Author Topic: Historical Studies at Protestant Schools  (Read 6346 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Historical Studies at Protestant Schools
« on: June 13, 2008, 03:11:18 AM »
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It's a very feeble attempt made by Baptists to claim Apostolic Succession. The historical inaccuracies of this chart could be refuted by anyone who had any basic knowledge of Church History. Sadly, this is what most Protestants are taught and nothing else.

I used to go to a Protestant school, and there church history meant studying Acts then skipping to the Protestant Reformation. 

It would be interesting if you (and other folks who have gotten religious training in various Protestant Churches) were to start a thread or two documenting what kind of education you received (not just general points, but specifics).  Sort of a thorough overview of the talking points re: history, apostolic succession, etc.  I know that many on the board know such points, but (a) that doesn't mean all of us do, (b) the groups commonly labeled "Protestant" are actually quite different, and probably have very different approaches to some of the subject areas (like exegesis, Church authority, apostolic succession, etc.).  Collect the various specific and in-depth teachings in one place (as reference threads), and then have parallel threads with thought-through responses (not in the same threads as the information, so as not to confuse the material).

I only attended a Protestant school (Bible Studies major) for one year, because my studying of history and theology led me away from the Protestant fundamentalism that I was enveloped in. The school I attended was part of the Church of God "movement" (they claimed to not be a denomination), out of Anderson IN. They are a Wesleyan holiness group, with ultra-conservative roots. The school I attended though was fairly moderate, as all of their schools are from what I heard. One example of moderation that I can remember is that, rather than glossing over the issues, we learnt about the difficulties in determining when Christ was born, under what circumstances he was born, etc. They didn't just hand out pat answers and expect everyone to agree, but rather challenged students to try and figure things out for themselves (albeit within a mostly evangelical milieu.)

Our movement had been started in the late 19th century, but traced it's teachings mostly back to Wesley and the 18th century. There was no disdain for historical studies that I ever saw, though I don't remember them being encouraged either. Most of the theological and historical research that I did was because of my own drive to look into things, not because of assignments or the urging of teachers. There was a strong anti-Catholic (and therefore anti-Orthodox) aspect to Church of God eschatalogical teachings, at least among some clergyman, but I never encountered those teachings at college. I guess I didn't stick around long enough for issues like apostolic succession and whatnot to come up (if they ever did).

I guess I don't have too much to add to the thread then, my experience being limited. I thought it was a good idea that cleveland had to start the thread, though, and I look forward to hearing the experiences of others.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Historical Studies at Protestant Schools
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 05:05:27 PM »
One can take a quick look at Pat Robertson's (Founder of  700 Club) Regent University Religious Studies Program.  Note the lack of Historical Studies in both Core Requirements and General Requirements:

Core Requirements

Note the lack of history in the Master of Divinity Program, Church and Ministry Track:

Church and Ministry Track

Therefore, at one Protestant school, Historical Studies do not appear to be important enough to include in a basic requirements curriculum.

Initial sentence was incomplete and I made a complete sentence.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 05:06:16 PM by SolEX01 »

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Historical Studies at Protestant Schools
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 06:14:54 PM »
I took an Intro to Christianity course in a UCC-connected college, which did a better job of church history.  I believe the whole history was in the textbook, though it was a slim book.  There was even an Orthodox section.  I think we skipped over some parts because of lack of time, but we still could read them in our textbook.  I was firmly Protestant in those days, so the history didn't sway me, and I forgot a lot of it over time.  But when I started getting curious about Orthodoxy 3 years ago, my old textbook was a helpful resource in checking out church history and re-reading the history I had forgotten.  It was especially helpful because the book came from a different point of view, so it could help confirm what I read in Orthodox sources.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Historical Studies at Protestant Schools
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 06:26:14 PM »
One can take a quick look at Pat Robertson's (Founder of  700 Club) Regent University Religious Studies Program.  Note the lack of Historical Studies in both Core Requirements and General Requirements:

Core Requirements

Note the lack of history in the Master of Divinity Program, Church and Ministry Track:

Church and Ministry Track

Therefore, at one Protestant school, Historical Studies do not appear to be important enough to include in a basic requirements curriculum.

Initial sentence was incomplete and I made a complete sentence.
As far as Regent U. goes, my experience in dealing with (and debating) folks who have been graduated there with M.Div degrees is they come away with boiler-plate Evangelicalistics and with extremely poor Greek (skewed to support their own Bible interpretations).
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Historical Studies at Protestant Schools
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2008, 09:36:01 AM »
I attended an Assemblies of God university. Since I was never in the theology department, I only took the general education theology classes. In my experience, the students were woefully ignorant of the history of Christianity before 1517. To the school's credit, though, the Intro to Theology curriculum (4th theology gen ed) included discussion of such heresies as Sabellianism, Arianism, Nestorianism, the Filioque, and others, treating them as heresies. I knew I was in for a pleasant surprise when I saw a quotation from St. Gregory Palamas on the syllabus.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens