Thursday, 6 December 2007

Theology for Everyone

I was talking with a friend the other day about the quality of theological education in Brisbane. His opinion was very low, citing an example in which a lecturer had claimed something to the effect that theology is dangerous, and that ordinary Christians (or seminarians) shouldn't read it because it might lead them astray.

What shit.

To be more accurate, the reasons that this claim is ridiculous are many but I will focus only on one. An ill-educated believer is one who will make foolish choices. It is the kind of believer who will gladly read "an eye for an eye" and set about making it happen. It is the kind of believer who will insist that women cover their heads all the time, and that men shouldn't pray with their heads covered. It is the kind of believer who will insist that women should not teach. The many and varied sins of the ill-educated believer are potentially many. Denying education to believers who seek the truth will only breed more and more ignorant believers.

Education around thoughts and ideas is valuable. If we are to preach a doctrine, or a message, and expect people to believe it and live it, then the message needs to be tested. Test it through real living. Test it through argument. Test it through exposure to other ideas and other thinkers. Without the exposure to other ideas and concepts, the very thing that one is attempt to promote will probably be lame and flaccid, without any strength or fortitude. It will be blown about by the wind and have no solid foundation except in the blindness of faith.

Denying education will certainly result in the blind leading the blind. It should be opposed wherever it is found.
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