Charles e Whisnant, Researcher


My father in law has been with us here in McDermott, Ohio for the last three weeks and we have an occasion to talk about different subjects. On on occasion I said I thought I was SMART, well verses DUMB or STUPIT.  So there was a question in the mind of my father in law as to this idea that I was smart.  And he has known me for 45 years so I would say there are a number of times that I have proven I was not very smart in some matters.  I have done some really dumb things over the course of my life. I do not want to give a number of course but there are many.  But does that made me dumb. 

I mean can you be dumb on some things and smart on other things. Can you be an expert in come areas and less then knowledgeable in other areas? Can you have a lot of knowledge in come areas and none in other areas?

Would I be recognized as a reliable source or preacher/teacher who has the faculty for been one who has a knowledgeable understanding of the Bible?

If there is one area that I hope I can become a more reliable source of knowledge is in the understanding of the Bible.  I would hope that I am smart enough to learn and teach the Word of God with some knowledge about the subject at hand. 

Then there are area that I have very little or zero knowledge of, but I do try to get a sense of understanding.

Over the years I have struggled with many areas that I have not been knowledgeable about, those areas have been a challenge to try to learn enough knowledge to be able to know something about that area.  There are many areas for example: GOLF. I can hit the ball sometimes but as to how to how to play golf is a challenge.  Another area: LUMBERJACK: I had  about zero knowledge about how to clear off the brush and vines and limbs and trees etc in our back yard. But after several months of working, I have gained some knowledge, most likely enough to get me in trouble. 


I looked up this term EXPERT:

An expert also called cognoscente[1]) is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

expert called in for advice

Experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. In specific fields, the definition of expert is well established by consensus and therefore it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification for them to be accepted as an expert. In this respect, a shepherd with 50 years of experience tending flocks would be widely recognized as having complete expertise in the use and training of sheep dogs and the care of sheep. Another example from computer science is that an expert system may be taught by a human and thereafter considered an expert, often outperforming human beings at particular tasks. In law, an expert witness must be recognized by argument and authority.

Research in this area attempts to understand the relation between expert knowledge and exceptional performance in terms of cognitive structures and processes. The fundamental research endeavor is to describe what it is that experts know and how they use their knowledge to achieve performance that most people assume requires extreme or extraordinary ability. Studies have investigated the factors that enable experts to be fast and accurate.[2]

Expertise consists of those characteristics, skills and knowledge of a person (that is, expert) or of a system, which distinguish experts from novices and less experienced people. In many domains there are objective measures of performance capable of distinguishing experts from novices: expert chess players will almost always win games against recreational chess players; expert medical specialists are more likely to diagnose a disease correctly; etc.

Mark Twain defined an expert as “an ordinary fellow from another town”.[12] Jesus is even quoted as saying “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown.” Mark 6:4. Will Rogers described an expert as “A man fifty miles from home with a briefcase.” Danish scientist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr defined an expert as “A person that has made every possible mistake within his or her field.”


Some characteristics of the development of an expert have been found to include

    A characterization of this practice as “deliberate practice”, which forces the practitioner to come up with new ways to encourage and enable themselves to reach new levels of performance[citation needed]

    An early phase of learning which is characterized by enjoyment, excitement, and participation without outcome-related goals[11]

    The ability to rearrange or construct a higher dimension of creativity. Due to such familiarity or advanced knowledge experts can develop more abstract perspectives of their concepts and/or performances.[citation needed]

An expert differs from the specialist in that a specialist has to be able to solve a problem and an expert has to know its solution. The opposite of an expert is generally known as a layperson, while someone who occupies a middle grade of understanding is generally known as a technician and often employed to assist experts. A person may well be an expert in one field and a layperson in many other fields. The concepts of experts and expertise are debated within the field of epistemology under the general heading of expert knowledge. In contrast, the opposite of a specialist would be a generalist or polymath.

The term is widely used informally, with people being described as ‘experts’ in order to bolster the relative value of their opinion, when no objective criteria for their expertise is available. The term crank is likewise used to disparage opinions. Academic elitism arises when experts become convinced that only their opinion is useful, sometimes on matters beyond their personal expertise.

In contrast to an expert, a novice (known colloquially as a newbie or ‘greenhorn’) is any person that is new to any science or field of study or activity or social cause and who is undergoing training in order to meet normal requirements of being regarded a mature and equal participant.

“Expert” is also being mistakenly interchanged with the term “authority” in new media. An expert can be an authority if through relationships to people and technology, that expert is allowed to control access to his expertise. However, a person who merely wields authority is not by right an expert. In new media, users are being misled by the term “authority. Many sites and search engines such as Google and Technorati use the term “authority” to denote the link value and traffic to a particular topic. However, this “authority only measures populist information. It in no way assures that the author of that site or blog is an expert.


About Charles e Whisnant

Youth Pastor since 1964.Pastor/Teacher 1971-74, 1980-2001, 2008-2015. Seminary, College, On line training, 50 years of study. A student of of the Bible. Expositional in my teaching. Married for 45 years. Four children and three granddaughter. Currently pastor - teacher in Minford, Ohio. No published books. No TV program. Favorite preachers Spurgeon, Calvin, MacArthur, Lloyd-Jones, Packer, Edwards, Baxter, Puritans.
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