Blog Posts on Study & Scholarship

For the Church, by the Church

Tony Reinke
For the Church, by the Church

Local churches face the challenge of training Christians for local ministry and developing new leaders, but with limited resources.

Stepping up to help is the Porterbrook Network, a global theological training ministry based in the United Kingdom and founded by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. Both men are seasoned authors, church planters, and pastors; and Timmis serves as the Director of Acts 29 Europe.

The Porterbrook Network has developed a two-year program of twenty-four... Continue Reading

How Introverted Pastors Love

Tony Reinke
How Introverted Pastors Love

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s no secret John Piper is an introvert.

This week 75 pastors and ministry leaders gathered together as a local chapter of TGC Twin Cities to hear Pastor John share about his 33 years of ministry. The discussion was led by R.W. Glenn of Redeemer Bible Church.

One of the first questions was how an introverted pastor, like Piper, has learned to love others through his personal gifts and limitations.

The Pastor As Introvert

“It’s amazing how many introverts go into... Continue Reading

The Not-So-Special Season of Seminary

Marshall Segal

My seminary education was unbelievably special. It was a unique and weighty privilege to give myself for a season to the intense, disciplined, and uninterrupted study of God in his word.

I graduated this May from Bethlehem Seminary, and I can honestly say I would do it all over again, if given the chance. I simply wouldn’t trade the lessons learned, friendships forged, or skills acquired for anything. Seminary was a sweet and special season. But was it really special?

In... Continue Reading

Come, Take a Look at This!

Jon Bloom
Come, Take a Look at This!

We impoverish ourselves by not lingering more. Whipping from one thing to the next does not make for a rich, memorable life. Understanding and wonder and worship don’t typically result from doing or reading as many things as possible. It comes from focus and contemplation and rumination. For most of us the wise choice is to go deep, not broad.

When you stop to examine, to search through, to figure out, to study, you begin to see things. You begin to realize how substantial and... Continue Reading

Only One Life: Focus on the Text

Jonathan Parnell
Only One Life: Focus on the Text

I would not write it this way today.

That is one of John Piper’s reflections almost forty years later on his 1974 dissertation, Love Your Enemies, just republished by Crossway. It has to do with how he approached the topic in the Bible.

In the "thicket" of world-class scholarship, Piper employed a "history-of-traditions" method to his study which requires a great deal of research "behind" the biblical text. The point is to discover different sources outside the New Testament... Continue Reading

Finish Your Piper Collection — at Long Last

David Mathis
Finish Your Piper Collection — at Long Last

At one time, it would have cost you a pretty penny to finish off your Piper book collection.

A few fanatics would pony up what it took to obtain a Cambridge-University hardback or Baker softcover of John Piper's out-of-print dissertationLove Your Enemies. But most of us saner types, even if we claimed to have "read everything by Piper," never had access to the monograph he wrote in Germany in his mid-twenties.

But Crossway has stepped in to fill the gap. The... Continue Reading

Degree in Hand, More Desperate Than Ever

Jonathan Parnell

Graduation is a high moment. It's like a wedding of sorts. All the many investments — the questions needing answers, the costs needing to be weighed — rise together in a public crescendo of accomplishment. Congratulations, here's your degree.

Tonight I graduate from seminary. The page of official training closes, and the real-world chapter, so it seems, is opened. It will be a high moment, indeed, and it would probably be a "higher" one if I was going into anything... Continue Reading

Why I Love Bethlehem College

John Piper
Why I Love Bethlehem College

After doing serious church-based higher education for decades, we made it official in 2009 and started Bethlehem College and Seminary (BCS). I love what God has put together.

As many of you know, I began my ministry back in 1974 as a professor of New Testament. Now that the end of my three-decade-long chapter as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church is on the horizon, I am excited that higher education is still part of God’s call on my life. Especially so when I consider... Continue Reading

A Guide for Staying Christian in Seminary

Jonathan Parnell

Once during a walk, as Jack Miller prayed for his friends, it became clear to him what he should want for them: that they get the gospel clear in their own hearts and minds, that they make it clear to others, and that they do it with one prevailing motive — the glory of Jesus (The Heart of a Servant Leader, 22).

Ten weeks ago, David Mathis and I began a series on growing in grace during theological education. As this final post wraps up the series, it's good to... Continue Reading

John Piper on How to Stay Christian in Seminary

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper gives three answers to how to stay Christian in seminary:

  1. Choose professors who are passionate about God and his word.
  2. In all your studies ask "so what?" (at least to yourself).
  3. Pray with your wife about what you're learning.