Monday, May 04, 2015

The proper response to the ivory tower is not wallowing in ignorance

I am going to link to an Amazon review here, which is kind of weird, but I think it was pretty well written. The guy who penned this review, Linford Berry, sent it to me in response to my prior post, Conference Review: Anabaptist Identity Conference 2015 where I expressed concern about David Bercot. The review, linked here, on Amazon looks at one of Bercot's books, Will The Theologians Sit Down? Bercot's book purports to stand up for the simple, humble Christian against the arrogant theologians but it seems more aimed at discouraging Christians from studying the Scriptures at all. The review concludes with this statement:
In this book, Bercot is quick to point out the deficiency of Godly fruit in the lives of some famous theologians. I would argue that the reason for lack of fruit wasn't that they were theologians, but that they didn't yet truly know God well enough. I believe the right response is not, will the theologians please sit down, but rather, will the kingdom Christians please stand up as true theologians.
That is exactly right. The proper response to the ivory tower academics is not to wallow in ignorance and wear that ignorance like a badge of honor, it is to encourage the average Christian, all of us, to take up the mantle of theologian even without the titles or the honorifics. We are all called to be Bereans, we are all called to dig deep and drink of the well that is the revealed Word.

Sure there are some pretty pompous theologians out there but they are not that way because they are theologians, they are that way because they aren't very good theologians! There are also now, and throughout history, some extraordinarily godly men who have done so much for the church and the cause of the Kingdom.

I agree with Linford, we need to get the entire church involved in the work of theology as well as interpretation, service and ministry. When we restrict something that important to just a select few it makes the entire church weaker and less useful to Christ. That is something worth fighting for but to sneer at the work of theology and discourage the church from pursuing it because of the sins, real and perceived, of a few bad apples is cutting off your nose to spite your face. In this day and age of confusion, rampant error and increasing heresy, the field of theology is a battlefield we cannot retreat from.

1 comment:

Jordan Henderson said...

Fruit isn't always what we think it is.

If a Theologian makes clear certain difficult problems of Christian thought and increases the Unity of the Church, then that's very fruitful.

Remember that Christ's great desire for the Church was that we be unified. John 17:21.