An Excursus on Elitism, Good and Bad
Let me say at the outset that Matt and I do not disagree with one another. We are making different but potentially complementary points and we are speaking to different groups. I am speaking to the elites and telling them not to get a big head. Matt is speaking to the public and telling them to respect the learned class by soaking up their training. These are both essential points. I don't think that I made a mistake or an error or even that my original post was deficient in making its point. I do think, however, that Matt is onto something here, and that it is far too possible for we who are human to become nasty despisers of the learned and accomplished even as we fashion ourselves as noble iconoclasts.
I am not one to say, for example, that a pastor should not reference the original languages in his preaching. Jed made some interesting points in his comment from yesterday, wondering if perhaps the nature of the church is such that it automatically excludes any sort of purposeful division between trained and untrained, but I would say that the Bible holds out a reverence for the chief instructor of the church, the pastor, and that this figure is responsible for leading and nurturing his people. This may involve technical discussions, or the occasional explanation of the Greek, but in my opinion, that's fine. That's why my church hired such a man in the first place, to educate us on a level we ourselves could not, and so I want to get sap of information out of this man that I can. We didn't expect him to get an education to sit on it for the rest of his life. He should be careful not to overdo it on this front, but as a layman myself, I want a pastor who richly instructs me and brings out matters from the text I could not have. In the end, then, I think Matt and I make very complementary points, and that Matt has much good to say in his post. Christians should be humble, they should pursue knowledge, and they should ever seek to balance the two as they instruct the church.