Taiwan Church News
March 7 – 13, 2016
Theology = Learning About God + Training In Spirituality
Every year when it comes to March, the faculty and the student of Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS) would travel to local congregations across the island to greet PCT members and report the school’s status quo. So, annual March in PCT is also called a month of TTCS. This is to rekindle PCT believers’ enthusiasm to carry on their past care, intercession and donation for TTCS, in order to keep pumping fresh blood and strenuous energy into this initial heart of Taiwan Church.
“If no training fed to the laymen, they would perish one by one; but, if no training given to evangelist and co-workers, the believers would die en mass”, this is a wise saying dictated by a deceased pastor, expecting all Taiwanese Christians to reflect if she did possess enough training to stand firm upon spirituality and understanding.
Dr. Lin Deh-hau, former president of China Lutheran Seminary, writes in his book, entitled as «Theology Is Learning About God », “A seminary is both an important utensil used by God and a fallible instrument in the world. Just like any other institute in the secular world, a seminary would possess her goods and bad. This should be understood by any student intending to apply for a seminary and accept a theological training”.
Dr. Lin’s book has six chapters. Chapter 1 & 2 explicate the definition, continuity and purification of the “calling” during the beginning period of a theological education. The next three chapters explained the goal, content and methodology of theological education. And the final chapter emphasizes a graduation from seminary does not mean an end of theological education. A theological student, desiring to be an evangelist after her graduation, not only has to study theology seriously, but also has to learn Christ in heart. Otherwise, she would not be able to sustain harsh challenges and critical tests waiting on her way of ministry.
It is absolutely not an easy job for the church clergymen to stay at the front line in any evangelical battlefield, as everyday’s life seems to be at war and every Sunday’s sermon is full of challenges. Nowadays, comparing to the past, it becomes more and more difficult to minister the modern church. Except the laymen’s education and self-consciousness is raised up, what the evangelists could learn from the internet are also available to the believers. Such secularization of the church versed in communication technology becomes more and more fashionable, yet only the experience, insight and an unequivocal witness from the evangelist and co-workers could find no match. So, to be an useful utensils to the Lord, the theological students and the evangelists need to take training and live out a life of Christ.
At present, there are many wandering pastors queuing up to serve Taiwan churches. As a minister, she would certain face critical challenges if being lack of a solid study in theological knowledge about God. A sufficient theological training, though, could make a person strong and advantageous enough to face her ministry crisis, but these virtues and advantages could also turns against oneself as a weapon if no humbleness or self-restraint is maintained.
In the very beginning of his letter to the Corinth church, the Apostle Paul gave his thanksgiving to God for various spiritual gifts granted to the Corinthian church. What Paul wanted to say was that, except the outward grace of God enriching the Corinthians in speech and knowledge of every kind, the indispensability of an inner training. Because the reasons why spiritual gift is granted to the church believers is to promote the growth of the church and serve the Lord. Therefore, to reach an essential buildup of spiritual life, not only the spiritual gifts granted from God is required, but also a multiple training in spirituality and understanding is necessary.