aspects of being a woman at seminary? The main negative aspect of seminary life was loneliness and isolation, especially in the beginning. Some of this was due, in part, to the fact that we did not live on campus, where there was a lovely sense of community. There was a second major cause of loneliness for many of us. Many of the young male students, not yet mature, saw themselves as spiritually and intellectually superior to other Christians, whether female of any age, or over
the age of 35, or just not reformed enough. A man who thinks in this way is not ready to be a spiritual leader. This attitude was wrong, but there were enough of them to create an atmosphere of "us and them". The loneliness was not caused solely by the demographics. Many students, both married and single, work full time while studying full time and thus have no time to spend interacting with others. However, I would encourage students to realize that loneliness is part of the spiritual warfare in ministry life. If you are currently a student, you would do well to remember this. Cherish the friends you have and make a commitment to stay in touchâ€“â€“ ministry life is a privilege, but it is a very lonely privilege. (God did meet my need for companionship in a lovely way. My friend Cathy was in a class with my husband, which had only about 35 students. They all introduced themselves, and she later came to find me to introduce herself to me. We became close friends, and this has continued over a great distance. God is so good!) What is it like to be a fellow student with your spouse? This is a very unusual circumstance in my observation. Generally, a married man can only attend seminary if his wife earns a living. As for our own lives, my husband and I were glad to be sharing this short season of life to such a great extent. We understood the joys and delights of the things the other was learning. We also sympathized with each other regarding the stress of workload and deadlines. We met some of the same people, and enjoyed expanding our small sphere of acquaintances through each other. My husband and I did not take classes together; his family is rather competitive, and in my view it seemed best to avoid any possible competition between us. I did have classmates who took classes together as married couples. In one case, the wife took all the notes, and the husband leaned on her to get him through assignments and exams. As I watched them, I won18
dered if this was an example of being a kind wife, or an example of enabling the sin of laziness. Maybe a little competitiveness would be good for such a man? Setting aside a season of one's life for study of the Word, to ponder the implications for your life and those God gives you to lead, is an opportunity that will increase your usefulness to the church here on earth. Whatever you would otherwise have done as a church member will be strengthened by knowing the Word better, knowing better how to study, teaching others what you have learned, and teaching them how to be good students themselves. Seminary is hard, and for a woman it can be a lonely place, but you will know it was all worthwhile when people tell you things like, "Now I understand', and, "I never saw that before," as you later teach and share from what you studied. Dear sisters, give God this time in your life for His glory, and then commit to using your education for His glory for the rest of your life. TS
February 1, 2014, Toronto, ON. Women of TBS held their special breakfast meeting. This annual event aims to provide an opportunity for current TBS women to serve and mingle with wives of students, staff, alumni and friends of TBS. This year’s speaker was Ruth Labeth, an alumnus and former professor. In her talk, Labeth genuinely and warmly challenged her sisters to develop the gift of hospitality. All women enjoyed the fellowship following the talk.
February 14, 2014, Toronto, ON. Robert Shaker, a life-long friend of Toronto Baptist Seminary, went to his heavenly home at the age of 99 (born on March 11, 1914). Born in Syria, Bob immigrated to Canada with a few of his siblings, and was converted and discipled under T.T. Shields at Jarvis St. Baptist Church. Mr. Shaker served as a deacon, and owned a bookstore, which had a sign in the window: “We sell books, not fluff!” While we celebrate Mr. Shaker’s life, we can learn from his faithfulness and piety.
March 15, 2014, McMaster Divinity School, Hamilton, ON. The Canadian Baptist Historical Society (CBHS) held its annual meeting with the topic of “Baptists and the First World War.” Three papers were presented on historical matters surrounding the topic. Ian Clary, a TBS alumnus, presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin. The other two speakers, Gordon Heath and Charles Johnston, also provided historical insights. As a contribution to the centennial anniversary of the Great War, CBHS also published a monograph entitled Canadian Churches and the First World War.
March 21, 2014, Mt. Pleasant Rd. Baptist Church, Toronto, ON. A concert entitled “In Tune With India” was presented by students of Toronto Baptist Seminary in order to raise funds to support students of Calcutta Bible College (CBC), India. With wonderful performances and an informative interview with CBC Principal Rev. Jack Chen, a substantial amount of money was raised for the cause. Continued prayer is still needed for our fellow students in India.
Book Reviews Thielicke, Helmut. A Little Exercise for Young Theologians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962. 57 pages. $10.99. Kapic, Kelly M. A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2012. 126 pages. $8.94. Life is always more than what we do; it is why we do it. These two books, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, and A Little Book for New Theologians, do a very good job at explaining why we do theology. By concisely pointing out things to avoid (from second hand passion to using the truth to kill) and by revealing reasons to embrace (knowing and enjoying God and having true love for His Word and His people), these books prove valuable. Kapic quotes Charles Hodge saying, “Our theology can become corrupted because we neglect to attend to our lives, for true theology must always be true spirituality...holiness is essential to correct knowledge of Divine things and the great security from error.” (p.45) Following this thought, Thielicke states, “the connection between the theologian and the spiritual man has come home with new strength.” (p.41) And so, for anyone young, anyone honest, new to theology; for anyone needing, as we all do, the gentle reminder and refreshing prompt of why we do, these two short books will help unite truth with abounding love. –– Reviewed by Joshua Nadeau
Mathis, David, and Jonathan Parnell. How to Stay Christian in Seminary. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 80 pages. $7.19. “Seminary is dangerous” (p15). This is the very first sentence of the introduction to this book. To clarify, Mathis and Parnell explain that the reason seminary is dangerous is “not mainly because of the administrators at the top or the teachers at the front, but because of the sinners in the seats” (p15). This book consists of what were originally a series of blog posts (January–March 2012) that Mathis and Parnell have developed and expanded to compose this small volume. Yet, as Darrell L. Bock comments, readers should not be fooled by the size of this book, since “it is filled with solid-gold counsel.” Following the teaching of John Flavel (1627–1691), the Puritan “physician of heart,” Mathis and Parnell urge their seminarian readers to take time to transform their theological head knowledge into heart experience by communion with God. In other words, “approach your studies devotionally” (p18). In a simple and clear way, the authors of this book help students by reminding them of the goal of attending a seminary (which is not to become “unweak”), and pointing out the “easiest” way to stay Christian in seminary. –– Reviewed by B. Andrew Song
Moore, Doreen. Good Christians, Good Husbands? Leaving a Legacy in Marriage and Ministry. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2004. 192 pages. $10.79. In Good Christians, Good Husbands, Doreen Moore looks at the relationship between marriage and ministry in the lives of John and Molly Wesley, George and Elizabeth Whitefield, and Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. Though all three may have claimed similar stances on the subject of marriage, how this worked out in their married lives differs considerably. From Wesley's rash union with Molly Vazeille, Whitefield's practical partnership with Elizabeth James, and the affectionate companionship between Edwards and Sarah Pierrepont, Moore draws key lessons and observations from the stories of these influential men and women. Throughout Good Christians, Good Husbands, Moore is quick to drawn out points of application and challenge her readers towards reflection. For any heading into ministry, whether single, married, or not-yet-married, this book is a useful tool for honest reflection on the relationship of ministry, marriage, and family. –– Reviewed by Hannah M. Long
Recent Student Theses Palmer, Damon Elliott. “John Wyclif: Evangelical Dominion,” 2013.
Constant, Benoit. “Preaching Our Community with the Gospel Effectively: The Local Church’s Task of Evangelism including a Case-Study of the Area of Saint-Léonard in Montréal,” 2013. Jefferies, Daniel. “A Defense of the Traditional Doctrine of Hell,” 2013. Carr, Paul. “The ‘Concert of Prayer’ and It’s Relationship to EighteenthCentury Revival,” 2012. Chen, Qifang. “Challenges for Christian Singles Ministries,” 2012. Zeidler, Glen. “The Making of a Pastor: An Analysis of Desired Pastoral Character Traits and Academic Training According to John Ryland Junior,” 2012. Sanchez, Ruben. “Biblical Theology as an Approach for Preaching,” 2011. Nuh, Jacob. “Place of Social Justice in the Great Commission: An Analysis of the Mennonite Brethren Theology and Practice,” 2011.
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3 Qs with Stephen J. Wellum What practical advice would you give to seminary students with regards to keeping themselves from falling into theological errors? SW: One, make sure in your daily life you are walking with the Lord, reading his Word, being accountable to a local church––I mean there’s no substitute for that, where your taking personal responsibility for a faithful walk with the Lord. So that’s said, local church, reading scripture, prayer, walking with God, not growing cold in your Christian life and your relationship with the Lord is new. Secondly, study. Make sure you understand the history of the church; historical theology, understand where people have gone astray in the past in order to recognize error in the present because often errors repeat themselves, so that if you have a good understanding of why the church argued the way they did, theologically, then you are able to avoid that error in the future. While you are thinking about error and how the church has dealt with it, you are constantly substituting it with the truth. So your study in terms of the Scripture, theology––good theology––those are ways you can avoid error, practically speaking. According to the New Covenant theology, can a student, if he or she visits Scotland, eat blood pudding? SW: Oh, yes, yes, that’s a good question, because that’s tying into the prohibition of blood, trying to understand the exact meaning 24
of that. You see that in the Noahic covenant, you see something of this “strangled” type of thing in Acts, the prohibitions with the gentiles. How does that then tie to Scotland and that blood there? First, I would say I am not familiar––because I have never been to Scotland––exactly what that is, I mean, is this real blood? Has it been treated? Some of the prohibition in the Noahic covenant I would take it as simply a killing of the animal without preparation, it is simply eating the animal without cooking or anything else. If that’s the kind of thing going on then I would probably avoid it. It seems to me that’s not what is going on so that its not exactly parallel and analogous with the prohibition in the Noahic covenant and that which comes in the book of Acts. So I will take a guess here, given that there is preparation, that a Christian can do it. I’m not sure why they would want to do it, but I haven’t tried it so I will be careful in saying that it doesn’t taste good. What are the essential books for all seminary students to read before they graduate? SW: Here are a few:
Systematic Theology: John Stott, The Cross of Christ J. I. Packer, Knowing God Historical theology: Calvin, Institutes Present issues: Carson, Gagging of God Apologetics: books by Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til. TS