Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 25, 1959
NUMBER 8, PAGE 5,13b

The Doctors That Are Among Us

Bill Dudley, Santa Rosa, California

Dear Bro. Holt:

Enjoyed your 'News and Views" column in the Guardian of May 21. However, I do not agree with your stand on higher education as set forth in that column. The Church has nothing to fear from learning, and will always have need of trained teachers. Some of this training is going to have to be obtained in theological and philosophical fields. Learning is a danger to the World and not to the Church.

Admittedly the so-called 'higher educated" people do put up a front that can be rather devastating to the novice theologian or philosopher. Under such conditions, it is good to remember that the good doctors actually know very little about anything, and that the better ones will freely so state. It is only the "pompous ass" type whom one finds in every university that tries to impress others with his "book larnin'." As some one has said "A Ph.D. means that a man has set for seven years of his life in a classroom" and it does not mean anything more. It does not mean that he is a man of superior intelligence. Probably some of the keenest intellects in this world are truck-drivers or ditch-diggers. Really learned men do not fear the truth of such statements.

Or, we might consider this aspect of the "doctor situation" for just a moment. The tremendous increase in the number of such gentlemen might lead us to suspect that somewhere along the line they are "watering the mixture". They are at most schools. The 1959 model Ph.D. is liable to be a simpleton compared to the 1939 model. Like the Marines, the Ph.D. factories have been forced to lower their requirements. Or, "you can't keep my boy out of the Corps because he is near-sighted" and "you can't keep him from being a doctor because he is stupid". And, these days you can't keep them out. It is literally true that a moron can get a Ph.D. degree from just about any university in the United States if he will take orders and has enough money to get through the grind. Let's don't be overly impressed by people who call themselves "doctors" when they could not deliver a litter of cocker spaniels.

Furthermore, watch out for the "Doctor of Education" element. That is a relatively-new degree which was created to take care of those too stupid to meet the old requirements about foreign languages. They used to insist that a full-fledged "doctor" must at least be able to stumble along in two other languages. At one famous university, the German requirement could be met by reading a few lines from a simple German textbook. Thus one could be "passed" in German and not be able to ask "How do I get to the railroad station?" in that language. In short, one suspects that the language requirements are generally a three-ring farce. Even so the poor "Doctor of Education" group was unable to meet them. And, we should fall back in awe before these dull types?

One "Doctor of Education" is reported to be listed in the telephone book as "Doctor". This gets him all sorts of calls in the middle of the night. In the next book, he will probably appear as "just an educational doctor and not a medical doctor". Well, it is his own fault.

Yet we all know that the Church has lost some good (?) men because of over-exposure to the heckling of some long-winded theologian. Just because such people love to write books that no one else can understand and to talk in eighteen syllable words, one should not become obsessed with the idea that these are men of giant intelligence. Some of them may be mental cases. We do not know. It can be said that the incredible smugness of the theologians seems dreadfully out of place when one considers that the majority of them at least claim allegiance to an organization founded by a carpenter. It is quite a jump from the simple teachings of Jesus to the compounded obscurity practiced by these wretched old men. How in the world can anyone be swayed by them? Maybe those good men whom we lost were already lost and were merely seeking a convenient way out.

It is somewhat tragic to see people leave the Church and attach themselves to some other organism. Most of the so-called "denominations" etc. are dying groups and certainly cannot promise much in the way of a lasting career to an ambitious man. They are for the most-part top-heavy with an archaic preacher organization that takes years to grant acceptance to new-comers. In other words, if these people are going to leave the Church they should break entirely with religion. The others are little more than glorified bingo clubs.

We can be hard on the poor "doctors" but they are not the first people in the Church to be sold on their own abilities. We have any number of haughty preacher-types who are just as convinced of their own worth. They make good livings from the Church and they truly love the respect of the docile congregations to whom they dictate. Some of them have been in power for years. They have long ago out-lived their usefulness to the Church.

If the big-bag schools steal so many of our brightest boys it may be because so many of them learn so little in their home congregations. There they often hear about twenty minutes of honey-dewed platitudes on Sunday morning and that is about the extent of their teaching situation. It is not so surprising then that their faith is shaken by the first wind.

Oftentimes "our boys" are pulled into infidelity by learning from some crack-pot professor that the earth is two billion years old. This at once convinces them that the Bible cannot be true. They tell us about the "Record of the Rocks" and then we see with newly-opened eyes that the Church is all wrong about the Divine origin of the Universe and all that's in it.

Suppose the rocks do say that the earth is two billion years old. So what?

(1) the rocks might be wrong;

(2) maybe it is two billion years old (by our standards);

(3) maybe rocks used to age more rapidly (or more slowly) than they do now; or

(4) insert here any other possibility that comes to mind. As the old preacher said, "There is one thing certain about the Universe, it did have a supernatural origin. Either it has existed eternally in some form, or it at some point arose out of nothingness. In either case, the beginning had to be supernatural and beyond our understanding". And we might add: beyond the understanding of all the theologians in all the universities of the world. All our beautiful theories about twin planets, exploding suns, and expanding galaxies finally come back to a big question mark. "God" is by far the easiest answer to that question. The theologians cannot admit this for fear of losing their soft jobs.

One recent (and apparently serious) theory about the world's beginning was that at first we had on hand a monster atom which contained all of the mass now found in the Universe. This atom was rather on the large side when compared to the usual run of atoms, and further it was extremely heavy for its size. In fact, we are told that it came to three hundred millions tons per cubic inch. One such cube would make a dandy paper-weight.

Maybe instead of taking the "doctor" element so seriously, we should all work to deflate them. There was a story in about 1947 concerning a group of attorneys in Washington. These gentlemen had all served in the armed forces at one time or another and were fond of having name-plates on their desks marked "Captain Smith" or "Colonel Brown". Then a new partner joined. He saw the name-plates and decided to add one of his own. The others were more than slightly put-out to find his desk displaying a fancy name-plate inscribed "T/5 Jones".

So if a brother insists on being called "doctor" we should in turn demand that we be addressed as "Poultryman Smithers" or "Ditch-digger O'Reilly" or whatever is appropriate. That should soon take the wind out of their sails, and let us get back to the business at hand: trying to carry the Gospel to a lost and dying world. With that mission in mind, we will have no time for academic frivolities.

Keep up the good work.