Carl Trueman has a thoughtful essay on the struggle of confessional seminaries to fulfill the vocation to to serve the church faithfully , to meet the highest academic standards, and to avoid the pattern of decline into broad evangelicalism.In the note too distant past WSC had some of these same difficult and painful discussions and not everyone was happy with how they were resolved. As I see it, we decided that the world doesn’t need any more broadly evangelical seminaries with predestinarian leanings. The world does need institutions committed to the original mission of old Princeton. We decided that we still believe in the original mission that J. Gresham Machen gave to Westminster Seminary: to produce pastor-scholars who are committed to serving the church by doing outstanding scholarship. We reject the assumption, apparently shared by fundamentalists and progressive evangelical types alike, that being confessional requires doing sub-par scholarship or lower academic standards. If we learned anything from W. H. Green, Warfield, and Machen it was that the old liberals weren’t doing the best scholarship. That’s why it’s shocking to see some ostensibly Reformed folks promoting subjectivist nonsense such as the documentary hypothesis, as if it’s never been addressed or dispatched. It puts one in mind of the black knight (not to be confused with the Dark Knight). We agree with Machen that one must choose between Christianity and Liberalism. We agree with Machen that the Reformed confession is the most consistently biblical expression of Christianity.
Carl makes some very important points. Perhaps one of the most important was his implicit call to prayer for those of us engaged in the spiritual warfare of living between two worlds, mediating the church to the academy and mediating the academy to the church. It’s not as easy as it looks. Do pray for Carl, WTS, and for us at WSC as you think of it. We’re confident in the sovereign power and grace of God but we’re chastened by history and by the knowledge of our own sinfulness.