Author Topic: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?  (Read 8686 times)

John_Hannah

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2012, 05:40:17 PM »
Since the earliest days, the Church has always honored and sought leaders conversant with the philosophies of their day, able to dialogue with those philosophies and defend the faith before the thinkers of those philosophies.
From Augustine, to Aquinas, to Luther, those best known for defending, renewing and preserving the faith had more than one foot in academia.
A few Reformers - Francis, par example - came to their greatness in other ways, but for the most part it was men and women of education and "thought" and not faucet-fixers who plumbed the depths of the faith and advanced our understanding.

I can fix faucets; I have, many times. Nonetheless, you are absolutely correct. It has been that way for 2,000 years. We do need highly educated theolgians.


Peace, JOHN.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #76 on: September 24, 2012, 06:47:59 PM »
Nothing wrong with faucet-fixing, but it requires different skills than does theology.
The idea that a person - all alone with his/her "Holy Spirit" - is as "good" a theologian as an educated scholar is a dangerous and goofy idea that can only lead to sectarianism and perversion of the faith.

Team Hesse

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #77 on: September 24, 2012, 07:00:29 PM »
A quote from Carl Volz' "Pastoral Life and Practice in the Early Church" (page 88):

He [Jerome] also castigates anti-intellectual clergy who pride themselves on their holy ignorance, but if one must make a choice, "a holy peasant is much better than a sinful scholar" (chap 9).

Part of class discussion today. It would seem the debate about the intellectual status of clergy has been going on for some time.....

Lou

Weedon

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #78 on: September 24, 2012, 07:27:56 PM »
I think we need to recognize the concern: educate a devil and you have a clever devil.  And it is very true that one can learn things of far greater value from a sanctified, but uneducated, lay person than from one of those clever devils in a collar. That is in no way to attack the value of education in general and theological education in particular; it is to recognize that education alone is not and can never be sufficient. It can't make up for the genuine wisdom that arises from sanctification under the cross.  St. Jerome was right.

George Erdner

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #79 on: September 24, 2012, 08:13:06 PM »
I think we need to recognize the concern: educate a devil and you have a clever devil.  And it is very true that one can learn things of far greater value from a sanctified, but uneducated, lay person than from one of those clever devils in a collar. That is in no way to attack the value of education in general and theological education in particular; it is to recognize that education alone is not and can never be sufficient. It can't make up for the genuine wisdom that arises from sanctification under the cross.  St. Jerome was right.

Exactly what I was getting at! I sense that those who defend education against mere inspiration of the Holy Spirit missed this:  Sure, someone with training AND the guidance of the Holy Spirit is best, but if someone only has the one and not the other, I'll take the one who pays attention to the Holy Spirit.

 
 

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #80 on: September 24, 2012, 08:26:31 PM »
Mr. Erdner still misses the point. If all one has is some personal "guidance of the Holy Spirit" without the education or checks and balances provided by the Christian community, one has a potentially dangerous sectarian.
If someone says "I've got the Holy Spirit, nuts to everything else," you have big trouble.

There is trouble also, when you get the one who says; "Aw, gee, I'm just a simple parish pastor and don't mess much with all that high-falutin' theology and intellectual stuff." Such a one does not serve well these days, or ever. 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 08:30:47 PM by Charles_Austin »

Dave Likeness

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #81 on: September 24, 2012, 08:39:33 PM »
Charles Austin has nailed it, "If someone says,
'I've got the Holy Spirit, nuts to everything else'
you have got trouble."

This is the attitude of the Pentecostal TV Evangelists,
like Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer,
Fred Price, and Joel Osteen, who all preach the
Health and Wealth" Gospel.  None of them have
any theological education or seminary degree.
As far as I can ascertain they all have only a
high school diploma.  They preach a false gospel to
millions of people and they make millions of dollars.

George Erdner

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #82 on: September 24, 2012, 09:03:39 PM »
Charles Austin has nailed it, "If someone says,
'I've got the Holy Spirit, nuts to everything else'
you have got trouble."

When, and if, someone says that, I take that into consideration.
 
This is the attitude of the Pentecostal TV Evangelists,
like Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer,
Fred Price, and Joel Osteen, who all preach the
Health and Wealth" Gospel.  None of them have
any theological education or seminary degree.
As far as I can ascertain they all have only a
high school diploma.  They preach a false gospel to
millions of people and they make millions of dollars.

At what point in one's education does one learn not to engage in logical fallacies? The men you mention are frauds. The men you mention lack formal training. Where do you prove that it is their lack of training that makes them frauds?
 
I won't dispute that those charlatans are charlatans. You have not demonstrated that their lack of formal education is the cause of their erroneous teaching. There are well-educated clergy making similar mistakes, albeit on a less well-known level.
 
The existence of con men proves that con men exist. It doesn't prove that some trait that a group of con men share is the reason why they are con men.
 
Deepak Chopra has degrees coming out the wazoo. He's also making money hand over fist pushing his personal self-help message. Dr. Wayne Dyer (D. Ed from Wayne State) is doing the same on a slightly smaller scale. There are plenty of bunko artists preaching pretty much the same message, altering it only slightly to appear tuned in to Jesus, some non-specific deity, or simply "the universe". The lack or abundance of education doesn't really seem to make all that much difference in the general appeal of the erroneous message.
 
 
 

pearson

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #83 on: September 24, 2012, 09:30:04 PM »

Nonetheless it could be argued that the use of Greco-Roman philosophical understandings to further understand and explicate the truths of God by the likes of Justin Martyr and Origen might have done a disservice to the Gospel and Jesus' teachings. 


It could?  How so?

Tom Pearson

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #84 on: September 25, 2012, 03:56:04 AM »
 I wrote: "If someone says, 'I've got the Holy Spirit, nuts to everything else' you have got trouble."

Mr. Erdner replied:
When, and if, someone says that, I take that into consideration.

I muse:
And there is that persistent, troublesome, and dangerous "I" again. Simply substituting oneself for the one who claims ownership of the Holy Spirit is not how it works.
"I don't like what that one is saying, so he's a fraud" is a meaningless statement.
"I think that pastor or group of pastors has got it wrong, so I'm not recognizing them as pastors," is sectarian and arrogant.
"I know what the Bible says, so no Council of the Church, Synod, denomination, convention, assembly, confessional statement or theologian can contradict what I know," is not how Lutherans think theologically.
Anyone with a few years of direct experience in the church should see the danger that arrives when the individual, personalized "I's" prevail.

Team Hesse

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #85 on: September 25, 2012, 07:43:44 AM »

Anyone with a few years of direct experience in the church should see the danger that arrives when the individual, personalized "I's" prevail.

Sometimes yay sometimes nay......

Lou

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #86 on: September 25, 2012, 08:04:24 AM »
"I know what the Bible says, so no Council of the Church, Synod, denomination, convention, assembly, confessional statement or theologian can contradict what I know," is not how Lutherans think theologically.

Hmm, it's not?

“Since then your sere Majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

(Reply to the Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521)”
― Martin Luther, Luther's works, volume 33 : career of the reformer iii

Steverem

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #87 on: September 25, 2012, 09:35:55 AM »
Don't know what lectionary everyone here is using, but the epistle reading we had on Sunday seems a propos:

Quote
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

- James 3:13-4:10

Seems to me that all divine wisdom comes from above, and is by nature accompanied with a humility that acknowledges that said wisdom is not our own.  We should all seek understanding as we are able, and seek to live out the calling God has placed on our lives, but in the end, it is God alone who grants us His wisdom, guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Felix Culpepper

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Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
« Reply #88 on: September 25, 2012, 09:48:00 AM »
I wrote: "If someone says, 'I've got the Holy Spirit, nuts to everything else' you have got trouble."

Mr. Erdner replied:
When, and if, someone says that, I take that into consideration.

I muse:
And there is that persistent, troublesome, and dangerous "I" again. Simply substituting oneself for the one who claims ownership of the Holy Spirit is not how it works.
"I don't like what that one is saying, so he's a fraud" is a meaningless statement.
"I think that pastor or group of pastors has got it wrong, so I'm not recognizing them as pastors," is sectarian and arrogant.
"I know what the Bible says, so no Council of the Church, Synod, denomination, convention, assembly, confessional statement or theologian can contradict what I know," is not how Lutherans think theologically.
Anyone with a few years of direct experience in the church should see the danger that arrives when the individual, personalized "I's" prevail.

Pastor Austin is correct in this of course.  However, this dependence on the "I", on personal experience, trusting one's inner voice, and emotional testimony does not only infect the world of televangelists and other (so called) fundagelicals.  The "dangerous I" plays a crucial role in mainline liberal denominations.  In the ELCA, it was appeals to personal experience, trusting one's inner voice, and sharing emotional testimony that finally won the day in 2009.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:50:00 AM by Felix Culpepper »