You Are Not An Expert
I have encountered the “you are not an expert” argument quite a few times when discussing theology with Christians. They say I wasn't an expert or qualified to comment because I hadn’t read the Bible or I hadn’t read a particular obscure text confirming Jesus’ existence and also that of God. I thought it best that I start my education and have subsequently read Hitchens, Dawkins, Loftus and am about to embark on reading the Bible. Internet blogs and YouTube videos are also a fairly common staple in my religious education diet at the moment.
I am told that the “truth” can be found in the Bible. I could draw the conclusion that I don’t need to read any books written by Christian “experts”. There seems little point in reading books that interpret the true meaning of the Bible. Interpretations lead to inconsistencies and inconsistencies are strewn across the spectrum of Christian “experts” around the world. In my mind, this damages the credibility of the experts and the writings of their truth book.
I do know that I will continue my education and never become an expert in the minds of Christians. I feel this is because I haven’t handed the reins of my life over to a God or over to Jesus.
I will also continue to encounter Christians who tell me I am not am expert because I haven’t read an obscure religious text or apparent eye witness accounts of Jesus such as those by Flavius Josephus. Every encounter will add another book to the pile I have read, and still they will deny me, and ride in the gaps, just like their God.
In contrast, there are many Christians and many Christian experts that haven’t even bothered with furthering their own education. Apparently they already have all of the knowledge they need and it’s in the form of a sermon or the Bible, of which they haven’t full read. At least Dawkins, as a scientist, actually bothered to educate himself on topics outside his area of expertise. This is far more than I can say about any number of Christians who regularly demonstrate their ignorance of the field of science but feel qualified to comment on it.