Flotsam and jetsam (1/19)

I’ve noticed in the last few years a real bandwagon of anti-leadership sentiment in some circles. I think it started as a push-back to the “CEO” model/mentality in some, and as such, I’m sympathetic. But from there, it has progressed to where we now have many arguing that any concept of leadership in the church should be avoided.

I’ve noticed that people who do not read the original languages of the Bible sometimes think of those languages as somehow magical, as the key that can open any mystery and answer any question about the Bible. While reading the original languages is tremendously important and helpful and useful, such a reading by itself does not always magically result in clear and simple answers to controversial religious questions. There are limitations inherent in an appeal to an original language for determining the meaning of a text.

As the article indicates, countless PhD students spend years dedicated towards research that will perhaps never posit an actual job in their field. Supply is greater than demand as the article suggets. The future seems depressingly bleak then for doctoral students: They are treated as indentured servants by their superiors. They spend meaningful years that could have been put towards savings, retirement, and even more important—nurturing families.

  • Roger Olson and Michael Horton have had an interesting exchange on the nature of Arminianism (read the comments). In the process, Olson made a very good comment about fairly representing other perspectives:

I urge you, and all non-Arminians who describe our theology, to describe it as we describe it and then go on to explain why you disagree….Fairness is the issue here.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on January 19, 2011, in Misc, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. re: Horton and Olson – The exchange is interesting, because as the conversation unfolds it is not entirely clear that Horton did misrepresent the view of Olson/Arminians. In fact, the very point of contention is basically the heart of the matter in the differences between the two. Olson’s point, while good as far as it goes, might also be a rhetorical strategy that doesn’t address the issue at hand, e.g. showing how historic Arminianism is not guilty of the synergism Horton alleges. Olson is going to write more about it human participation, etc. so we’ll see how it goes…

  2. I’d agree that Horton didn’t necessarily misrepresent Arminians. But, it sounds like he did present their view using terms/concepts differently than they would. I think Olson’s point is valid that we first need to present people the way that they would present themselves – and that includes not using terms/labels that they explicitly reject (even if you think they’re warranted). Now, once you’ve done that, you can certainly go on to explain why you think those labels legitimately apply. So, you’re right that Olson needs to do a good job with the next step of explaining well why Horton’s description is not the best way (or even a good way) of characterizing the natural/logical implications of his theological system.

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