Biblical Studies and The Seminary Curriculum -- By: Bruce C. Stark

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 03:0 (NA 1970)
Article: Biblical Studies and The Seminary Curriculum
Author: Bruce C. Stark


Biblical Studies and
The Seminary Curriculum

Bruce C. Stark

THE PLACE of Biblical studies in the seminary curriculum is one of the most difficult and controverted aspects of theological experience today. A major reason for this is a shifting away from traditional concepts of revelation, authority and inspiration, but even in conservative schools the problem persists.1 The landslide of changes in curricula connote a certain uneasiness in high places. These changes go far beyond a mere interest in being contemporary, and may betray fundamental uncertainties in the minds of theological educators. The problem worsens in the face of withering criticism and persistent charges of “irrelevance” leveled against the theological institutions. What appears to be needed is a Christian philosophy of theological education that is firm enough not to be cast about by every wind of change, and yet flexible enough to take sensitive account of the deep concerns of contemporary men.

One’s concept of the role of Biblical studies is relative to the educational philosophy he holds, and this in turn is embraced in principle in a world and life view. In our context of thinking, Christian theology provides the framework, motivation, and perspective for the educational process. A defective theology invalidates any educational philosophy built upon it, and this inadequacy may well erupt in confusion, backtracking, vacillation, or fragmentation of the theological curriculum. Need it be added that a truly Christian theology must be Biblically informed? We turn then to that aspect of Christian theology that pertains to the Bible itself.

I
Biblical Primacy An Inference
From A Proper View Of
Revelation, Authority, And Inspiration

The Bible is an utterly unique book in that it is the embodiment of a divine message revealed to the prophets and apostles of old. While the means used to communicate the message were various, and while a wide spectrum of human personalities is utilized, the message is not human in its source but divine. The possibility of such a communication is vindicated in

the light of man’s image relationship to God (Gen. 1:26, 27). The necessity of it is enforced by human depravity, and the actuality of it in Scripture ,is a witness to the grace and power of God. There is, to be sure, an epochal character to this revelation, so that the O. T. came bit by bit and in various ways, culminating in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1, 2). The O. T. revelation is not l...

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