It looks like the über-Reformed emerging mega-churches have decided to create their own personal seminaries to train clones of their head pastors. Mark Driscoll, John Piper and others are all working towards creating degree-granting institutions that are part of their massive churches through which they will train pastors to go out and replicate the founding mega-churches and their pastors. What’s interesting to me about this whole thing is how open they’re all being about their attempts to create clones of themselves and their churches:
Many aspiring pastors are willing to forgo the prestige of attending an established seminary to obtain “the specific theological focus that most church-based seminaries offer,” said Tim Tomlinson, president of Bethlehem College and Seminary.
“The church-based theological seminaries like ours are more intent on offering a theological and philosophical worldview that is consistent with the teachings and writings of the well-known pastor-theologian with whom the seminary is affiliated,” Tomlinson said. “This seems to have a growing appeal to a growing number of students.”
The plan is explicitly one of direct indoctrination into the thought of a specific leader. This isn’t theological education. It’s theologically fascist and will only have a negative effect on the church’s mission. The blatantly arrogant self-promoting (and now self-duplicating) demagoguery that is coming from these Driscoll-Piper types is really quite extraordinary.