Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies

Blog

Fri

20

Oct

2017

U.S. Retreating from Religion

Sat

06

May

2017

Graduation 2017

Congratulations to our 2017 Graduate Theology School graduates!  (From left to right) Dr. Brady Blevins (Asst to the Dean), Johnnie Williams, Clayton Watkins, Robert Leatherwood, Keenan Broadus, Dr. Mark McDaniel (Dean).  Not pictured:  Glenn Salyers and Ashton Nelson.

Tue

06

Dec

2016

Hernan Cortes Article

Fascinating article regarding Hernan Cortes and his journeys in Central America/Mexico.  Reading current American History textbooks and popular understanding of Spanish conquest of the New World, one would think that Cortes was the savage.  This article points out that the savagery and brutality was mainly on display by the indigenous people.  Certainly abuses occurred on the Spanish side, but there really needs to be a more balanced understanding regarding the complexities of colonization and discovery.  Cannibalism, slavery and human sacrifice were not brought to the New World, they already existed there.

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Wed

16

Nov

2016

How the Faithful Voted in Presidential Elections

A fascinating poll outlining who voted for each candidate based on their religious/faith preferences since the 2000 election.  The more faithful a person is, the more they voted for the Republican candidate.  At least 56% of those who attended worship weekly voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

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Tue

04

Oct

2016

Religion in Public Life

Even with the rise of the "none's" in our culture along with the drive to secularize and demoralize our nation, people still believe, according to this poll, that religion and faith have a place from those campaigning for public office.  Another question in this poll points out that half of Americans say it is important to them that a president share their religious beliefs. 

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Sun

14

Aug

2016

"Indefensible Dispensationalism" by Dr. Kevin Bauder (Central Baptist Seminary)

Indefensible Dispensationalism
Kevin T. Bauder

 

Dispensational theology has gone out of style. Fifty years ago, probably a majority of American evangelicals held some version of Dispensationalism. Today, the balance has tilted in the opposite direction. Not only are dispensationalists in the minority, but their system is widely viewed as indefensible, sometimes even by former dispensationalists.

Some of the reasons for this shift are theological. For example, the inaugurated eschatology of Geerhardus Vos and George Eldon Ladd did much to redefine certain key questions about the kingdom of God. Dispensationalists have responded in different ways: some have rejected inaugurated eschatology, while others have adapted their Dispensationalism to accommodate it. The effect, however, is to make Dispensationalism seem less plausible than it did half-a-century ago.

Other reasons for the shift are social. Dispensationalists have rarely been trained in the most respectable universities and seminaries. They have not typically published through the most academically reputable book houses. Some important evangelical schools like Westminster Theological Seminary have historically opposed Dispensationalism. Other traditional seminaries have simply ignored it. In short, Dispensationalism has been a commoners’ approach to the Bible, a theology that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Few within the theological establishment are impressed with its pedigree.

 

Political forces also play into the decline of Dispensationalism. Its adherents are almost always pro-Israel, and they are not always careful to distinguish either ethnic or national Israel from the modern state of Israel. Obviously, people who have greater sympathy for the Arab world, and especially for Palestinian Arabs, look askance at the tendency of some dispensationalists to grant almost unqualified support to the current Israeli regime.

 

Some of the most important reasons for the decline come from within Dispensationalism itself. Dispensational theology exists simultaneously in two overlapping but distinguishable worlds. One is the world of academic Dispensationalism, in which Bible teachers are motivated primarily by the desire to understand the biblical text and to explain it to the Lord’s people with precision and care. The other is the world of populist Dispensationalism, dominated by television and radio personalities, prophecy wonks, film producers, and novelists. The first has been the world of Alva McLain, John Walvoord, Erich Sauer, Charles Ryrie, and John C. Whitcomb. The second is the world of A Thief in the Night, Hal Lindsey, Nicolae Carpathian, and John Hagee.

 

Many non-dispensationalists make the mistake of thinking that the popularizers represent all of Dispensationalism. They do not. In fact, many academic dispensationalists find the popularizers’ presentations quite distasteful. At least four behaviors of popular dispensationalists tend to provoke chagrin from committed, thoughtful dispensationalists.

 

The first is the tendency to convert eschatology into a source of amusement. Eschatology—the biblical study of last things—is a precious field of doctrine, intended to buttress the perseverance of believers even under the most difficult circumstances. Consequently, eschatology should be an ongoing object of reflection and rejoicing for every Christian. But how can this area of doctrine receive proper consideration when it is turned into a plot device for action adventure movies and apocalyptic thrillers? No doubt the film-makers and novelists believe that they are communicating biblical doctrine to thousands who would otherwise remain unenlightened. In reality, they are trivializing biblical doctrine.

 

Second is a penchant on the part of some popularizers to mix up their Dispensationalism with other weird and unbiblical teachings. For example, John Hagee has opined that Hitler was a distant descendent of Esau, one of a race of “half-breed Jews” who have “persecuted and murdered the Jews” (Jerusalem Countdown, 185). Certainly Hagee is not the only person who has held this theory, but publishing this kind of unsubstantiated speculation is the sort of thing that brings Dispensationalism into disrepute.

 

Third, populist dispensationalists typically allow their Dispensationalism, and especially their eschatology, to overbalance the rest of the system of faith. Prophecy becomes such an obsession with them that other important biblical teachings are neglected. To be sure, populist dispensationalists believe all the fundamentals of the faith, but such core doctrines as the Trinity, the hypostatic union, and the nature of the atonement seem to occupy their attention much less frequently than (e.g.) the identities of certain prophetic figures. To minds that have been steeped in the full teaching of the Bible, this doctrinal disproportion resembles an arm or leg that has become so swollen as to disfigure the body that supports it.

 

Fourth, populist dispensationalists exhibit an unfortunate enthusiasm for finding prophetic fulfillments in the latest newspaper headlines. These fulfillments are taken to indicate that the Rapture is not only imminent, but actually immediate. An imminent Rapture is one that could occur at any moment, but that might not occur for a long time. An immediate Rapture is one that is almost certain to happen very soon. The strength of historic Dispensationalism is that it affirms imminence while carefully specifying that the actual timing of the Rapture is not even approximately knowable.

The reason for stressing imminence is that the Bible names no prophetic signs that need to be fulfilled before the Rapture can occur. Consequently, the Lord’s people are to be expecting it at any moment. They should always be ready to meet the Lord.

 

Some populist dispensationalists, however, do believe that signs precede the Rapture. They are looking for cosmic and social upheavals as well as dramatic rejections of Christianity. For them, every occurrence of such events becomes a prophetic fulfillment indicating the immediacy of the Rapture. Recently, they have taken to talking about what they call “the convergence of signs,” meaning that bunches of biblical prophecies are being fulfilled all at once. For them, this means that Jesus is (virtually?) certain to rapture His church in the very near future.

The Bible offers no signs of the Rapture. Any supposed sign is one that somebody either made up or else twisted away from a proper reading of Scripture. The constant drumbeat of supposed fulfillments exposes dispensationalists to ridicule. It also wears down the saints with disappointment. This variety of Dispensationalism truly is indefensible.

 

I’ve been a dispensationalist since before I knew what the word meant. I can remember looking over my father’s shoulder at the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible. Every couple of years my pastor would stretch a huge, Larkinesque dispensational chart across the auditorium, and he would teach through all the dispensations. While I don’t agree with every wrinkle of Darby, Gaebelein, Scofield or Larkin, I believe that Dispensationalism is an eminently defensible approach to the Bible. Except for those versions that aren’t.

 

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This essay is by Kevin T. Bauder, Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Not every one of the professors, students, or alumni of Central Seminary necessarily agrees with every opinion that it expresses.

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Wed

01

Jun

2016

Congratulations to our new MABTS Graduate!

We want to congratulate Daniel Garcia upon receiving his Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies degree from the Graduate Theology School at Arlington Baptist College.

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Wed

04

May

2016

Christian Cremation

In this article from the Desiring God Blog, written by John Piper, an argument is made that Christians should not cremate their loved ones.  Piper's primary argument for this is that the fire used in creation represents the fires of hell.  He also argues that our bodies belong to the Lord and therefore burial should be the approach that one takes.  This writer's response would be that it doesn't matter how one's remains are buried.  The fact is at the rapture, or Parousia, in 1 Thessalonians 4, the bodies of saints will reassemble no matter where they are located - including those that are vaporized.  From a human perspective, it is an aspect of stewardship to cremate versus the exorbitant fees that funeral homes charge (a form of usury).  Further, the ashes of loved ones can be kept at home where the memory of the loved one can be appreciated.  I don't think that scripture directly deals with the issue, therefore, it must be left to the conscience of each believer. 

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Mon

04

Apr

2016

Pew Research on Religion and Gender

Here are some results of a Pew Research Poll regarding gender and religion.  The results are striking showing that women are more involved in daily prayer as well as considering religion important for their lives.  Further, the study compares the United States with four other countries.

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Thu

07

Jan

2016

Pew Research Article on Millennial Views of Religious Organizations

Pew Research has put out a fascinating article on how Millennials view religious organizations and other institutions.  The findings are quite bleak necessitating a concentrated effort to improve faith group credibility and relevance.

1 Comments

Wed

06

Jan

2016

Oldest Copy of Mark Found in Mummy Mask

This is pretty amazing - archaeologists have discovered the oldest copy of the Gospel of Mark, dating in the first century AD (near when it was written).  The findings will be published and it will be interesting to see which textual traditions are closest to this interesting and valuable find.

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Wed

06

Jan

2016

King Hezekiah's Seal Found

Archaeologists have discovered one of King Hezekiah's seals - another find that confirms the biblical account as history not myths or stories.

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Thu

17

Dec

2015

Pew Research 2014 Poll on Religion's Influence

Disturbing polling showing the perception that religion and faith have a declining influence in our national life.

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Mon

16

Nov

2015

Pew Research Center Article "Religious 'Nones' Growing in U.S.A."

Fascinating study by the Pew Research Center regarding the decline of religious affiliation and activity.  At least 62% of those identifying as unaffiliated with any religion indicated that they pray seldom or never.  Also, 65% state that religion is not at all important to them in their life.  Definitely an avenue of ministry into a growing non-praying sector of our society when they face adversity and challenges in their life.

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Fri

06

Nov

2015

New Faculty Member

We have had a slight change in our faculty.  Randall Breland will now be responsible for our Theology and Biblical Ethics courses as well as the Theology Concentration.  Dace Clifton has been added to conduct our Old and New Testament Courses as well as the Pastoral Concentration.  This finalizes our core faculty staffing.  We thank the Lord for bringing us such qualified personnel to accomplish our mission in preparing men and women for Christian life and ministry!

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Sat

17

Oct

2015

Young Earth, Literal Creation in Genesis

In this article on the Huffington post, the writer makes the assertion that, "The single, most relevant variable indicative of young-earth creationism is church attendance. Fully 69 percent of young-earth creationists are regular church attenders. Sadly, low education is likewise highly correlated with young-earth creationism."  I don't know where he is getting this from other than his mind.  We here at Arlington Baptist College proudly and without dispute hold to a young earth, literal creation of the universe as recorded in Genesis. 

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Sat

17

Oct

2015

Early Draft of the King James Bible Found

I came across this interesting article concerning a scholar's discovery of a notebook of one of the King James translators of the Book of Esdras from the Apocrypha.  I have always wished that there existed notes from all of the translators so that one could understand the dynamic of the translation process.  Why did the translators use the particular English words that they chose as they worked with the original languages.

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Tue

08

Sep

2015

Practical Steps in Moments of Anger

Here is a wonderful 2:00 video from Ed Welch on Practical Steps in Moments of Anger.  Many of us struggle with anger.  The emotions are not sinful.  It is the wrong application of anger that we struggle with. 

15 Comments

Sun

17

May

2015

May 2015 MABTS Graduates

I want to congratulate Kenneth Curd and Benjamin Drake for completing their Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies program.  Kenneth has decided to continue on with our MDiv program.  Blessings to both of you!

4 Comments

Wed

01

Apr

2015

Using Logos for Counseling Research

Here is a one hour webinar on using Logos for Counseling Research.  This succinct tutorial shows how to leverage Logos 6 to prepare and respond to counseling needs.

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Thu

19

Mar

2015

Fall 2015 Tuition Increase

The price per semester hour will increase for new students registering in the Summer of 2015 forward to $325.00 per semester hour.  Current Graduate students will remain at the current rate until they complete their degree.

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Mon

30

Jun

2014

New Faculty Announced!

We are excited to announce our new Faculty lineup for the upcoming MDiv Program.  We are currently evaluating three new additions.  We do have several openings for interested persons in the areas of Theology and Apologetics.

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Tue

27

May

2014

May 2014 Graduates

Congratulations to Alfredore Todd, Jason Houston, Panida Sa-ngvndee, and Jason Houston - our new 2014 MABTS graduates!

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Tue

18

Mar

2014

Master of Divinity Approved!

In January of 2014, the Arlington Baptist College Board of Directors approved the addition of a fully online Master of Divinity degree.  This expansion has also been approved by the State of Texas and our Accrediting Agency, The Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).  This program will be 96 semester hours and include potential concentrations in Chaplaincy, Pastoral Ministry, Biblical Missions, Biblical Counseling (Non-Licensed), Apologetics, Biblical Languages, as well as other potential programs.  

 

Estimated Launch Date:  Fall 2015

 

Please check back for further details.  Both degrees, the Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies and the Master of Divinity can be found under the "Program of Study" tab..

 

We are excited to bring graduate studies at Arlington Baptist College to a whole new level!

4 Comments

Wed

24

Aug

2011

Updates Galore

Several changes to the program have been approved.  The cost of the program has been reduced to $7,250.00.  Beginning January 2012, Students will be billed per semester, per block versus over 36 months.  Further course updates will be coming.  If you are a new student that desires consideration, please complete the application section of this site.

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Fri

20

Mar

2009

A Debate on Whether or Note Baptizing Infants is a Sin or Not

Here is an article of a response to Mark Dever over the issue of infant baptism in  a recent article, Mark Dever stated that baptizing infants wa a sin.  Here is an interesting response:  http://blog.9marks.org/2009/03/this-paedobaptist-agrees-with-mark.html

0 Comments

Tue

13

Jan

2009

Baptist and Muslims in Dialogue?

Here is an article about Baptists and Muslims dialoging in an attempt to find things in common.....where are we heading?  http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=11557

0 Comments

Tue

21

Oct

2008

The Christian Man's Evolution

Francisco Ayala, University of California
Francisco Ayala, University of California

Here is an article from Scientific American about Fancisco Ayala's attempt to force faith into Darwanism. It all comes down to man attempting to reconcile what he or she perceives as evil and suffering. Creation couldn't happen because then a providential, sovereign God would also have to be involved in death, illness and suffering. My guess is that Professor Ayala believes that the book of Job is just a mythological story.

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Tue

21

Oct

2008

Beatles and U2 in Church

A bishop with the Anglican Church has encouraged churches to use U2 and Beatles songs in worship because it will reach the younger generation more effectively.  How sad that the ancient songs of faith have become useless.  Read more at the following link:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3223193/Beatles-songs-as-likely-to-explain-Christianity-as-the-Bible-says-bishop.html

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Mon

20

Oct

2008

Welcome to the Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies Blog

It is exciting to see the launch of what we hope will be a beneficial course of study confronting many of the contemporary and historical issues surrounding church ministry.  This blog will be a place to share and discuss current issues affecting the Body of Christ.  Beginning in January, there will be a weekly post addressing issues related to Christianity and Culture.  Blessings as you join us on our journey.

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