For Seminary

When I write these responses on forums all of the time for Seminary, I figure I may as well copy and paste them over here so that anyone else that wants to read them can...

I love how practical The Gospel of the Kingdom is. Far from a book that one just intellectualizes and even detaches themselves from their faith, this book is riveting with application.

Here are a few examples:
"We are a disobedient people. We argue about the definition of world-wide evangelization and we debate the details of eschatology, while we neglect the command of the Word of God to evangelize the world." [1]

"The biblical idea of knowledge is not simply the apprehension of facts by the mind. That is a Greek idea. Knowledge in the Bible is far more than intellectual apprehension. Knowledge means experience. Knowledge means personal relationship. Knowledge means friendship. I know my friend John. That does not mean that I have read a sketch about him in Who's Who and can recite some facts as to his place of birth, his age, his wife, children, profession, etc. I could recite all of these facts and yet not know him. I could know much about the man and still not know the man. To know a person means that I have entered into fellowship with him, that I have a relationship with him, that we have shared each other in the mutuality of friendship." [2] (italics are the authors)

Truly, the former refers to a false concept of Christianity. It is essentially the view of religion. The more spiritually mature one is is based on how much head knowledge they have. In this case, the Bible is not something to be applied half as much as it is something to be intellectualized, debated, and so forth. While there is obviously nothing necessarily wrong with studying the Word of God and debating with others, there does become a major problem if there is a major disconnect between what one intellectually knows and what they truly know (as defined by the second quote). I think that there are two things that are essential: One needs to act on what they know (for example, if one knows that evangelism needs to occur but it is not existing in their life, they need to make a change. They do not need feel guilty about it. They do not need to spend the next five years studying and debating in committees on it. And they do not need to feel compulsive that all they do is evangelism and they burn themselves out running around. But rather to simply and actually apply it. This works for whatever things that need to occur just simply are not in operation, and I would venture that if we are too busy doing things that have no lasting significance to do the things that do have lasting significence, that there are probably some priorities that need to get shifted). Secondly, I think there is a real need for humility. When one starts being stretched it seems to teach humility very well, but even in regards to what we know, it is important to not let that hold us back. Bill Johnson has said, "What you know can keep you from what you need to know if you are not a novice [having a child-like heart]."[3] And "It is nonsense to fill yourself up with theory without experience to back it up." [4] Consequently, in this stage of mass amounts of learning in Seminary, my application will be to not let what I learn only be something that I give intellectual assent to, but rather truly, in the biblical sense, KNOW!

1 George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing: 1959),136
2 Ibid., 72
3 Bill Johnson Preaching on 9/17/08
4 Ibid.