Theology is not a private reserve of theologians. It is not a private affair for professors... Nor is it a private affair for pastors... Theology is a matter for the church. It does not get on well without professors and pastors. But its problem, the purity of the church's service, is put to the whole church. The term 'laity' is one of the worst in the vocabulary of religion and ought to be banished from Christian conversation.
- Karl Barth, Theologische Fragen and Antworten
It is safe to say that unbalanced notions about either clergy or laity are due to unbalanced notions of the Church. Indeed, to be more precise, too low a view of laity is due to too high a view of clergy, and too high a view of clergy is due to too low a view of the Church.
- John Stott, One People
What do you think are the main points these theologians are trying to make? What are the dangers when there is dividing line between "laity" (ministers, pastors, missionaries, theologians, etc.) and "clergy" (everyone else)? Is the Western church still stuck in Gnosticism, where worldly things (ie - eating, working, playing, buying, selling) and bodily nature are a "lower level" than the spiritual?
More thoughts on these topics later...