Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: TBS (Page 1 of 2)

You Play Kirk Wellum

What are the most pressing issues facing the church in our current day? What theological and doctrinal problems will we see coming to the forefront in the coming decade? What are the errors that we most need to confront in our preaching and teaching ministries today? What issues do pastors in particular and Christians in general need to be aware of, informed in, and ready to give an answer on?

Any thoughts?

Those are the questions we asked Kirk Wellum, Principal of the Toronto Baptist Seminary, to answer at this Monday’s meeting of the Toronto Pastors Fellowship.

So go ahead, play the role of Kirk Wellum: Why don’t you give me some of your answers and we’ll see on Monday how closely they line up with Kirk’s insights once the paper is presented on Monday.

Preaching the Word and People’s Needs

This semester I was able to take Homiletics 2 at TBS. I have much to learn and much room to grow in the realm of preaching, so I was happy to take this course.

One of the great conversations we had in class this year was on the topic of the need to be preaching the Word of God rather than opinions or topics that may or may not relate to the revealed truth of the Word.

Over the course of the conversation, Dr Penhearow pointed out this pastoral bit of wisdom that I’ve thought about much ever since:

The needs of the congregation may in fact be different than even they think.

The point is this: Only God the Spirit, who searches hearts, knows our needs. Sometimes in the midst of our problems we think we know what we need; in reality, however, only God knows. If we, as pastors, try to interpret people’s lives so as to determine what they ‘need’ to hear, we’ll get it wrong.

If we can’t discern the needs of our own heart, how can we hope to do just that for the congregation we don’t know as well as ourselves?

If, however, we preach the God-inspired Word, then God will be faithful to address his people’s needs. He knows them already and he has given the Word precisely to meet those needs. When we preach the Word of God, the Spirit of God will accomplish all the purposes of God in the people of God. 

As preachers, all we need to do is ‘eat the scroll.’ God will apply according to his grace and the needs of his people. There is no promise in Scripture that God will work through my thoughts according to his will; there are plenty of promises in Scripture that God will work through his Word. 

That’s our hope as preachers–that God would work, because only he sees true needs.

TBS Principal’s Banquet

I was quite blessed with the privilege of speaking at this year’s Principal’s Banquet for the Toronto Baptist Seminary. I was to give a ‘student’s perspective, in three minutes or less.’ I was given the task of explaining why I chose to come to TBS, and why I continue to study at TBS. In other words, from a student’s perspective, I should answer the question, ‘Why should someone continue to support the work at the seminary?’

Below is the manuscript I had written out. It is close to what I actually said.

My name is Julian Freeman and I just finished my second year as a full-time student at TBS. I count it quite a privilege to be here tonight and to have the opportunity to speak to you about why I have chosen to study at TBS and why I continue to study at TBS. I do think it is somewhat unfair for them to give me such a broad, open-ended question, and then only give me a few minutes to talk about my reasons, but here is my best effort anyway.

The first thing that drew me to TBS was the doctrinal statement. I had an opportunity to do my undergraduate degree at a school where I had significant differences in doctrine with some of the professors. This was a benefit to me as it exposed me to many different viewpoints on many different issues. However, when it came time for me to do my graduate work, my work which would be preparation for pastoral ministry, I knew that I had to go to school where I would no longer have to second guess the ones teaching me, but would be able to receive the truth as it was taught emphatically from scriptures.

TBS plays an absolutely crucial role in the training of men for pastoral ministry in Canada, because to the best of my knowledge it is the only complementarian school in Canada and it is also one of the few schools which still emphasizes the doctrines of grace. In these crucial areas our school still stands firm, with the word of God as our authority.

Another key factor in my choosing of TBS was its location. I was born and raised in Toronto, and my church involvement before seminary was in Toronto as well. Attending seminary close to home has allowed me to maintain my closeness to my local congregation, and has allowed them to continue to play a crucial role in my personal and spiritual development as I prepare for ministry. There are simply no other seminaries in the area where a student can go to get a solid, biblical education in preparation for pastoral ministry. The only alternative is to go to the United States, be removed from our local churches and Canadian context, and perhaps never come back. Having a school like TBS here, in Canada, helps ensure that our guys stay here and continue to minister in our context–right where we need them.

The main reason why I have loved being at TBS, however, and what keeps me committed to the school is the professors themselves [men like the kerux, Kirk Wellum, and Michael Haykin]. Never have I once questioned their commitment to us as individuals, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and as those training for future ministry. The professors have always made themselves available for us to speak about what issues concern us, be they spiritual, doctrinal, or personal. Over and over again I have been amazed by the grace of God at work in these men that they so freely give of their time and their talents so sacrificially in order to benefit us and through us, to grow God’s kingdom.

I am so thankful to our Lord for what he is doing in our midst at TBS: he has given young men like me who have sensed God’s calling on our lives an opportunity to learn God’s truths from God’s word, as taught by godly professors who are concerned for God’s glory in the growth of his kingdom. Please do continue to pray that God would continue to increase the work he is already doing amongst us at TBS.

It’s no excuse, but…

I’ve been blogging infrequently since I’ve been back in town lately. ‘Why,’ you ask? Thanks for your concern. For one thing, it’s our ‘Autumn Week of Prayer’ at church, which has kept me out at prayer meetings every day. For another thing, I’ve started back into classes this week. Normally that’s pretty manageable… unfortunately, this year I’ve started Hebrew. Oi.

For those of you who’d be interesting in seeing something a little bit fun, check this site out. Our Hebrew Prof recommended it.

Back to the grindstone for now…

Start of the School Year

Well, another year is getting underway at TBS. As a result, I’ll be away for the next few days at a staff / student retreat up north-east of here. Kirk Wellum (or “kwellum” as the preacher likes to call him) will be preaching several messages to us from the word. I hope to post some reflections on my return.

Gone (Again)

As the summer winds down, my wife and I have been able to work our schedules so that we get one more week away. We’ll be up at the cottage until Thursday or so. We’re looking forward to just being somewhere quiet together for a few days. On Wednesday night we’re seeing the play version of “Anne of Green Gables.” I hope to spend a good portion of each day reading, in preparartion for the module course on persecution and discipleship I’ll be taking next week at school. Needless to say, I won’t be posting until I get back.

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