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1.29.2016

School vs. school

Listening to this Reformed Forum podcast (http://reformedforum.org/ctc422/), or as much of it as I did listen to before realizing how dead it is, I came to thinking about why Christians such as the ones on this podcast are so shallow and perhaps spiritually catatonic, if not dead.

The contrast that came to me was of school. Not school as most know of school but school as a higher reality. It's not a foreign notion to Christianity, even church level Christianity (the Reformation had the school of Geneva), but it's definitely a rare notion.

One element that separates school as a higher reality than anything church level Christians know of is the manner of teaching in the former. It's very different. There's no privileged position. You either have understanding or you don't, and you either are able to transfer it or you're not. Teachers rarely call themselves teachers. It's kind of a pure market environment. People just start talking, and someone gets singled out as just seeming to know more. But it's a testing both ways, with self-interest both ways, as-well-as mutual need. The teacher consolidates understanding in the act, or necessity of having to articulate it to others.

And people talk to whoever has interest. That's a very big difference I experienced when I crossed the threshold from occult realm school activity to the Christian realm. And I should say not just Christian realm but mainstream Christian realm, where you find the on-the-mark doctrine, i.e. five solas, doctrines of grace, covenant (federal) theology. In the occult realm people talked. In the mainstream Christian realm there don't seem to be individuals but establishment, guilds, groups, who when they see an outsider say, "Who are you? Go away!" (I remember the very first comment I wrote on a Christian blog. I was enthusiastic, and it was a longish comment. You know the response I got? "Why don't you get your own blog." And that was it. Interestingly - always I find it interesting - with nobody else there saying, "That's not a very nice greeting.")

In the dead-zone realm where seminaries and their products (pastors, scholars, whatever) exist there's no sense of mutual need or self-interest in the imparting of knowledge and understanding, nor is there a natural, pure market sifting of the wheat from the chaff. Guild mentalities develop, and there is no more ignorant ass than a person belonging to a privileged guild appropriating knowledge to themselves and making that knowledge what Latin phrases and contractese is to lawyers, something to be protected and used for worldly ends, with all the inane vanity attending such a use of what they never developed or discovered themselves.


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