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Re: Biblical Preaching & Commentaries
> I've seen the disappointment that students and seekers often have in
> earlier teachers when they realize they were misled, and would like to
> avoid it among those I teach.
Dumbing down serves no one. Many of the biblical illiterates of the
Episcopal Church read extensively in much other literature. They can spot
patronizing teachers at many paces and want no part of them. Many are
turned off not so much by the bible as by those who have talked to them
about it in simplistic ways. Even the most random encounters with the
texts themselves can usually not sustain simplistic illusions for more
than three chapters running.
Freshman at the university are the same. The phrase 'this is no Sunday
school lesson' is college jargon across America; it means 'This will
require you to think and to do home work.' What a commentary on Christian
Nor do serious students want someone telling us what to think. We thrive
on listening to well-articulated positions different from our own. This
is as true in the fifth grade as it is in a graduate course.
One of the reasons that so many young people leave the church is that they
recognize few if any treat them as fellow disciples able to think for
themselves. Few are interested in their spiritual journeys. Few presume
they could have any fresh ideas. Few have ever invited them to have a
serious encounter with the bible. Most young people want an experience that
embraces more than being restricted to being an acolyte. Often
they experience church only as a vehicle for pleasing the family; and when
they grow up, they put away such childish perspectives, and do not return.