There has been a lively interchange going on regarding theological education on my facebook page. This will be my final post on the issue of theological education (though I do intend to write, DV, a small book on the issue).
In the early Church context about 12%-15% of the Graeco-Roman world were literate. All of the Church Fathers were drawn from these ranks. They had to have been to be able to use and preach the Word of God.
It is very telling that the Reformation leaders were all men trained in the universities. And it is also very telling that the Puritans, all of them apart from Bunyan and Baxter, were university men, with MAs in theology. Very telling indeed. And the impact of the Puritan literature on the 18th century men is well known: it is a major stimulus for revival. And none could accuse the Reformers or the Puritans of not being lovers of the church and ardent pastors.
And then the 18th century leaders of the Evangelical awakening: which of them had not been to university? Well, there is Newton and some of the key Baptists like Fuller and Carey. But both of the latter were geniuses.
And do we really think in this complex world we will be best served in the church by men without such formal training? We are whistling dixie (no offence to my Southern brothers!) And we all know what happened to Dixie.