All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
---II Timothy 3:16
the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
---II Peter 1:3
Due to unbelief, man's philosophy has had a leavening influence on the churches of God. So instead of Christians simply studying the Word, living, and working in order to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, we have seminaries which purportedly provide an intensive training God never prescribed. (II Timothy 2:2, perhaps cited as justification for seminary training, only indicates an intensive training within the churches, and not in "schools.")
I have believed for most of twenty years that the key for a Christian man or woman to grow in the Scriptures is study of the Word and nothing else. So why the divide between "clergy" and "laity?" It is a pretension that sets itself against knowledge of God. It is the distinction of seminary studies that a man should study things in addition to the Word. If men only attended seminary in order to study the Book it would be one thing. But that is not at all the distinctive thing about seminary studies.
My spiritual forebears are giants from among the 19th-century and early 20th-century Open Brethren. Men like Müller, Craik, Chapman, Wright, Groves, Lang, and Broadbent. I see none in the churches today adhering to the ancient paths reestablished by these men. These men were great theologians, only NOT in the way that is falsely so-called "theology" today. They were great ecclesiologists, too; meanwhile today it impossible to find even bad ecclesiology taught anywhere. And why not? See the definition for epistemology, above. Ecclesiology, in the reigning epistemology in the churches, is an entire branch of theology considered "opinion" and not "justified belief!" Is it somehow possible to be a good theologian and a bad ecclesiologist? By no means. That is not simply a "theological weakness" but it practically manifests in 1) dethroning Christ as anything other than titular Head of the church, 2) overthrowing the priesthood of believers, and 3) a degeneration of the spiritual gifts in the members of the body due to lack of exercise.
However it is not my "opinion" that elders are to guide the churches. It is not my "opinion" that the Headship of Christ manifests in direct rather than indirect or intervening orders to ministry in the churches. (No "director of ministries" needed, thank you. What an affront to Christ!) It is not my "opinion" that the sovereignty of the Spirit in the assemblies would at least occasionally if not typically or invariably manifest in an unplanned meeting. Unplanned by men, and planned by the Spirit!
One may say that the Spirit directs "the meeting planners." True, and then where is the sovereignty of the Spirit during the meeting? Does the Spirit sovereignly direct all the men to sit mute while "one man ministers?" Every week, in perpetuity? Please reread Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12-14, and I pray you mix the reading with faith.
Here is an excerpt from "Anthony Norris Groves: Saint and Pioneer" by G. H. Lang. The first paragraph is Mr. Groves speaking; the second paragraph is in the author's own words; the third paragraph is obviously a quote from a "Dr. Hatch"--
About this time (his twenty-seventh year) I was led to see that the plan I had been pursuing of making myself acquainted with general literature, in order to gain influence over those I came in contact with, was founded in error, and I was led to believe, that if I laid aside these false grounds of Christian influence, and gave myself up to the study of His holy Word, the Lord would lead me to learn such principles from it, that I should see its sufficiency. From this moment the Lord began to bless me, and was about to commence that great work of stripping off from our united hearts the thick clog with which we (himself and his wife) had been cumbering ourselves so many years, and to show us that nothing is too hard for Him.
It appears that this adoption of a sound and reverent attitude to the Word of God as sufficient was the next great advance in his spiritual experience after his conversion about seven years earlier. How different is such a preparation for the ministry of the Word to that generally sought and given. Sitting with an aged Doctor of Divinity, the learned principal of a theological college, one found that his whole mind ran philosophically and not really theologically. He dilated fluently upon Kant, Hegel and Schleiermacher, but all my attempts, as much his junior, to draw upon him for instruction from Paul and John were fruitless. Yet we dare assert confidently that only by such a concentration upon the Holy Scriptures as sufficient can there be the slightest hope for a fulfilment of the wish expressed by Dr. Hatch in his Hibbert Lectures:
"The hope of Christianity is that the class (of rhetorical sermonizers) which was artificially created may ultimately disappear; and that the sophistical element in Christian preaching will melt, as a transient mist, before the preaching of the prophets of the ages to come, who, like the prophets of the ages that are long gone by, will speak only 'as the Spirit gives them utterance.'"
By contrast, George Müller and Anthony Norris Groves were sound theologians in the very best sense of the word.