Alternatives?

customrobes1There are no biblical reasons for accepting the views of liberals who deny that the Bible itself is the Word of God. For conservatives to continually quote them in commentaries and articles makes no sense and confuses many. The major reason for the practice—so far as I can see—is to look scholarly.  And why do some want to look scholarly? To be accepted by others who want to look scholarly. And, thereby, to achieve tenure!

The whole of conservative Christian “scholarship” boils down to one thing—accreditation. If schools didn’t seek accreditation from the state, they would not be forced to employ only those who have the degrees (“scholars”), but along with the best of these, they could also employ the people with the goods (real “teachers”).

It is a shame that Christian institutions proudly advertise that they are “fully accredited.” They ought to apologize for it. Does the state know how to accredit institutions? What does the state know about who is/isn’t teaching Christianity creditably? If the church could ever get past the business of accreditation and degrees, it would probably soon develop institutions with better teachers and teaching than some of those that now exist. Once a teacher has been given status as one who can be terminated only for the grossest offences, he is set for life.  He can stop studying, enjoy life and take it easy—the battle has been won. Too often, this is the case.

Now, there are some great scholars with degrees who couldn’t care less whether or not they had them, except for the opportunity they afford to teach. These are the men who don’t find it necessary to look scholarly, because they simply are—in the best sense of the term.  What I am saying in no way applies to them. They would have made it with or without accreditation.

Why am I writing this? Because I was recently reminded of the problem by a student, whose judgment I trust, about one of these so-called “scholars” who probably never contributed a useful idea in his academic life, but who is allowed to drone on in class reading his notes, putting students, whose parents have paid him for it, to sleep.

So what can you do?  Today there are many options—transferring around to various schools to study under good teachers, taking courses by internet, etc., etc. One is able to chart out a course for himself in many areas (though not in all). But in those disciplines where the type of teacher I’m describing principally nests, it is altogether possible. One just needs to do some searching and to use some ingenuity.

What do I advise? Nothing concrete.  You’ll have to work it out on your own.  But think about it. For what are you spending your parents’ hard-earned money? Investigate the alternatives.

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