June 06, 2006

But At Least We Still Have TBN

I’m reading a really good book by E. Christian Kopff, a classics professor at the University of Colorado, called The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Kopff observes, “there was a determined effort, described by Ann Douglas in her Feminization of American Culture (1977), to turn the clergy from the intellectual rigor of exegesis and preaching to a caring service profession. This largely successful movement has had many ramifications. One effect has been the weakening of professional knowledge of the sacred tongues. I have seen clergymen who could not understand the simplest sentences of the Greek text of the New Testament and who explicated an English translation in direct contradiction to the clear meaning of the Greek … This indifference to intellectual standards has, of course, lowered expectations for the clergy, and we in the pews suffer as a consequence. When the Word is not explained in all its richness and depth, we lose touch with the Christian tradition.”

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