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Low-Cost Tip #1 Toward More and Better Theologians

Low-cost tip #1 on forming better theologians: Make sure they have actually read the bible and are broadly familiar with it BEFORE they get to seminary. Have them do bible STUDY (not just lectio divina) as part of the process. Give the seminaries less remedial work to do. Cost to your diocese/parish: $0. Cost to seminaries: $0.

January 7, 2010 in Churchiness, Religion | Permalink


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I dearly love my seminary classmates, but really cringe at some of their Biblical illiteracy. Example: one professor (a world-renowned scholar in his field) having to take the time to explain that the "Old Testament" is considered inspired scripture by Jews, but not the "New Testament" and there are certain books called "The Apocrypha" (at least by Protestants). One student raises her hand and asks "Which part is the Koran in?" Professor very graciously explains Islam's view of Christian and Jewish scriptures, then says "OK, let's get started. Turn to I Kings." Utter bafflement by about 50 percent of the class. Professor then had to announce the page number in the OAB most of us were using.

My fundie upbringing messed me up in certain ways, but at least I know how to navigate the Bible and am conversant with its key passages. My process was expanding on or replacing the interpretations of those passages I had learned.

I think for some of my classmate, there first encounter with a passage might be when they're preparing to preach on it!

Here's the answer: make the Daily Office (and especially its readings) mandatory for clergy and seminarians again. Or at least administer a Biblical literacy test as part of the seminary admission process.

Posted by: Bill | Jan 7, 2010 3:29:31 PM

And while you're at it, also require them to read the BCP and the Canons

Posted by: Gillian Barr | Jan 13, 2010 6:53:23 PM

Wrote a blog on just this very thing...

Posted by: Andrew | Feb 8, 2010 3:21:20 PM

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