Have Emergent Church Mentalities Infiltrated Dallas Theological Seminary?
It use to be that the name “Dallas Theological Seminary” was akin to a Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval” in conservative Evangelical Protestant circles.
Upon hearing that name, it was pretty safe to assume that what you were subjecting yourself to was sound theological teaching.
However, as in the case of the Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval, it seems this once great name in theological erudition and learning can also be bought for a price in an era of declining standards and quality.
One comment in a podcast about the phenomena of Emerging Adulthood produced by that particular institution ought to send chills down the spines of the discerning.
One of the speakers in the discussion remarked that parents ARE NOT to think of themselves as the primary disciplers of their children regarding the Christian faith.
Instead, that is an area over which the parents are to yield to the authority of the Church.
Frankly, I doubt that is a concession even the most sincerely devout of Roman Catholics are willing to make to Vatican hierarchs.
So just how much control over what is taught in the home in regards to doctrine and practice in regards to secondary issues are the parents suppose to surrender to the pastor and his underlings?
Ideally, the parents are to be the primary teachers of the faith to their offspring.
The church is there as a source a general teaching and consultation should the family face an issue over which they do not feel equipped to address.
This mindset where the parents are looked to as glorified innkeepers and hotel bellhops with the real task of character formation left to credential and positioned experts has worked out splendidly in terms of the public education system.
Why should we assume it will work out any better in the confines of the Church?
The purpose of this Dallas Theological Seminary podcast was to tackle the issue of Emerging Adulthood.
That is the phenomena where many youth do not assume all of the responsibilities of adulthood all at once but rather over a span of time that can extend into the 30’s.
In reflecting, one of the seminarians remarked how in his own life as soon as graduating from Biola he set out straight to Texas to embark on his ministry.
Essential to his own success were regular checks from his church COMMUNITY.
Instead of simply offering a statement of gratitude, the seminarian went on to lament how this practice was no longer usually the case.
Why should it be?
Most people are struggling financially on their own to keep their heads above water.
On what grounds are those that are in jobs or occupations that they might not care for obligated to turn hard-earned money over to an Evangelical Christian equivalent of a shiftless beatnik meandering about trying to “find themselves” or are unwilling to lift a finger on their own until landing in their dream job?
Shouldn’t church money or money from church people instead go to those enduring ACTUAL hardships?
In this Dallas Theological Seminary podcast regarding the phenomena of Emerging Adulthood and Extended Adolescence, it was remarked that, in 1960, 70% of the population had achieved what were considered milestones of adulthood such as marriage and procreation by the age of 30.
Today, however, only about 40% of the population achieved these by the age of 30.
Given the epidemic of divorce, the unhappy marriages that lead to the dissolving of what ought to be a lifelong bond, and the resultant social upheaval that has transpired since 1960, that isn’t exactly a good track record of why it is advisable to push the young into situations they might be entering more out of social pressure and conformity rather than as something they actually sincerely desire.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.