Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The State of Theology: A Grim Assessment

Do you wonder why a theological school like Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is necessary? With 200-300 or more seminaries, large and small, in the United States, what contribution is GPTS making to theological education?

A recent survey by Ligonier Ministries, "The State of Theology," reveals that vast numbers of Americans, even church-going, Bible-professing evangelical Christians, no longer hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

Ligonier President and CEO Chris Larson, an alumnus of Greenville Seminary, and Reformation Bible College President Stephen Nichols have discussed the survey and its frightening implications in an interview with Tabletalk magazine.

"This study demonstrates the stunning gap in theological precision and awareness throughout our nation," Larson said.

"This ongoing survey can be used to focus our aim as Christians as we proclaim the light of God’s truth to a darkened world. We believe it is essential to know the core beliefs of Americans and share those findings freely with pastors and church leaders," he said.

Nichols added, "Faithful Christians can look at these survey results and lament and decry the state of theology in America. Or, we can look at these results and engage our Great Commission work with a renewed urgency and purpose. ... It is easy to get caught up in trends and apply our resources to chasing after current news cycles. This survey reminds us of the necessity of teaching the foundational truths, of teaching on God’s holiness, on Christ’s person and work, on humanity’s true need to be saved from the wrath of God, and on the Bible’s authority—even in the twenty-first century."

Greenville Seminary was founded to help restore the church to the foundations of the Christian faith, based on the authority of the Bible and the confessions of the historic confessions of the Reformation. This emphasis makes GPTS poised to effectively address the stark revelations of the Ligonier survey results as the seminary seeks to reform the church by restoring its ministry through the ordinary means of by which God extends His grace — preaching, prayer, biblical worship and the sacraments.

Greenville Seminary's distinctives include unswerving commitments to:

  • The absolute authority of Scripture.
  • Doctrinal integrity through subscription to and teaching of historic Reformed confessional standards.
  • Emphasis on learning the original languages of scripture so that the Word of God can be thoroughly and precisely understand and communicated in the preaching of the Word.
  • Christ-centered, heartfelt, passionate preaching, born in the personal piety of the preacher and communicated skillfully in life-changing ways to the hearers of the Word.
  • The preservation of our Christian heritage through knowledge of church history and theological development through the ages.
For more on our distinctives, go here.