Monday, June 23, 2008

How to waste three years

I found myself having made many of the mistakes on this excellent list of seminary pitfalls. Here's a sampling of the list:
1. Cultivate pride by writing only to impress your professors instead of writing to better understand and more clearly communicate truth.
3. Mistake the amount of education you receive with the actual knowledge you obtain. Keep telling yourself, “I’ll really start learning this stuff when I do my Th.M or my Ph.D.”
5. Regularly question the wisdom and competency of your professors. Find ways to disrespect your professors by questioning them publicly in class and by trying to make them look foolish.
6. Neglect personal worship, Bible reading and prayer.
9. Give your opinion as often as possible - especially in class. Ask questions that show off your knowledge instead of questions that demonstrate a genuine inquiry.
10. Speak of heretical movements, teachers, and doctrine with an air of disdain and levity.
12. Fill your life with questionable movies, television, internet, and music.
16. Don’t read to learn; read only to refute what you believe is wrong.
17. Convince yourself that you already know all this stuff.
19. Save major papers for the last possible moment so that you can ensure that you don’t really learn anything by writing them.
23. Day dream about future opportunities to the point that you get nothing out of your current opportunity to learn God’s Word.
30. Forget that your primary responsibility is care for your family through provision, shepherding, and leadership.
31. Master Calvin, Owen, and Edwards, but not the Law, Prophets, and Apostles.
32. Gain knowledge in order to merely teach others. Don’t expend the effort it takes to deal with your own heart.
34. Protect yourself from real fellowship by only talking about theology and never about your personal spiritual issues, sin, and struggles.
41. Love books and theology and ministry more than the Lord Jesus Christ.
42. Let your passion for the gospel be replaced by passion for complex doctrinal speculation.
Read the list (repeatedly - if you are in seminary).

Pastors - did he miss anything?


Jim Jordan said...

At least you didn't lose your mind, Chris. :-) I can name a few who apparently did.

Red_Cleric said...

I think you about covered it bro.


Tim said...

'Tis a great list. He might have added something like: "Expect everything there is to know about pastoral ministry can be learned from a book and that you'll be an expert before you actually have to minister to people when not behind the pulpit."

Anonymous said...

Is this list yours Chris? Incredibly insightful. I will send this link to several friends in seminary. Gosh! I'm impressed.