Friday, September 23, 2005

Dear Westminster, I'm Coming!!!

I am now in the middle of a full course load (4) in my Master's program, intending to transfer it all to Westminster Theological Seminary (see photos) in Philadelphia as soon as possible.

My courses are Ancient Church, Reformation, the Theology of Martin Luther, and the Theology of Jonathan Edwards. I ask for your prayers, as I tackle a lot of reading and writing, not to mention about 96 hrs. of lectures I have to listen to and take good notes (to submit to the professor). Hopefully I won't be deported from Canada in theprocess and be separated from my wife and child! Almost everyone asks why I'm choosing Westminster for seminary, and my answer is usually, "Because its the best in the world." My reasoning is that- unlike most seminaries- Westminster has sustained its mission as a conservative, Reformed, evangelical school since its founding. Many seminaries have floundered between liberalism and truth for years, but Westmin has been consistent. The story is that, when the Puritans from Cambridge and Oxford Universities founded Harvard in 1639, it was an attempt to be a pure Calvinist seminary, but it eventually turned liberal, liberal enough that Jonathan Edwards' father, who was a pastor, started his own seminary in his house in Connecticut, and called it Yale. Then, as the leadership became nominally Christian and not truly saved, they too became liberal, causing the conservatives once again to establish a college in New Jersey, eventually calling it Princeton. It was Princeton that lasted the longest as a beautiful expression of evangelical Calvinist education, and it wasn't until the 1920's that the theological faculty split at Princeton, and Westminster was formed across the river in Philadelphia. Gresham Machen, Van Til, and others established Westmin while knowing that schools can follow trends and die because of liberal leadership, so Westminster puts all its leadership in the faculty. All the professors run the school and sign your degree. This creates an accountability structure that has kept Westminster on the Biblical level while most schools have fallen by the wayside. That's why I can be confident there, even though I'm not Presbyterian.