If a scholar can manage to lack intelligence in a dignified way, said scholar is generally given greater latitude when s/he chimes in on an issue within the realm of her/his expertise. This is not always the case; there are prickly personalities in every field. But, in general, professionals know that they exist within a world of relationships. They are not anonymous defenders of truth in cyberspace. They are not hermit-gurus living beyond the borders of society. They have to mill around conference book rooms wearing name tags. Academia is a relatively small village so we learn to defer to others with more expertise much of the time. And we don't say things like this:
Your friend, Dr. Paul needs to meet Jesus, develop a healed and forgiven relationship with Him and then choose something more profitable to do with his mind.This is comment that was posted on Mike Bird's blog a few days ago. It is one of hundreds of examples of banal arrogance that comes with the territory of theologically oriented blogging. The ability to be unintelligent in a dignified way, to my mind, represents a discernible difference between professionals and your standard armchair theologian. But isn't basic human decency a Christian virtue?
I fear that, "Get away from Me. I never knew you," is looming large in the good Dr.'s future.
There seems to be a common myth (in the sense of falsehood) in the ether that education breeds elitism. I have found the opposite to be true much of the time.