Public Service Announcement

The “World-Wide Web” is, in fact, world wide. When you post stuff, other people may well read it. There are some implications to this.


1. You may well be a seminarian and have taken an intro course in liturgy or  New Testament. That’s great. But, in your haste to show off your new-found knowledge remember that there are people who have taken a hell of a lot more courses and read a hell of a lot more sources in the original languages than you.


2. I’ve done a lot of work in my field. I have a BA, an MDiv, an STM, and am a few pesky chapters away from my PhD all focused in my area. This means that I’ve read so much that I have a really good idea of how much about my field I don’t know!! True depth of learning breeds humility.


3. Don’t assume anything simply because you’re going to be clergy. There are laity who have forgotten more about liturgy—and a host of other topics—than you will ever know. And not all of them have “Dr.” in front of their names, either.


4. If you make major factual errors, be prepared to be called on it and furthermore be willing to accept correction. See above on humility… If you don’t feel that way, that’s fine—either don’t post things publicly or prepared to be dismissed.

16 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement

  1. LutherPunk

    Are you referring to a certain controversy raging in this little corner of the WWW??????????

    I didn’t have the energy to post anything about it. I got tired just reading some of the silliness.

  2. Anastasia

    nevermind…i found it. and oh. my. good. god. are you kidding me? wow. I never knew Mithros was the official state religion.

  3. Derek the Ænglican

    Just because your dissertation is on mystery religions doesn’t really mean anything…

  4. Lee

    Forget arguments about homosexuality, women’s ordination, the Iraq war, or the infield fly rule – liturgy is what really gets people’s blood boiling.

  5. Anastasia

    right, well. I really don’t know anything. :)

    actually, like you, i’ve read just enough to know that I don’t know that much.

  6. bls

    You can always spot people who’ve never been in therapy; they’re the ones who go nuts ranting about what other people are doing wrong – all the while doing the very same things themselves. It’s textbook.

    Kimel was like that, too. (Although he gets the very slightest slack because he actually knows something.)

    Well, as LP says, it’s good to talk about something that really matters at last!

  7. bls

    (Don’t get me wrong, though: I still think Kimel is an arrogant jerk without the tiniest pastoral bone in his body. His great delight was mocking me on his blog, for what reason I still cannot determine. He’s another one I’m really pissed-off at having to pay for. And I have to pay twice: once through the church and once through the state. I should really call and complain.

    Priests of God my hind foot.)

  8. Gracious Light

    damn. After trying to follow follow the argument (the western guy took his ball and went away) and responses, all I can think of is “damn”.

    But agreed. A little education is a dangerous thing. What’s the old adage amongst academics… the only thing worse than a college freshman is a college sophomore because they really do think they know everything.

    I consider myself something of a liturgics nut (at least in UMC circles)… but I also know that I know precious little.

  9. Sandra

    Wow, a little less generalizing would go a really, really long way here folks. I’m a seminarian and would never ever assume I know more than the most basic info on just about anything we cover. Any seminarian who thinks the M. Div. level courses are more than just survey courses on more or less an undergrad level is kidding themselves.

    It sometimes shocks me how little time we’ll spend on a given topic (say 1st Corinthians, for instance) and that’s it. We will never get more in depth study of that topic in the three short years we’re here unless we have time somewhere to throw in an elective on in. And that will barely scratch the surface too.

    Clergy are generalists – jacks of all trades, masters of none. That’s just how it is, and many of us in training are very much aware of that. So let’s not assume that just because one person says a bunch of bs that all of us would do the same.

  10. Derek the Ænglican

    I know what you mean, Sandra, both about generalizing and about clergy being generalists… But at the same time many of the commenters here are either clergy or teach in seminaries…so we do know about both seminarians and clergy.

    Most of what we’re reacting against is the sheer arrogance of the guy. I’m glad to hear that you wouldn’t assume that you’re an expert–but this one did when he clearly had no business doing so.

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