Whoso is armed with the Text, the same is a right pastor, and my best advice and counsel is, that we draw water out of the true Fountain; that is , diligently to read in the Bible. He is a learned Divine that is well grounded in the Text; for one text and sentence out of the Bible is of far more esteem and value than many writings and glosses, which neither are strong, sound, nor armour of proof.
The undersigned will briefly record his reactions to our seminary by characterizing its instruction as unique, personal, and profitable. Unique means being without equal, single in kind, and so I use the word. In the Protestant Reformed Seminary, the absolute authority of the Scriptures is taught, practiced, and inculcated. Time and again during discussions, the student is turned toward the Word, there to find (memorize) the Truth of the matter. In this sense, we certainly stand in the line of Wyclif, Luther, and Calvin. It is unique in the second place because the covenant or organic conception permeates all instruction. This essential principle is held forth in contrast to the prevailing individualism of this day, and gives richness to all the truths of Scripture. Finally, it is unique because the fruit of decades of labor by elderly leaders has been preserved in the form of manuscripts. We Protestant Reformed students may study from Protestant Reformed materials!
Few institutions enjoy a student-teacher ratio of four to one. Our classes exhibit an unusual amount of individual recitation. Having classes of three and four students, our professors are able to adjust their instruction to individual needs. Weaknesses are probed, and the student is given much practice in the statement and defense of his views. Four students will not fill many vacancies, admittedly, but let it be known, their instruction is not suffering.
All Bible study is certainly profitable (II Timothy 3:16). I use the term in this connection because as the months slip by, the student can actually experience progress. Gradually the self-doubts, especially concerning sermon making, fall away. All courses, doctrinal, exegetical, historical, and practical, combine to move him toward the goal: the ministry of the Word of God. What a blessing to experience this growth, however small!
Young men, consider!
It is with pleasure that I write this article for the Beacon Lights. This pleasure is derived from the fact that in attending our seminary one is instructed in the Word of God. Instruction in the truths of Scripture is always a pleasure, thus too the speaking about that instruction. With this in mind I then write about “Our Protestant Reformed Seminary.”
Our seminary’s instruction is entirely founded on the Word of God. Where might one find a more firm foundation? This is the only foundation a seminary’s instruction may be based upon. On this principe our seminary has its foundation. In every class the instruction is absed on the Holy Scriptures. When we study a language it is with the purpose of studying Scirpture in its most original form. When we study history it is with the purpose of understanding the organic development of the church. When we study the methods of preparing and preaching a sermon it is with the purpose of expositing Scripture in its purest form. All instruction that is given in our seminary has as its purpose the preparing of men to proclaim that Truth, the Lord willing, to His own elect.
Academically the instruction received in our seminary is of the very highest quality. The author of this article has received seventeen years of instruction in other institutions of learning. By far the instruction received in our seminary is the most complete and thorough that he has had.
The instructors that are presently teaching in our seminary so instruct in the above mentioned way. In every class that we have the instructors present us with the truth and that alone. They also require that we, in all our studies, be prepared in that same truth and they maintain that high academic standards are absolutely necessary.
The purpose of this instruction by these instructors is to prepare students to become ministers of the Word. Who are these students? They are young men called by God to come to our seminary to receive that instruction. We know that our mere presence in the seminary does not mean that we shall become ministers of that Word, but that our God must qualify and call us.
Personally I would like to say that being a student in our seminary is wonderful. And I pray that God so qualifies and calls me that one day I may be able to proclaim His Word as His servant by His grace.
Due to the lack of copy at the time of publication “News from, for, and about our churches” was not printed in this issue of Beacon Lights.