Moore is truly a Bible teacher. Her teaching is rooted in her strong affinity for Scripture. She does not show much interest in theology or tradition, distrusting the way the academy has, at times, handled the Bible. "Godless philosophies have not been my temptation," Moore comments. "In my life experience, the most dangerously influential opinions have been those held by intellectuals and scholars who profess Christianity but deny the veracity and present power of Scripture." Although Moore believes that seminaries are necessary despite the "stunning arrogance" and "theological snobbery" that reside in them, she argues, "Psalm 131 reminds us that [the Scriptures] are not primarily for seminaries, dissertations, and theological treatments. They are primarily for everyday living on the third rock from the sun."
Moore is primarily self-taught. She uses commentaries and concordances when writing her studies, but she relies primarily on her own intuition when interpreting and applying Scripture.After years of careful study of biblical exegesis and the history of biblical interpretation, I found her remarks offensive and ignorant. Only a "Bible teacher" with no formal training in biblical languages, exegesis, theology, or church history could speak with such disdain for an academic, intellectual approach to the Bible. I sensed the writer (herself a Ph.D. candidate) was also at least uncomfortable with Moore's rhetoric against theological snobbery when she wrote:
Because of this, Moore is not able to draw, as much as she might, on the solid biblical and theological scholarship that emanates from trustworthy seminaries and universities, teaching that actually guards us against heresy and reminds us of the hard lessons of history.Unfortunately, many of the most popular Christian leaders today are primarily self-taught in the arena of biblical interpretation: Beth Moore, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren, and Joyce Meyer to name but a few (honorary degrees don't count). Not surprisingly, I'm more a fan of pastors with theological training like John Piper or Mark Driscoll.
Halee Gray Scott, "First Came the Bible," Christianity Today (August 2010), 27. Quotations are from the print edition. The article was not available online.