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.