Theological training in Log College is based on four horizons, which are four historical contexts:

Old Testament (OT)
New Testament (NT)
Church History
Contemporary Culture

The trained minister should be conversant in all four contexts and be able to translate between them.  Terms in one context do not automatically mean the same thing in another context.  The semantic range may differ, such as the NT’s need to supplement “mind” in order to convey the broad meaning of the Hebrew word “heart.”[1]  Sometimes, the term has no one-to-one equivalent at all, such as the Hebrew word hesed (often translated “lovingkindness”).  In addition, OT concepts and institutions are fulfilled in Christ with a fullness that exceeds one-to-one correspondence.  The church, then, enters new cultures, which again changes the exact look of these terms, concepts, and institutions.  Various church traditions begin to use their own theological forms and language, which may not correlate with the Bible’s terminology—or with our own today—and yet their concepts may still be faithful to the inspired Text.  Finally, our own culture has its forms and terminology, which faithful preaching must learn to use, if the gospel is to make sense in our generation.  One theologian called this final translation “theological vision.”[2]  All in all, the four horizons present us with a theological task worthy of the sword of the Spirit and prayer (Eph. 6:17-18)!

To assist the minister in this large task of theological translation, Log College uses three theologies, each of which corresponds to a specific track in the three-year process to potential ordination:

        Biblical Theology – tracing themes of promise and fulfillment in Christ across the Bible’s overall metanarrative

        Historical Theology – tracing the development of doctrine across the church’s overall history

        Systematic Theology – working towards ordination with the categories of theology in a contemporary context

The Bible Track in biblical theology is based on the eight hermeneutical principles that Word Partners uses in their worldwide training: staying on the line, text over framework, genre, asking good questions, traveling instructions (“to them” but “for us”), structure, melody (the main idea and intended response), and biblical theology.[3]

The Theology Track in historical theology is based on the truth that Jesus gave us apostles and prophets, whose inspired writings provide the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20; 3:5), as well as evangelists, pastors, and teachers, who explain that apostolic word to us (Eph. 4:11).  Both groups are gifts.  As a result, we cannot say that we have no need of teachers (cf. 1 Cor. 12:21).  We have been blessed with both a Bible and twenty centuries of teachers.  Therefore, it is our desire at Log College to let a valued teacher have a seat with us at the table for at least one week of discussion.  This discussion will be more challenging than the Bible track, because we cannot simply take a teacher’s word at face value.  Like the Bereans, we must test each teacher against the inerrant word (Acts 17:11).  In a sense, there is only one Teacher in the room—Jesus Christ—and all these others are simply smart kids who often take better notes and catch more details, and we can look over their shoulders.  No matter what tradition they come from, they all belong to us, and we belong to Christ (1 Cor. 3:21-23).  This mutuality is part of the beauty of the Evangelical Tradition, which traces its emphasis on speaking the word in the Spirit back to the book of Acts itself.

The Ordination Track in systematic theology is based on a historic creed (often the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689) supplemented with contemporary issues.  The minister in training writes his own statement under each heading and then critically discusses this document with an experienced minister.  The final step is not a diploma, but an ordination council—an oral exam before ordained peers in gospel ministry.  Because the right hand of fellowship must not be given hastily (1 Tim. 5:22), time is allowed for follow-up and possible re-examination.

Because we believe that we grow into a fuller understanding of the love of Christ as we “comprehend with all the saints” (Eph. 3:18), each of our three tracks seeks the Holy Spirit’s leading through prayerful discussion.

[1] Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 366-69.

[2] For Richard Lint’s concept of “theological vision,” see the introduction to Timothy Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 13-25.

[3] Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles: The Core Principles, 3rd, ed. (Palos Heights, IL: WordPartners, 2018).  This booklet can be ordered at