In Christianity, No One Has Ever Been Influential if they Haven’t Been a Scholar/Writer

Ever since the Anabaptists, ignorance has been seen in some quarters of Christianity as a virtue.  Their ‘you don’t need learning, you only need the spirit’ mentality led them to the most incredible and nonsensical conclusions (and their only sensible leaders were persons who never fully embraced that lunacy: for even Menno was a learned man).

That sentiment still exists in various places to this very day.  It’s roots are in a bizarre and historically blinkered adoration of anti-intellectualism.  But there’s a serious problem with that: no one in the history of Christianity has been influential if they haven’t been a scholar/writer.

I realize that that’s quite a claim but I think if you ponder it for half an hour or so you’ll realize that it’s accurate.

For example- what would we know of the early Church were it not for the Fathers who were simultaneously scholars and writers?  What sort of theology would we have were it not for the writer/scholars who produced the Scriptures?  Those are written texts, you know.  You do know that, right?  And they weren’t produced by ignorant illiterates.  The very suggestion that they were is more than a little moronic.

Examples could be multiplied by the thousands and in every single instance those who have exerted any sort of influence; those who have really contributed to the faith and its promulgation, have been writer/scholars.  Others have come along and ridden their coattails but the real movement is always found in the written text.

Making a difference, making a lasting contribution, requires writing and writing requires scholarship.  Ignorance isn’t bliss in theological circles, it’s THE curse.

And yes, even Jesus wrote.  The fact that you and I have never read it makes no difference; he wrote.  He was a scholar/writer and so have been all the disciples of his who have followed in his train.

If you aren’t a scholar/writer it’s ok.  I don’t mean to imply that you don’t matter- you clearly do very much.  It’s just that you will never exert any lasting influence or make any lasting contribution to Christianity.  You can’t.  Because when you die, you will lay aside your works and your reward will go with you to Eternity.  It’s only the written word that lasts.  In the beginning was the Word.  And the same Word will be there at the end.