Frustration at Christian Academia
There is something profoundly “stupid” about how Christians educate their pastors and teachers these days.
I am training to be a pastor and professor of the Bible. Why am I doing so? Because I am desperately in love with Jesus, and firmly convinced of the truth of Scriptures. I could pastor without much education, but my heart is in teaching, and so the Christian community has said that I must earn an M.A. or better. Fair enough: I am not afraid of work – but what strange things I am put through, in the name of religious instruction!
In order to learn how to study the Bible, I must first enter the tangle of Liberal “Historical-Critical Methods.” Why? For what purpose? Most of these people are not even Christians, and are treating the Bible like it is NOT the word of God. Why should I care what they think?
I am not allowed simply to learn an effective way to read and apply Scriptures for myself. Instead, my “hermeneutics” class (hermeneutics is the study of how to read the Bible) left me with far more answers than questions It confronted with every Liberally-minded, historical-critical method of “criticising” the text of Scriptures, but did not present me with a viable option for actually successfully finding a way to read and preach the Bible as the Word of God.
I heard one person talking about their college experience, where a teacher had challenged him on a once firmly-held belief. “He didn’t really answer the question – but he sure made me wrestle with it!” “Really?” I asked, “He didn’t give you an answer? Why not? He’s not much of a teacher, if he causes more confusion than clarity!”
Maybe someday I will be appreciative of this experience: but today, right now I just feel frustrated and discouraged.