I’ve been in Jackson, Mississippi all week tagging along with the CHBC intern trip. Mark Dever has been delivering lectures on preaching at RTS Jackson. Tomorrow, First Pres Church of Jackson, where Ligon Duncan is the senior minister, will host a 9Marks Workshop. I may have a short post on a couple parts of the trip later, but I’ll leave the blow-by-blow accounts to interns Noah (who’ll be far more thorough) and Graham (who’ll be far funnier).
For right now, I just want to share a really cool piece of info for anyone who desires more biblical/theological training but doesn’t see a seminary program as a viable option.
Last night after the service at First Pres, the CHBC crew had the opportunity to spend some time with the chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary. Ric Cannada oversees and coordinates the presidents of all five RTS campuses. RTS has pioneered the multiple campus approach to seminary that others are now wading into. But now they’ve found a new way to serve even more people by uploading hundreds of classroom lectures to iTunes, where’re they’re available for free.
Now, I’m a Baptist, and I’m certainly far from being a classical Covenant Theologian, and the content of RTS teaching is intended to be in line with the Westminster Confession of Faith. Nevertheless, I suspect there are very few seminaries in the world where you’ll find more consistently biblical teaching than at RTS. And I could be wrong, but I’m not aware of any comparable institutions that have put hundreds of lectures online for free. (I think Covenant Seminary in St. Louis may have done a good deal of this, but I’m simply not as familiar with Covenant.)
One more thing quickly. Seldom have I been a party to more fascinating conversations than those that take place between Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and the groups of younger guys preparing for ministry that often surround both of them. Whether they’re discussing the level of their agreement with a book like this one, the grounds for their staunch disagreement over matters of polity, or their common theology and application of the message of the gospel, I hope it’s impossible not to give thanks for the providence that brought them together.
For my part, it’s simply obvious to me that serious, theological, thoughtful Baptists who recognize the essential nature of contemporary threats to the biblical gospel ought to find far more in common with Presbyterians like Duncan and other friends at First Pres of Jackson than with the vast majority of Baptists, whether they be of the SBC or the IFB variety.