I said a couple days ago that I would include my other observation on the whole “Jesus Tomb” deal. This isn’t necessarily something that is isolated just to this event, but something that I have been hearing more and more, and I’ve begun to wonder why. I keep hearing people say, “Well, I’m not a theologian” or “I haven’t gone to Bible School or Seminary”.
These statements have been made in the context of not saying what the implications of the tomb of Jesus being found. The people say that they aren’t theologians so they can’t make that conclusion. They feel they can take a jack hammer to the foundation of a building, but say, “Well, I’m not a structural engineer or anything, so I couldn’t make any conclusions about this.”
My question is this: At what point did “theologian” become an office or occupation? I think part of it is the professionalizing of Christian thinkers. It is seen that unless you have some cool letters before or after your name, then your obervations are not valid or that you are incapable of understanding theology. Bible Colleges and Seminaries are obviously great, but I think they are creating this false sense of insufficiency in the life of those that don’t attend those colleges or seminaries.
An unintended side effect of these schools is that people think that unless you go there, then you can’t be a student of theology. I began thinking last year about the responsibility of the local church when it comes to equipping and training the average layman. At the “Together for the Gospel” conference last year, Al Mohler gave a plead to the pastors to see to it that they just don’t pass off this training to them.
I don’t necessarily know why churches have failed to train and equip their members. I don’t know if it is because they have given too much of their time and efforts to more inconsequential activities. I don’t know if it is the church attempting to appeal to a greater group and putting the proverbial cookies on the lower shelf. Maybe its because the church leaders themselves do not feel trained to do the training. Or it could be just that they see the colleges and seminaries doing it, so they don’t need to do that heavy lifting.
Maybe its one of those, maybe its all of those. Or maybe its none of those. But either way, way too many people inside the church see theology as being a professional pursuit, making themselves unqualified for forming views and making statements. I know it can be a difficult task to equip the average layman, but it is the job of the church, nonetheless. And the college and the seminary are not the church.