This is something I have been coming up against, once again; that is, that there is this assumption by some Christians that it is just not their place to be a ‘theologian’. Without a doubt there are ‘professionally’ trained theologians ‘out there’ who have been ‘gifted’ by God to serve His Church in that kind of capacity. Indeed, it is this reality that I hear so many ‘lay Christians’ trumpeting when speaking about these two different categories of people within the larger body of Christ. There is this assumption amongst some ‘lay Christians’ that they could never be an ‘theologian’; and often times I see the ‘theologian’ accept this ‘special’ status in the body of Christ, and thus a certain ‘ditch’ has been created between the laity and the trained theologians (from both sides, and each side has a particular sense of ‘arrogance’ tied to it, for my money).
But when I come across this, I stumble. Aren’t theologians given to the body of Christ to edify it until we all reach a ‘unity’ (glorification) in Christ? In other words aren’t theologians supposed to serve the body in such a way that they make other ‘theologians’? And isn’t this really the disciple making process Jesus commanded His Church to be involved in until He comes again (Mt. 28 ‘The Great Commission’)? So to create these different ‘classes’ of people (this is starting to sound like Marxism) who basically have nothing to really do with one another (the theologian deals in abstract theological theorems while the laity deals in ‘real life’ practice and pragmatics—or so this faulty kind of thinking presumes) is to completely misunderstand the point of the ‘Gospel’; which is that we have been brought into the communio of God’s life, which means that we have been brought into ‘fellowship’ and life with one in another in Christ.
There should be no such thing, or no such attitude as the one I am describing above. The reality of the ‘Gospel’ and the service and communion that it shapes will not allow for such attitudes amongst its members. We are to grow together, whether we are called ‘theologians’ or ‘lay Christians’; and in fact really, all Christians are technically ‘theologians’ (or they should be), which simply means that all Christians should be students of God and His life as disclosed in Jesus Christ!