What Qualifies a Person as an Authority on Scripture or Theology?
I just received, as I am sure a lot of others did as well, several catalogs from the major theological publishers this week. Browsing through this year's offerings, I found books by experts on every conceivable branch of theology promising to tell me what the "church" really ought to do, and what this or that portion of the bible "really" means. I began to wonder to myself, what really makes a person an authority in these matters?
Getting good grades and fellowships in grad school?
Landing a big contract with Brazos, Fortress, etc.?
An ivy league degree?
Being very rhetorically persuasive?
Getting a lot of speaking engagements?
Landing a "cherry" position at a major university or seminary?
What qualifies a person to understand and mediate the divine mysteries? Is our "system" really designed to do that?
Yes, I know the sword cuts in all directions, because I've been part of the "system" myself!