Must We Train Ministers? / Interview with Tshepo Rathiaya


Not all Christians view theological education through the same lens. There is a strong anti-intellectual streak running through the body of Christ in both Africa and the west. Nor is this something new. Timothy Dwight, the grandson of Jonathan Edwards, and one-time President of Yale University, battled this same attitude in the early 1800s. In his speech given at the opening of Andover Seminary, Dwight set his sights on those who declare, both in their language and conduct, that the [pulpit] ought to be yielded up to the occupancy of Ignorance. While they demand a seven-year apprenticeship, for the purpose of learning to make a shoe, or an axe; they suppose the system of Providence, together with the numerous, and frequently abstruse, doctrines and precepts, contained in the Scriptures, may be all comprehended without learning, labour, or time. While they insist, equally with others, that their property shall be managed by skilful agents, their judicial causes by learned advocates, and their children, when sick, attended by able physicians; they were satisfied to place their Religion, their souls, and their salvation under the guidance of quackery.1. . .

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