There was an insightful comment by Stephen under Rachel Held Evans’ post, The problem of biblicism. Stephen states the following:
“If one has to attend 3-4+ years of seminary and do a PhD, all the while being informally mentored by other evangelical academics, in order to put “biblicism” into practice, then it’s a failure. The continued protestations of inerrantist gatekeeping intellectuals only serves to show their elite intellectualist and doctrinal model of what Christianity most basically is: the production and consumption of complex and sanctioned evangelical theological discourse. This practically makes their version of Christianity unavailable to 97% of people since the requisite material, social, and economic conditions for participation in their model of Christianity are only available to a minority of people.”
I wonder: Why would God reveal his will for us using a book that contains the writings of historical periods, cultures, and languages that are different from our own? Should it take a Ph.D. to understand the will of God—-especially when Ph.D.s and seminarians themselves disagree about what the Bible means?
I don’t want to go to the other extreme, though, the extreme that says “God revealed his will to common people, not to intellectuals, and so therefore I have the authority to beat you over the head with my interpretation of the Bible, even if there’s no scholarship backing it up, and you have to accept that as a ‘Thus saith the Lord’.” Okay, I paraphrase! I characterized some of that view accurately, and, near the end, I was giving my opinion as to where that position has led. In any case, I’m uncomfortable with both extremes.