The Frustrations of the

Academic Study of the Bible

Tom Mack, Director

The WhiteStone Foundation for Research

The Academic Frustrations of Bible Colleges and Seminaries

One of the lost arts of Christianity and Judaism, has been Objective Bible Study and research. When someone shows an interest in wanting to know and understand the Bible, their preachers are trained to direct them to their church organization's "bible college" or seminary. Many of these people follow the advice of their preacher and spend the next three or four years going to their church organization's (and sometimes the preacher's) favorite institute of higher religious learning.

Every year, thousands of people go to seminaries and bibles colleges desiring to study and learn the Bible. Many go away disappointed after the first year. They walk into class after class only to find that they are being taught the theories and ideas (called theology) of various men and women called theologians. When a student wants "break the mold" and embark on their own research, they are quickly told by their professors that they are "not qualified enough" and should go back to reading and studying the works of the school's pet theologians.

If a student continues to embark on their own Bible Research, they are mocked, ridiculed and eventually, they are shown the door. Their desire to know and understand God's Word seems dashed for the moment. People who leaves bible college or seminary before they graduate are automatically ridiculed and treated like they have "left or abandoned God." Many of these disenfranchised students continue to do their own research, but find that they are not welcome in most church organizations. They walk into "Sunday School" classes and ask questions that nobody wants to answer. At every church meeting they bring up issues that nobody else wants to discuss. Eventually they are shown the door. More and more, these people are isolated and forced to be on their own in the Christian world, while the churches which they previously attended, start whispering gossip behind their back.

Many of these people discover that their only home is the underground church of people who have discovered the same thing. They find themselves searching for churches and Bible Camps on the fringe that discuss things that most churches won't "touch with a ten-foot pole." The Internet has helped this situation some because a lot of groups have emerged which will discuss these issues and be willing to share.

These people become spiritual outcasts in our communities until the time comes when they need help. Then, the church leaders, like Nicodemus before them, will come at night and ask the very questions that their organizations disdained before. Even if they do get help, the outcast is still never welcomed back in their church. This section is designed to help the outcast get some help. Click Here to return to the main menu.