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Christian Education and Apologetics

This is under discussion on my forum, here.

My own story is that I went through 12 years of Christian education and went to a Christian university to be a Christian pastor and promptly was reduced to atheism or something very close to it.  When I returned to Christianity it was with a desire to spare other Christians what I went through.  I don’t mean the normal period of inquiry that all people go through as they get older;  I mean the stupid beliefs- even and especially about Christianity and Christian theism- that I thought were perfectly sane.

I run across non-Christians all the time of various sorts that become belligerent when I suggest to them that whatever it is they mean by ‘Christianity’ and ‘theism’ that they are rejecting, it is not remotely close to what the historic Christian church has maintained.  They often say “I went to Sunday school all my life!  I think I know!”  Sometimes they’ve had formal Christian education like I have had, but if you note in my introductory paragraph there, this is not necessarily helpful.  Better than nothing?

That’s hard to say.  I am reading and reviewing Richard Dawkins’s “Delusion” and 95% of his representations of Christianity and Christian theism are not merely false, they are silly and almost make me feel embarrassed for the man.  And consider the success of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.”  And let’s not forget the success in the previous century of “The Celestine Prophecy.”  Books like the three that I have mentioned do not become best sellers if there is no market of people, who, like more than one person has said to me regarding “The Da Vinci Code,” “I think there is something to it…”

No, there really isn’t anything to it.  For a society allegedly saturated in Christianity, some of the worst displays of ignorance about Christianity arises among Christians themselves.  In my experience, the most strident atheists were raised in the church.  The largest market for weird and baseless views about Christianity are ‘churched’ Christians.

The old ways of doing Christian education simply must be re-evaluated.  The world has changed.  One thinks that if apologetics formed a larger part of Christian curriculums in the last century there would not be such a dire need for it now.


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