A week or so ago, I posted something on laymen and Scripture here. I invited Tim Enloe to respond, which he has now done here.
To this, let me add just a few additional comments. I agree with the drift of Tim's comments, and share his loathing of egalitarianism. And I agree that the fact that I simply "see" things does not mean that the engineering of the eyeball is simple. That said, I would just add one caution, because the ecclesiastical mess that surrounds us on every hand is complicated enormously by the following problem, one that our ecclesiastical leaders have contributed to more than the laymen have (in my view). I am not assuming that Tim would differ with any of this, but I do think it is necessary to make a point of saying it.
In our current set up, the people most likely to be able to follow the nuances that I (and Tim) would want to offer when it comes to hermeneutics are the same people who are least likely to be able to tell the difference between men and women. And the people who are most likely to read Romans 1 as a flat out condemnation of homosexual behavior (which it is) are also the most likely to think that the New Jerusalem will come down out of the sky like it was a space shuttle. Huh. Now what?
I therefore want to argue that Christians ministers are responsible to lead the people of God when it comes to the great and pressing issues of the day, to be true men of Issachar. For example, I mean issues like the fact that homosexual behavior is a sin, which has been clear to the universal Church, east and west, north and south, last century and the ones before that, to most bishops and all stable hands. This important datum is being currently blurred by professional and highly educated fog-mongers, but that does not alter our duties in the slightest. These faithful conservative ministers, with their faithfulness in leadership established on those issues which every Christian (with eyes in his head) can see, will have then earned the trust of Christians generally when it comes time to lead them in some challenging areas. That way, the hermeneutical spiral need not be circling the drain.
The problem is that subtle minds want to be subtle all the time, and everything ain't subtle. The problem is that simple minds want to be simple all the time, and everything ain't simple. Scriptural leadership means being simple where God is simple (what part of "thou shalt not" went over your head?) and subtle when God is subtle (some things in Paul's letters are hard to understand, and which ignorant and unstable people twist to their own destruction).
After all, there are times when the people heap up false teachers for themselves. And there are times when the elites get themselves all balled up.