The Modern Seminarian

The Pirates of Penzance - On The Run

One of my favorite songs of all time is the delightfully syllabificatious and vocabularic “Modern Major General” from the Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.  When I was in Bible College I worked in the cafeteria and memorized the whole thing, singing it as I manned the grill as a short order cook.  People expect you to sing at work, but they expect whatever is popular on the radio.

Nobody expects the Modern Major General.

If you’ve never heard the song, check this out:


That’s right.  It’s possibly one of the craziest tongue-twister songs in history (the lyrics are here), and it’s probably one of the funnest songs to sing that I know (though I’ve since forgotten much of it…something I’ll have to remedy one day)!

So why do I bring this up?

Well, I’ve had a little different version of the song brewing in the back of my head ever since I was in seminary at TMS and yesterday as I was getting IV meds for 4 hours, I finally wrote down all the various couplets that have been rattling around in my head for the last several years.  I finished it up a bit today as I was in the hospital and lying around getting my IV meds.  I tried to make the rhyming work (it might need to be finessed a bit) and now I present to you one of my first “entirely for fun” posts I’ve written in a long time:






I am the very model of a modern seminarian

I’m tutoring in freshman Greek and work for the librarian.

For fun I translate ostracons in ancient Uga-ri-tic

Although I’m equally at home in all the tongues semi-tic.

I’m working on my doctorate, my average grade is 103.

I’m published in twelve journals and I often speak at T4G!

I also have a church plant and it is a full blown multi-site.

There’s only seven campuses but I think that it is going alright.


I mentor local pastors and teach practical soph-i-a

In summer I lead missions trips to spots in North Korea.

With scripture I’m quite clarion and far from proletarian,

I am the very model of a modern seminarian!


I wrote my master’s thesis on the practice of church discipline

I turned it into a book and it trains elders to deal with sin.

It’s doing fairly well, in fact it’s #1 on Amazon.

My publisher is Brill and proceeds support churches in Iran.

My library is not too big; about 400,000 books,

but it is five stories and most folks really like the way it looks.

I have the book of Jashar on a velum made from 10 giraffes.

My study bible also is a copy from the autogaphs.


I’ve discipled my elders, now our church has 90 men of God.

Our LDP’s* an ThM, they train pastors here and abroad.

With scripture I’m quite clarion and far from proletarian,

I am the very model of a modern seminarian!


My wife is quite a homemaker who mentors pastor’s wives each day

My seven kids are disciplined, I make time for each just to play.

We sponsor a whole village, we flew out there and we drilled a well,

And with one sermon the whole village was snatched from the fires of hell!

My preaching is expository; nine years in Leviticus.

It was so downloaded our servers crashed and caused an online fuss.

My prep time’s only sixteen hours; I have a lot upon my plate

I’ll prob’ly have more time for prep after the day I graduate.


I’ve done apologetics on the street; the skeptics got baptized.

Our church evangelism training’s guaranteed when not revised!

With scripture I’m quite clarion and far from proletarian,

I am the very model of a modern seminarian!

Seminarian Candle

I hope that entertains some of my more Bible-Geek-Tastic readers, (namely the brothers chaps who are currently doing doctoral work at SBTS) and I expect someone to eventually put it to music and toss it on Youtube.  I nominate a certain Canadian from Parking Space 23 who likes to sing, accompanied by a rather well known piano-playing worship pastor with a moustache.  I’ve already done the hard work of writing the lyrics and seeing this put to music would be possibly the greatest thing ever.


How about next Shepherd’s Conference?  Impromptu performance in the courtyard? Can I get a witness?

Just saying.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Modern Seminarian” Unger

(* LDP = “Leadership Development Program)


Steven Furtick

“I grew Christ’s church from 15 to 15,000 while spending NINE years preaching through Leviticus…from the autographa!  AWE YEAH!”

6 thoughts on “The Modern Seminarian

  1. Hey that’s good. Made me smile.
    Glad to know someone else out there is weird like me, I recently wrote Jonathan Edwards sermon – Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God as a Seussical. Let me know if you want the link.

  2. That’s funny…where 2 or 3 Singing Canadian TMS alumni gather, there humor will be.
    I think the above are more like Conservative Seminarians…I was expecting more of some hipsters that wear tight pants and quote Postmodern scholars though they haven’t read them

    • Yeah…I could write 10 different versions of the song, and I kinda went overboard with the whole thing, thinking of a sort of “Mark Driscoll/Matt Chandler + Abner Chou/Jim Hamilton” kinda guy.

      I may work on another version for a guy who’s just an absurd academic who has resolved every theological conundrum under the sun…

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