Denny Burk recently interviewed Mark Dever at a Boyce College dorm meeting. Audio can be heard here.
I love Mark Dever, the following answers reveal a bit why:
Question One: Do you have a good pastoral exhortation for first year theological students entering semester one?
[Dever's Answer] You need to realize you are arrogant. Not because you are a first year student, but because you are a human being who is fallen, even if you are redeemed you are still fallen. You're not glorified yet, right? Got that straight? That's important. Now, you need to realize that means you need people, and that doesn't mean just your friends here, right? Even the Gentile pagans have friends. No, you need to be in a local church that's healthy and preaches the Word. The church is far more important than any school you will ever go to. You need to get into a local church, officially join it, be a member, put yourself under the authority of the elders in that church. They will watch over your soul as those who will give an account to God. (Hebrews 13).
Question Two: A word to our students who are in their final year?
[Dever] Right. You are arrogant. No, I'm serious. Not because you are in your final year, but because you are a fallen child of Adam, even if you are redeemed you are still fallen, all right? You're not in glory yet; you're not glorified. So you need to be in a local church. You need to be in a healthy local church. You are making life decisions that you are not competent--you're not made by yourself--to make. You are meant to be in a community of faith where you character is known, where your gifts are understood, where they can give you good counsel and direction. Get in a healthy local church. Spend this final year in school in a local healthy church as an official member there.
If nothing else, my fallen condition tells me I am arrogant. If I think I am beyond needing the accountability, oversight (and yes) authority of local church elders, such thinking is evidence of my own arrogance.