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Doctorates Of Error

A Ph.D. can be a fine thing; it takes a long time, a lot of dedication, and a lot of hard work to achieve. Unfortunately however, particularly in matters of theology, all too often a doctorate merely makes someone the ultimate expert in a particular "school" of error (one of the literal meanings of school is "a body of creative writers or thinkers linked by a similar style or by similar teachers"). Most of the large Christian-professing churches have their own, or closely-associated, educational institutions that grant doctorates in their particular brand of Christianity (interestingly, doctrine originates from the same Latin word as doctor and doctorate, as does, even more interestingly, docile, which literally means ready to learn, or easily managed) - resulting in Doctors of Theology from the various churches (even though the Bible says that there is only one church - see People or Place?) disagreeing with, and contradicting, one another.

Doctor Of The Law Although most of the early Christians, and probably all of the original twelve apostles, were "just" simple working folk, who knew and understood the Truth as well as, or better than, anyone, there were others among them who were more highly and formally educated. Perhaps the primary reason that Peter wrote so little of the New Testament record, while Paul wrote so much, is that chosen-by-Christ Peter was a nearly illiterate (as were most people then) "working-class" fisherman, while also chosen-by-Christ Paul was a highly-educated Pharisee who, despite his "great learning" (Acts 26:24) was not able to see the Truth that "uneducated" Peter did until Jesus Christ struck Paul down On The Road To Damascus. Paul's "Ph.D." actually harmed him until his great knowledge was made truly knowledgable by the absolutely vital combination of the unconditional acceptance of what is actually written in the Holy Scriptures (no arrogant, unrepentant attitude of I Did It My Way...) and the Holy Spirit (see Ears To Hear).

During Bible History, God's people, including even Jesus Christ Himself, were often looked down upon by the "highly educated" - until the highly educated had their eyes opened so that they became truly educated:

"About the middle of the Feast [i.e. the The Feast Of Tabernacles] Jesus went up into the Temple [see "My Father's House"] and taught. The Jews marveled at it, saying, "How is it that this man has learning, when He has never studied?" So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sent Me; if any man's will is to do His will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority. He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of Him Who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood." (John 7:14-18 RSV)

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:17-24 RSV)

Fact Finder: Is the Holy Spirit of God the Spirit of (true) wisdom?
Ephesians 1:17


This Week's Bible Quiz

Is this an Old Testament or New Testament book of the Bible?

1. Ruth

2. Titus

3. Daniel

4. Hebrews

5. Malachi

6. Jude

7. Micah

8. James

9. Ecclesiastes

10. Philemon

For the answers to this November 26 2002 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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