A Sidekick's Blog

The Tyranny of the Experts: A Call for a Second Reformation | February 19, 2014

I have lamented in this blog about the new “tolerance” in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) for errors which defy the Westminster Standards. I have re-posted other such laments from otherbloggers in multiple “conservative” Presbyterian / Reformed denominations. In this blog I want to reach “behind” this creeping tolerance for sin and error and point to one of the easily preventable causes of this supposedly inevitable decline of Presbyterian / Reformed churches and denominations. The writer of some of the best commentary on the Westminster Confession, G.I. Williamson, describes it in this post as “the tyranny of the experts.” It is a culture of elitism that demands that the ordinary churchgoer and “lay leader” should simply defer to the Esteemed Clergy in matters of theology and church practice, owing to their greater education and expertise in these things. After all, they’re the professionals, the experts in such things, and we ordinary church folk need not concern ourselves with things that are “way beyond us.”

I suppose it’s natural in our society at this stage of its moral decay to just “defer to the experts.” Home schooling, for example, is looked upon as arrogant and dangerous because we’re “just parents.” We don’t know anything about educating children. My wife and I were told that we should “leave it to the experts” and “stop being so arrogant.” But look at where these “experts” have taken our public schools! Not only do they completely fail to equip their students with the skills to learn and reason and function, but they mock our values, rewrite history, and try to erase all differences of gender and religion. They seem to be aiming towards creating a generation of easily controllable, unthinking, obedient drones to serve the ruling class. High school graduates can’t even fill out a job application or balance a checkbook. No thanks, I don’t think the “experts” are doing a very good job. Scientific “experts” argue for more government power to manage the “climate crisis” caused by mankind’s activities even as their dire predictions of melting ice caps and rising oceans prove patently false decade after decade. Recently it was described as “global warming.” But when I was a kid in school, the “experts” were sounding the alarm of global cooling! No thanks, “experts,” I’ll take my chances with common sense and err on the side of liberty. Yet this culture of deference to highly educated fools has become tyrannical as their “expert opinions” are used to justify more and more intrusions upon the rights and liberties of citizens. And it seems that in the churches, the same culture of deference threatens similar tyranny, and even damnable heresy.

In order to be taken seriously in the Reformed / Presbyterian community one must have credentials that demonstrate “expertise.” This culture of expertise has become so valuable that some even highly “respectable” seekers of credibility have resorted to outright dishonesty and fraud in their quest for ever greater credibility. Witness the “credentials” of one “Dr.” Kenneth Gary Talbot, founder and Protestant Pope of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly (RPCGA), who claims multiple doctorate degrees that would take a lifetime to earn, from schools that either don’t exist, or that don’t offer the degrees he claims to have earned there, or that never had him as a student. Founder and president of a seminary “accredited” by an agency of it’s own making, yet with a list of “notable alumni” that includes some really good and well-respected theologians. It’s all about credibility, all about status, all about being an expert. It’s about making a name and reputation for oneself, writing books and teaching others and gathering a following. Expertise = power, even in the “ultra conservative” RPCGA.


In the PCA, the heretical Federal Vision teaching and other dangerous doctrines have gained increasingly wider acceptance solely because “ruling elders” in that denomination, despite their supposed equality with “teaching elders” (pastors, clergy), have deferred to the “learned and esteemed clergy,” who historically are the ones who package and promulgate heretical doctrines. As G. I. Williamson illustrates in his article, Martin Luther was up against the very same “tyranny of the experts.” How dare this mere monk from an obscure province challenge the Esteemed Experts of his day? Bishops and Cardinals and Professors and even the Pope himself! Luther was nothing but a common little monk without the education and credentials to challenge the Highly Educated and Exalted Experts of his time. Yet the people rallied around him. Why? Not because he had Impressive Credentials, but because

the sheep know their shepherd and follow the voice of their shepherd. They will not follow a stranger because they don’t recognize the voice of a stranger (John 10:4-5).

It’s time we sheep stop paying attention to pretenders, and follow the familiar, comforting, trustworthy voice of the Shepherd who laid His life down for the sheep. Do not quickly defer to “experts,” the wolves clothed in woolen Doctorate Degrees, but whose demonic doctrines and seductive speech lead to exploitation, exposure to the enemy of our souls, and ultimately to destruction.



  1. Parents that homeschool their children are teaching them to think for themselves. To be able to learn no matter where they are. Homeschool kids do not view the school as being their class room but rather that the world around them is their class room. School should never be limited to just four walls and some windows and how to walk in a straight line. It should be everywhere you go, to have your curiosity sparked. That is where true learnging takes place.

    Comment by suziearnaud — February 19, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

  2. Wow all that and what you focus in on is Homeschooling? Especially where Homeschooling was used as metaphor comparing the tyranny of the seminary educated elitists versus the non-seminary educated. Wake up and read the article!

    Comment by keachfan — February 20, 2014 @ 5:18 am

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