How to Waste Your Theological Education

1. Cultivate pride by writing only to impress your professors instead of writing to better understand and more clearly communicate truth.

2. Perfect the fine art of corner-cutting by not really researching for a paper but instead writing your uneducated and unsubstantiated opinions and filling them in with strategically placed footnotes.

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.”

4. Nurture an attitude of superiority, competition, and condescension toward fellow seminary students. Secretly speak ill of them with friends and with your spouse.

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.

7. Don’t evangelize your neighbors.

8. Practice misquoting and misrepresenting positions and ideas you don’t agree with. Be lazy and don’t attempt to understand opposing views; instead, nurse your prejudices and exalt your opinions by superficial reading and listening.

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.

11. Find better things to do than serve in your local church.

12. Fill your life with questionable movies, television, internet, and music.

13. Set aside fellowship and accountability with fellow brothers in Christ.

14. Let your study of divine things become dull, boring, lifeless, and mundane.

15. Chip away at your integrity by signing your school’s covenant and then breaking it under the delusion that, “Those rules are legalistic anyway.”

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.

18. Just study. Don’t exercise, spend time with your family, or work.

19. Save major papers for the last possible moment so that you can ensure that you don’t really learn anything by writing them.

20. Don’t waste your time forming friendships with your professors and those older and wiser than you.

21. Make the mistake of thinking that your education guarantees your success in ministry.

22. Don’t study devotionally. You’ll never make it as a big time scholar if you do that. Scholars need to be cool, detached, and unbiased – certainly not Jesus freaks.

23. Day dream about future opportunities to the point that you get nothing out of your current opportunity to learn God’s Word.

24. Do other things while in class instead of listening – like homework, scheduling, letter-writing, and email.

25. Spend more time blogging than studying.

26. Avoid chapel and other opportunities for corporate worship.

27. Argue angrily with those who don’t see things your way. Whatever you do, don’t read and meditate on II Timothy 2:24-26 and James 3:13-18 as you prepare for ministry.

28. Set your hopes on an easy, cushy pastorate for when you graduate. Determine now not to obey God when he calls you to serve in a difficult church.

29. Look forward to the day when you won’t have to concern yourself with all this theology and when you will be able to just “preach Jesus.”

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.

33. Pick apart your pastor’s sermons every week. Only point out his mistakes and his poor theological reasoning so you don’t have to be convicted by anything he says.

34. Protect yourself from real fellowship by only talking about theology and never about your personal spiritual issues, sin, and struggles.

35. Comfort yourself with the delusion that you will start seriously dealing with sin as soon as you become a pastor; right now it’s not really that big a deal.

36. Don’t serve the poor, visit the sick, or care for widows and orphans – save that stuff for the uneducated, non-seminary trained, lay Christians.

37. Keep telling yourself that you want to preach, but don’t ever seek opportunities to preach, especially at local rescue missions and nursing homes. Wait until your church candidacy to preach your first sermon.

38. Let envy keep you from profiting from sermons preached by fellow students.

39. Resent behind-the-scenes, unrecognized service. Only serve in areas where you are sure you will receive praise and accolades.

40. Appear spiritual and knowledgeable at all costs. Don’t let others see your imperfections and ignorance, even if it means you have to lie.

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.

43. Become angry, resentful and devastated when you receive something less than an A.

44. Let your excitement for ministry increase or decrease in direct proportion to the accolades or criticisms you receive from your professors.

45. Don’t really try to learn the languages – let Bible Works do all the work for you.

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93 thoughts on “How to Waste Your Theological Education

  1. Pingback: 45 Ways To Waste Your Seminary Education | Said at Southern Seminary
  2. A lot of those punched me in the gut, and I’ve never been in a seminary!

    Thanks you for the exhortation, brother!

  3. Very humbling. I feel about an inch tall. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for reminding us (even us alumni) about what is still important.

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  5. This is probably one of the most challenging posts I’ve ever read. Thank you, this now gives me a few things to evaluate in my life before I head into my next semester.

  6. Wow…I’m only in college and I see so many of the issues that I have seemed to overlook. Derek, thank you. I will save this list and pray that the Lord would keep me from doing them. It’s not easy having your heart so exposed, but it is needed; for if we want to be consumed with the Lord’s work then invariably that will result in the need for us to see the deceptiveness of our hearts and how life change must occur.

    This list should perhaps be expanded by more seasoned saints and then distributed to not only seminarians but those in college who are seeking to enter into the ministry.

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  11. Derek,

    Thanks for posting this. I needed this. I’m just glad I stumbled upon this list before I actually head off to college in the fall. It’ll certainly help me prepare. 7, 9, 31, and 41 are areas of particular struggle with me.

    Taylor Fletcher

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  15. Pingback: Wasting Seminary | Going to Seminary - A Resource for Men and Women Choosing or Attending a Christian Theological Seminary
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  17. Wow, ditto to all above.

    Could someone explain #10 more fully (I’m young and un-seminaried)? Is the point that ministers must speak of false teaching with the life-and-death seriousness it warrants?

  18. Very convicting indeed. And if I may be a bit frank, somewhat demoralizing as well. Without trying to make excuses or lay the blame elsewhere, I found it just about impossible to really learn the languages (#45), start early on all my major papers (#19), take the time to really get to know my professors (#20), and even attend to my own devotional life (#6) while being neck-deep in youth ministry (my feeble attempt at #11) and dating my fiancée at the time (#30–praise God she still married me!). Perhaps I was too young and immature when I started, and maybe I had too much on my plate at the time. All I know is that seminary definitely was a “wilderness” period of sorts for me.

    My humble opinion: The rare, exceptionally gifted person can avoid all these pitfalls, and even then only with great vigilance. But many others are simply trying to keep their heads above water and graduate with their hearts still burning for God and their personal integrity intact. I suppose the real lesson in all this is that seminary can be a tough, lonely road and it requires a certain level of maturity and character (along with realistic expectations) when you decide to enroll. Look before you leap, and look to the Lord and his grace throughout your entire journey!

  19. i’m convicted that i’ve been wasting the theological education which God has blessed me with. i was repenting before God as i was reading this. thanks for the list.

  20. Andrew,

    Good question. What I am getting at in #10 is the tendency to talk about heresy without a broken heart – as if soul-wrecking doctrine was something to laugh and joke about, or, for that matter, something that should not humble us. I think heretical doctrine should not only promote discernment in Christians, it should promote a genuine humility and deepen our reliance on God; bearing in mind it is by grace alone that we do not slip into error. This does not mean that we do not speak clearly against error, or even feel righteous indignation when it is taught. But I think we should always be taking heed of ourselves lest we fall (I Corinthians 10:12). It is difficult to take heed of ourselves when we are laughing about and looking down at those who have destroyed themselves and others with false teaching.

    Derek

  21. Derek,
    I will be using this list for all of my Greek, Theology, and Hermeneutics classes this fall. Very perceptive. I see my own pride-filled heart (sadly) in many of these to this day. PhD in hand does not solve such problems . . . this is a Gospel problem, and I have to preach it to myself every day.

    Thanks again.

    Barry Joslin
    Boyce College

  22. #46) Continue to devote a portion of your heart and mind to your favorite sports teams. Tell yourself its harmless innocent and not really an idol.

    #47) Foolishly dismiss item #12 while assuring yourself that you are just “leveraging culture.” You can’t be expected to live on an island.

  23. Pingback: pe scara Cerului » Blog Archive » lista lui Derek sau cum sa faci teologie degeaba…
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  26. Good thing I’m so smart, educated and self righteous to need to heed this list. ;) Most important are probably the attitude toward elders, and serving in the church.

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  28. Pingback: 45 Non-Tips for Theology Students « Your Cross on My Back
  29. Did you write this during a lecture or when you were supposed to be at chapel?

    :-)

    Thanks for the list. Sounds like theological colleges are the same all over the world. Same dangers and same sins to avoid and repent of. It rings true for me.

    Andrew S.
    Moore College, Sydney

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  31. A 19th century student literary publication at the University of Virginia contains an essay that gives satirical advice to new students. It is my strong suspicion that RL Dabney was the author, for this essay is attributed to “L”–the same signature Dabney used in his other writings for this journal. Anyone interested can find a copy here:

    http://people.virginia.edu/~jma8c/principia.pdf

  32. What are you trying to say with #31? Dang Arminians always hating on Calvinists! (j/k, nice list. But really, please no hating on Calvinists. We have feelings too :.( )

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  39. Very perceptive list, really helpful stuff!

    As I read this list there were many thoughts that came to mind:

    -If this list is an accurate and spiritually edifying set of resolutions that will help us make the most of our education (and I think it is), how should this shape the way that we approach our educational goals? In other words, how will my approach to my education – the number of classes I take per semester, how school is balanced with work and faithful church membership, etc – be affected?

    -If students should hold fast to guidelines such as these, how important it must be for us to accurately assess our own giftedness at academics? If I am a slow reader (and I am), should I really take a full load of classes on Edwards, the Trinity, and Church history in one semester (which I did)? Maybe we need to realize that it is going to take 4,5, even 6 years to pick up our M.Divs and walk across the stage truly knowing that I have truly graduated with a degree in theology, marriage, fatherhood, faithfulness to the church, character, and sowing of the gospel? I want that degree infinitely more than I want a degree that shows I weaseled my way through my classes.

    -Given all of these guidelines, is it possible that we should even take another look at the way that seminary is traditionally done? Maybe it is time to make a move towards something like a pastors college where our education is more immediately applied and cultivated within a ministry context?

    Thanks for the post. I would love to hear if you have any thoughts along these lines.

  40. Pingback: Gospel Prism » Blog Archive » 10 Things to Read to Make the Most of Seminary Before You Get There
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  43. Andrew (and Derek),

    Re: heresy–I think we also need to approach heretics and heresy with humility not only because we ourselves may fall into error, but because the church is in an in-going process of discerning the truth of God, “ever reforming” as our Reformed friends say. Origen, while eventually condemned as a heretic by the Catholic Church, has much profitable to say about the scriptures. Luther was condemned as a heretic, and in turn condemned the Catholic position. One man’s heretic is another denomination’s saint. Arius lost the war to Athanasius, but perhaps had just as good arguments.

    If we just dismiss theologians (ancient or modern) with whom we disagree or mock them or distain or ignore them, we miss the chance to become better theologians ourselves by taking them seriously. Every theological position has a motivation, and we are more responsible pastors and teachers if we seek to compassionately understand what is at stake for a person in a certain position.

  44. Pingback: How to Waste Your Theological Education « 10:31 To Glory
  45. 45 WAYS TO WASTE YOUR LIFE IN CHRIST ON VIDEO-GAMES:

    1. Cultivate pride by writing only to impress your professors instead of writing to better understand and more clearly communicate truth.

    Cultivate pride by playing games only to impress virtual friends instead of spending time with real friends and in the truth of the real world.

    2. Perfect the fine art of corner-cutting by not really researching for a paper but instead writing your uneducated and unsubstantiated opinions and filling them in with strategically placed footnotes.

    Perfect the fine art of virtual skills by ignoring real life skills that will matter for eternity; instead they are replaced with unsubstantiated knowledge and opinions, completely void of any spiritual meaning.

    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.”

    Mistake your happiness as a result of playing games when your actual happiness comes from friends and loved ones. Keep telling yourself, “I’ll get around to this other stuff when I get married or God send’s a good friend my way”.

    4. Nurture an attitude of superiority, competition, and condescension toward fellow seminary students. Secretly speak ill of them with friends and with your spouse.

    Nurture an attitude of superiority, competition, and condescension toward other virtual friends and real life friends as a result of your games. Secretly speak ill of virtual friends with your real life friends, or vice-versa.

    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.

    Regularly question the wisdom and competency of your real friends. Find ways to disrespect your friends and family by questioning their understanding to justify your deep game playing addiction.

    6. Neglect personal worship, Bible reading and prayer.

    Neglect the real and meaningful issues of life, like prayer, worship, Bible reading and fellowship with real people who really care and love you deeply.

    7. Don’t evangelize your neighbors.

    Avoid evangelizing your neighbors by spending hours inside on a machine with lights and buttons.
    8. Practice misquoting and misrepresenting positions and ideas you don’t agree with. Be lazy and don’t attempt to understand opposing views; instead, nurse your prejudices and exalt your opinions by superficial reading and listening.

    Practice denigrating and putting-down your virtual opponents who are really better at the game than you. Be lazy and refuse to commit to teamwork when things don’t work out and “solo” play the mission. Nurse your own expertise in the game and exalt your strategies higher than your virtual friends who just play to have fun.

    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.

    Give your opinion often without listening to others on the virtual game. Become an elitist and treat all the new guys like “n00bs” not worth your time.

    10. Speak of heretical movements, teachers, and doctrine with an air of disdain and levity.

    Speak of the heretical issues in life and lack of good teaching and edification in the body of Christ as a means to justify escapism into hours of play.

    11. Find better things to do than serve in your local church.

    Play rather than serve the church.

    12. Fill your life with questionable movies, television, internet, and music.

    Fill your life with hours of gaming, television, internet, music, and movies.

    13. Set aside fellowship and accountability with fellow brothers in Christ.

    Set aside real life fellowship with the ones who love you and pray for you to play games.

    14. Let your study of divine things become dull, boring, lifeless, and mundane.

    Allow the truly exciting matters of God, his Word, and the excitement of discussing the spiritual matters to disintegrate into hours of gaming, which you think to be more exciting.

    15. Chip away at your integrity by signing your school’s covenant and then breaking it under the delusion that, “Those rules are legalistic anyway.”

    Chip away at your own integrity by promoting the satisfaction of the game to your virtual friends and not sharing Christ with them.

    16. Don’t read to learn; read only to refute what you believe is wrong.

    Don’t read on real life issues in order to stay on top of the spiritual issues in the body; read up on the video game stuff only.

    17. Convince yourself that you already know all this stuff.

    Convince yourself that because there are so many problems in the church it’s “abandon ship” to videogames.

    18. Just study. Don’t exercise, spend time with your family, or work.

    Just play games. Don’t exercise or spend time with family or friends, or get rest for work. Put job performance second to time spent on the game.

    19. Save major papers for the last possible moment so that you can ensure that you don’t really learn anything by writing them.

    Save real life issues until the last possible moment for when you finally get off the videogame in order to minimize time in the real world.

    20. Don’t waste your time forming friendships with your professors and those older and wiser than you.

    Spend time online forming pseudo-friendships that will not last a week instead of forming lasting friendships with God-loving people God has put in your life.

    21. Make the mistake of thinking that your education guarantees your success in ministry.

    Make the mistake of thinking that your virtual success and enjoyment matters one bit in reality.

    22. Don’t study devotionally. You’ll never make it as a big time scholar if you do that. Scholars need to be cool, detached, and unbiased – certainly not Jesus freaks.

    Play and don’t do devotionals. Tell yourself God really doesn’t have any big plans for your life anyway so you might as well be content to play games.

    23. Day dream about future opportunities to the point that you get nothing out of your current opportunity to learn God’s Word.

    Day dream about games at work and count the hours until you can play again. Do anything but work while at work.

    24. Do other things while in class instead of listening – like homework, scheduling, letter-writing, and email.

    Don’t do anything edifying in the game except demonstrate your superiority over your virtual friends.

    25. Spend more time blogging than studying.

    Spend more time playing than studying the Bible.

    26. Avoid chapel and other opportunities for corporate worship.

    Avoid outdoors where you might happenstance across a real life person God wants in your life or for you as your husband/wife.

    27. Argue angrily with those who don’t see things your way. Whatever you do, don’t read and meditate on II Timothy 2:24-26 and James 3:13-18 as you prepare for ministry.

    Argue angrily with your virtual friends who don’t understand the game like you do. Whatever you do, don’t meditate on any edifying word of scripture as you play.

    28. Set your hopes on an easy, cushy pastorate for when you graduate. Determine now not to obey God when he calls you to serve in a difficult church.

    Set your hope on your next date with your machine. Determine not to obey God’s voice and spend time in his Word and wonder why nothing seems to be going right in your real life.

    29. Look forward to the day when you won’t have to concern yourself with all this theology and when you will be able to just “preach Jesus.”

    Look forward to the day when you will no longer have to concern yourself with real life or real people but are instead “in heaven with Jesus”.

    30. Forget that your primary responsibility is care for your family through provision, shepherding, and leadership.

    Forget your primary purpose as a Christian, to love your family, shepherd the lost, and be loved by others, because games are just your “thing”.

    31. Master Calvin, Owen, and Edwards, but not the Law, Prophets, and Apostles.

    Master Master-Chief, CTF, Assault, Sniping, reaching level 50, marksmanship, have all the medals, save the day, take the heroic battle all the way to victory, all in the virtual life; but don’t master wisdom and her lovely and hidden ways which are for the prudent, and have lasting and meaningful satisfaction for real life as well as eternal life.

    32. Gain knowledge in order to merely teach others. Don’t expend the effort it takes to deal with your own heart.

    Gain skill in the virtual game in order only to be better than others. Don’t depend on anyone while playing except yourself.

    33. Pick apart your pastor’s sermons every week. Only point out his mistakes and his poor theological reasoning so you don’t have to be convicted by anything he says.

    Pick apart your virtual opponents. Point out his mistakes and his poor skill to exalt yourself (either secretly or out loud).

    34. Protect yourself from real fellowship by only talking about theology and never about your personal spiritual issues, sin, and struggles.

    Protect yourself from real fellowship by only talking about non-real and virtual, meaningless matters. Don’t’ deal with the sin in your life or accept the aid of those reaching out with Christ loving arms who want to help you because it interferes with your game interests.

    35. Comfort yourself with the delusion that you will start seriously dealing with sin as soon as you become a pastor; right now it’s not really that big a deal.

    Comfort yourself with the delusion that you will take your sin seriously at a point in the future, or when God sends a great personal mentor to hold your hand through it (besides already sending his Spirit). Denigrate the church for this lack of discipleship in your life rather than rising to take on this disciple vacancy for others.

    36. Don’t serve the poor, visit the sick, or care for widows and orphans – save that stuff for the uneducated, non-seminary trained, lay Christians.

    Don’t serve in the body by always being in the virtual world. Let the sick, hungry, lost and truly un-cared for go into the pangs of death, while you send your virtual opponent to his doom.

    37. Keep telling yourself that you want to preach, but don’t ever seek opportunities to preach, especially at local rescue missions and nursing homes. Wait until your church candidacy to preach your first sermon.

    Keep telling yourself you have plenty of time to straighten up. Know that your peers on the game are also your age and still playing. Ignore the other great and heroic young men and women that God is using right now.

    38. Let envy keep you from profiting from sermons preached by fellow students.

    Let past hurts and reliance on faith keep you from profiting spiritually by serving in the body of Christ, and instead serve in playing a game.

    39. Resent behind-the-scenes, unrecognized service. Only serve in areas where you are sure you will receive praise and accolades.

    Only play the parts of the game you think are fun and areas you will excel at, even when your virtual friends all want to play something else. Earn your accolades in the game at the expense of everything else.

    40. Appear spiritual and knowledgeable at all costs. Don’t let others see your imperfections and ignorance, even if it means you have to lie.

    Appear spiritual and knowledgeable in the game, even though you are running from both. Don’t be humble and allow your virtual friends to know the real reasons you spend hours playing.

    41. Love books and theology and ministry more than the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Love the game more than following Jesus, either literally, or by implication of time spent with it.

    42. Let your passion for the gospel be replaced by passion for complex doctrinal speculation.

    Let your passion and motivation for your first love, Christ, slip away with the rest of the real world, where you left them when you picked up your controller, keyboard, headset, etc.

    43. Become angry, resentful and devastated when you receive something less than an A.

    Become angry with the real world because of your virtual failures or lack of luck or ability to keep up with the elitist.

    44. Let your excitement for ministry increase or decrease in direct proportion to the accolades or criticisms you receive from your professors.

    Let the virtual world rob you of real life enjoyment, excitement, genuine emotions and feelings, and take your game-honed skills of criticism with you back to the real world.

    45. Don’t really try to learn the languages – let Bible Works do all the work for you.

    Don’t really play the game to play the game. Play to ignore the problems.

  46. #46 Measure your success by how much you know, not how much you humbly serve others.

    #47 Remember, it is always more important to be right than to be gracious.

    #48 Always find a unique angle on every theological issue so you can make insightful doctrinal observations no one has ever made before.

    #49 Don’t bother making any friends or networking with your fellow students, remember they are just competition for the large church you’re certain will be looking at your resume as soon as you graduate.

    #50 Expect your education to get you respect from the people in your present/future church, anticipate them being awed by your knowledge and theological acumen. Assume they will understand that since you can parse Greek sentences now, you don’t have time to care about their sick grandmother.

    #51 Be sure and go home each night and complain to your wife about school. She’ll be thrilled to know she’s making this sacrifice so you can endure incompetent professors, read inane books, and sit in class with men you’d never call your friends.

    #52 Be a lone-wolf, always prowling your classes, professors, books, and fellow students for the smallest deviation from what you know to be the only true doctrine.

    #53 Convince yourself that if only they’d let you, you could teach most any class in the place.

    #54 Convince yourself you’re not being critical, you’re just exercising godly discernment.

    #55 Don’t worry about spending time with your kids, you’re studying the Bible, they’ll be okay knowing Daddy thinks the ministry is more important than they are.

  47. Eh eh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    what a powerfull reflection?
    I can wait to print it and share it with as many students as I can from my faculty which is Theology at Africa University.
    Whoever reads this his or her ministry will never be the Same.

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  54. You're right on some of these. Seminary is a colossal waste of time and money, at least in terms of trying to learn about god. You do learn how to do "research" and quote other people in your papers from sources that you're pretty sure no one will ever take the time to check up on in order to impress the fan-boy TA who fancies him/herself to be a member of the divine council of which the prof is the chief deity. From my seminary education I've never come to hate the bible so much in my life, or despise the arrogant academic elite ****wads that hover above the ground by their own glory while pontificating their Reformed nonsense. Theology is root in illogical conclusions, relying on inventive, twisted, and contorted devices in order to keep one from uttering the dark secret in the back of the mind: "This is ʇıɥsllnq, and I should go outside for a walk instead." I've learned to resent christianity as a whole, and have become—in the process of wasting away from sitting on my ass in the library writing papers in the exact fashion you mention—neurotically depressed and filled with rage for what can only be described as a massive mind-KNOWING ("know" in the biblical sense)….

  55. for me, the first reason on such a list would be:
    choosing to go to seminary simply because studying the Word is my absolute favorite pastime and i would rather fill the hours of all my days doing nothing else, when i am already educated far beyond obedience, having received a foundational training at the Word of Life Bible Institute and having been equipped to know how to continue studying the Word with discernment, so that desire for seminary training becomes selfish ambition to fulfill personal satisfaction above faithfulness to my Savior

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  58. Hi there! Wowee, this post was not the thing to read as a ‘nice little vibe before bedtime…’ I hit the link expecting to learn something, but this level of rebuke was not what I’d envisaged. I’m totally in harmony with the other comments – I’ve been in academic theology for some time and am now preparing for seminary itself – but some of those points have stabbed my ego good and proper – and also illuminated some problems that I’ve been talking to God about in my own being. I am going to print this off, add it to my private devotional file and pray over it. THANK YOU!

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  60. A very helpful list. Is it OK to re-arrange the 45 items into less than 10 groups, so that they are easy to read, understand and remember? Thank you. — a lay Christian (haven’t got theological education)

  61. Pingback: Новости образования » How to Waste Your Theological Education
  62. Pingback: 45 Ways To Waste Your Theological Education – Casey and Jess
  63. As a Theology undergraduate student myself, I can honestly say that few things I have read addressed this issue as well as this very simple, straightforward “Screwtape Letters” style listing. I found it both challenging and convicting. It is so easy to handle theological studies like any other field of study, while in fact we are dealing with matters that can and will have eternal consequences. God has been dealing with me personally to be careful that, in being so absorbed with doing well in getting my degree, I do not learn what He wants to teach me through it, first applying it to myself before ever teaching it to others, and above all else, keeping my priorities straight, so that I would not become so busy with the things of God that I lose touch with Him.

  64. Wow! Thank you, Mr. Brown for your very challenging post! Some of the points that you made are ones that the Lord has already been speaking to me about. One of those is to read to learn. Sometimes I read to check it off my list, but I am realizing that my work here at school will not mean much if I do not engage myself in what I am reading.

    Some of your other posts – combined – really were helpful. I think many of us Christians do not take the time to learn about opposing viewpoints, and instead, spew out our own opinions and ideas with little sensitivity or understanding. This not only hinders good communication and discussion, it also can wound fellow believers. My class on the Corinthian Epistles has stressed the importance of keeping peace in the body of Christ. While the whole of the body of Christ will never agree on every doctrinal issue, each member must always show mutual love and respect for the other members. One way to do this is to be quiet for awhile and sincerely listen to the whats and whys of opposing viewpoints.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Thank-you very much Mr. Brown for your post! It was very convicting. You made some excellent points! Thanks for the recommendations and good advice! I found #14 especially helpful. You said, “Let your study of divine things become dull, boring, lifeless, and mundane.” .. It’s so easy to let it become as such. Dull and lifeless. The other one I took some “food for thought” from was to keep telling yourself you’ll preach when you do your candidacy sermon. Dare I say it that would be too late. Prep and practice should be started as early as possible.

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