Christians love to debate each other. Opinions? We’ve got more than enough to go around – they’re like fishes and loaves in these parts. Gone are the days when the people relied on their village minister. Thanks to the printing press and the internet Christians are making smarter and smarter.
And they’re not afraid to use it.
A few times here on the blog I’ve posted things that were a risk in my eyes. I have theories and ideas and that make me climb out the window to shimmy on a limb to share them. My late night hobby is browsing my Google Reader and commenting on blogs. But sometimes I just kept my keyboard’s mouth shut.
There seems to be a sort of academic police who go on patrol and inspect every little thing you say to see if it can withstand the most advanced intellectual scrutiny. It’s intimidating. It feels like you’re on trial. I’m just trying to contribute to a conversation (apologies for sounding emergent.) It seems like the intellectual types can hijack the conversation and make themselves the authority so that their word is the final one.
Just because you haven’t gone to seminary and you aren’t defending your claim with complex theology doesn’t mean you can’t say anything at all. It doesn’t mean you can’t add anything valuable. Especially when it comes to Christianity. In this world, children see the Kingdom more brightly then the well trained teacher.
This post began as a lament, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I think we’re doing something dangerous.
I don’t think Jesus meant that only the well educated can speak with authority. He was a man/God of the people. If anything the guys who had their noses in the books all the time missed the bigger picture. The academic types have appointed themselves the keepers of truth and by their standard truth is judged.
In no way, of course, am I saying academics and Christianity are enemies. But I wonder if we’re replaced the movement of the Holy Spirit with our lofty scholarly debates. Jesus seemed to think everyone was worthy – not just the high flying experts. And I think in all of our debates it’s very easy to write off alleged movements of the Holy Spirit and instead rely on figuring it systematically.
I’m even ridiculous enough to say we’ve idolized academics and turned it into some sort of God that who sits just below Jesus yet well above the Holy Spirit. This Jesus thing is not solely an academic endeavor.
Have you encountered this fear of being picked apart by the academic police?