I am working on a master's degree through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I'm struggling hard with my current course, THEO 525 (Systematic Theology I) because it is almost all theory and almost zero practical application. I complained to my chaplain but a few days ago that I wasn't getting anything out of this class because I just didn't think it was important to know the difference between redaction criticism and reader-response criticism. He smiled and said something like he has said to me in the past (Seminary is an educational institution...or something like that).
The fact is that in a short time (OPSEC keeps me from telling you when), I will be leading a worship service and facilitating two Bible studies. I'm sure that we'll have numerous discussions as well between various "members" of our little group. You know what that means? It means I'll be in my element. It's being the average saint. It's putting the theoretical to the test, if there is such a thing, and no one is going to be concerned about higher or lower criticism.
Yes, yes, of course, various criticisms are very important. I'm not disputing that fact. My concern is the amount of time at which we study these. Don't get caught up so much in how to study the Bible or what is the best way to do this or that. All of that is theory. At some point, you'll just have to do it.
And I'll tell you how it goes when I'm done!