Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Seductive Applause of a Conservative Constituency

D.A. Carson's recent talk, "The Scholar as Pastor" is now available as a 17-page PDF, MP3 file, and video--all online for free.

Carson's 12 lessons for the pastor as scholar should surely be ready by anybody in academics.

I wanted to draw attention to one point that can sometimes be overlooked in our circles. Carson warned about "the seduction of academic applause." But then he also reminded us that "seductive applause" can also come from
the conservative constituency of your friends, a narrower peer group but one that, for some people, is equally ensnaring. Scholarship is then for sale: you constantly work on things to bolster the self-identity of your group, to show they are right, to answer all who disagree with them. Some scholars who are very indignant with colleagues who, in their estimation, are far too attracted by the applause of unbelieving academic peers, remain blissfully unaware of how much they have become addicted to the applause of conservative bastions that egg them on.

On the last day we stand or fall on the approval of one Person, one Master, the Lord Jesus.