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Spurgeon and TMAI Visiting Profs: The Pursuit of Excellence

Charles Spurgeon founded the Preachers’ College in 1857 in order to bring theological education to men who might otherwise not have had access to it. In one of his lectures to them, he said, “Be well instructed in theology, and do not regard the sneers of those who rail at it because they are ignorant of it. Many preachers are not theologians, and hence the mistakes which they make!”

open-bible 300Spurgeon’s primary focus in education is the same as ours at TMAI. He writes, “Let us be thoroughly well acquainted with the great doctrines of the Word of God, and let us be mighty in expounding Scripture. I am sure that no preaching will last so long, or build up a church so well, as the expository.”

For this we labor. We want men in every nation to know the Scriptures in the original languages, to be able to accurately expound every inspired word in their own languages, to be rooted in sound theology and church history, and to be acquainted with what Spurgeon described as “the holy learning of the great Bible students of ages past.”

A call to the ministry is a call to diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15), and the standard to be maintained by a Christian leader is the highest of any calling (James 3:1). Inasmuch as he is called to moral faithfulness he is called to be skilled and knowledgeable. The training of pastors therefore necessitates excellence in education and discipleship.

This is reflected even in the quality of the many visiting professors involved in the training at our TMAI member schools. Just in the past six months, our training centers have been blessed with the scholarship and biblical fidelity of the following men:

  • James White, who taught in September the Exposition of Hebrews at European Bible Training Center in Germany. Dr. White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, the author of more than twenty books, and an accomplished debater and defender of the truth.
  • Daniel Block, who lectured in October on the biblical theology of worship at Samara Center for Biblical Training in Russia. Dr. Block is a professor at Wheaton College, a respected Old Testament scholar, commentator, and author of books on the Old Testament.
  • Conrad Mbewe, who spoke in September at the True and False Prosperity conference hosted by Christ Seminary in South Africa. Dr. Mbewe is currently overseeing the establishment of about twenty new Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia and other African countries. He is also the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine, principal of Lusaka Ministerial College, and chancellor of the African Christian University in Zambia.
  • Steve Lawson, who spoke in June at the Truth Prevails conference hosted by the Czech Bible Institute, where he also taught a seminar on expository preaching. Dr. Lawson is president and founder of OnePassion Ministries. He is also a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries, professor of preaching at The Master’s Seminary, and an internationally-acclaimed author.
  • John Street, who spoke in June at the annual Preachers’ Conference hosted by Samara Center for Biblical Training. Dr. Street is a fellow, board member, and Vice President of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. He also serves as chair of the graduate program in biblical counseling at The Master’s College, professor at The Master’s Seminary, and elder at Grace Community Church.
  • Michael Grisanti, who taught in June the Exposition of Isaiah at Italian Theological Seminary. Dr. Grisanti is a professor of Old Testament at The Master’s Seminary and has made contributions to major scholarly works, such as the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. He is also a respected author and Old Testament commentator.

It is our desire to expose the students at our TMAI training centers to some of the foremost conservative evangelical scholars, authors, and preachers. We want the global church to be strong, faithful, well-equipped, and able to endure whatever comes against it. As such, our training centers endeavor to give the students the very best education possible. As Spurgeon wrote to his students in the ministry, “We are few, and we have a desperate fight before us, therefore it is needful that every man should be made the most of, and nerved to his highest point of strength.”