My Master's is from (then) Talbot Theological Seminary, where I had some splendid professors who were far better scholars and brothers than I.
Nonetheless, Westminster Theological Seminary has a very special place in my heart, distinct from any other seminary. This despite the fact that I'm theologically not in exact sync with Westminster, and many of their grads would give me the Angry Eyes, what with me being baptistic and all. (One well-known figure sneers that Calvidispiebaptogelicals such as I are neither Reformed nor Calvinists. Oh well; even we at the back of the bus must be allowed our unrequited love, no?)
Let me explain why I so love Westminster.
What Is Faith? and Cornelius Van Til's Defense of the Faith. A larger list might include John Murray's Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, and a still-larger list would include E. J. Young's Thy Word Is Truth. To think that men such as those and many others — heroes to me — have taught in those halls... wow. Teaching or studying there would give me the chills if I stopped to think.
Also, I know of no other seminary long in existence that has stayed so true to its charter, without drifting to port. The suspension, then resignation of Peter Enns is an example. To me, what he's written since could hardly better underscore the appropriateness of his release. It is as if Enns has set out to validate WTS' actions. But in a Fuller or such, a figure such as Enns would be celebrated as another passing road sign in the inexorable process of decline.
After I'd written the previous, brother Bayly added this salient note:
Firing professors is a mark of a seminary that's still alive just as excommunication is a mark of a church that is still alive. A few years ago Westminster Theological Seminary in Philly fired Peter Enns for (as I see it) rejecting the authority and inspiration of Scripture.Therefore, WTS is a "brand-name" that still means something. As Talbot/Biola was making decisions that concerned some of us in the '80s, a classmate said, "I don't want a degree that I'm going to have to explain." I knew exactly what he meant. Fuller came instantly to mind. While Fuller started out as a bastion of Biblical faith and top-notch scholarship, it has morphed into something very different. If you meet a man whose degree is from Fuller, you have to start at the very basics to see what he believes, to see if he's even within rifle range of Biblical faith.
But if you hear that a man got his degree from Westminster, you have a good idea of the framework within which he was taught. This is what Machen had in mind, reeling from his own sadly-declined Princeton. So many decades later, it still stands strong.
So: whether it likes it or not, Westminster Theological Seminary has itself a fan. A Calvinist, baptistic, dispensationalist fan. It may or may not love me, but I sure do love it, and thank God for what it has contributed and continues to contribute to the preaching of the Gospel and the Word of God, and to the defense of the faith.