Historian John Fea, who has a wordpress blog, shares in several posts about “The State of the Evangelical Mind” conference. They are worth reading, as he summarizes key content.
The Seminary and the “Evangelical Mind” – In this post, he highlights thoughts from Lauren Winner. It is hard to choose an excerpt, as everything Winner shared is quote worthy! As Fea says, “In the end, Winner’s words for evangelical seminaries and seminarians apply to anyone trying to live out the claims of Christianity.” If you are only going to read one of these posts, pick this one!
Evangelicalism as a Mission Field for Evangelical Scholars – This highlights thoughts from James K. A. Smith. Smith was not optimistic about the state of the evangelical mind. The “evangelical mind,” he lamented, is a “minority report at best.” Smith urged us to consider a “scholarship for the masses” – that a higher level of teaching should be developed for the everyday people of churches. (Yes!!!)
Explore his blog for further content. And I thought his reports connected to another blogger’s post this week. The blogger at Samaritan’s Song had this post: Five Strategies To Stop “Learning Loss” In The Church. An excerpt:
“In many churches that I’ve attended, more rigorous forms of study or teaching are abandoned for discussion-level groups that don’t frequently go in depth or touch on Scripture to any particular degree. As a result, a good many believers (many of whom consider themselves quite mature in the faith) have become “Instagram Christians”: they know enough about the Bible to summon out a few theme verses or inspirational meditations, but little else. The result is a profound learning loss in the church.”
Read her post for 5 worthwhile suggestions on addressing this profound learning loss.
I could really ramble here, but so much of what passes as “Bible study” in the church is NOT Bible study! It is just vague spiritual discussion, or the Scripture is only looked at in a cursory way before most of the time is spent talking. But how can you talk about the Bible if you have not taken the time to see what the Bible actually says?! I’ve blogged on this before:
Are you trying to study the Bible without reading it? In the post I give several definitions of the word study, and then ask if many Bible studies even remotely meet this description of study? Sadly, too many do not.