Thursday, September 04, 2008

Carl Trueman on the Cult of Professor Worship

Carl Trueman strikes a chord with me in his recent article, "The Day They Tried to Recruit Me." He addresses what he calls "the cult of professor worship."

As a professor of New Testament Studies & Biblical Theology I often face the same kind of temptation of which Carl writes. Long has been my motto: "Criticism, no matter how bitter, must never wither me; accolades, no matter how lofty, must never flatter me." I derive my motto from 1 Corinthians 1:1-4.

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me (NIV).

Here is a teaser from Carl Trueman's piece.

The cult of professor worship is perhaps the most dangerous and reprehensible cult in the theological world. It is no respecter of theological position, afflicting the left just as much as the right. It is no respecter of intellectual ability, as the psychology of leader-follower is predicated more on personality and relational qualities than brainpower. And it is no respecter of souls: nothing so destroys a Christian leader, or his followers, than the mutual flattery involved in the uncritical adulation of a fan-base for a professorial rock star (and I use that term advisedly). Hence, while every instinct in me told me that the offer was a great opportunity to start up Team Trueman on campus, I chose to go against my fallen desires and immediately declined the offer.

Read Trueman's whole article.

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