As I continue to do the rounds of podcasts and interviews for my new book, Surviving Religion 101, the same question keeps getting asked:
What can parents (and churches) do to help better prepare their kids for the intellectual challenges of college?
In a prior post, I mentioned this issue and offered one solution to that problem: “Parents and churches need to consider ways to introduce their children, at age-appropriate levels, to non-Christian philosophies, arguments, and criticisms, along with a proper Christian response.”
In other words, we need to break out of the theological bubble in which we typically operate, and be willing to critically and substantively engage views different than our own.
But that is not all that can be done. In this post, let me mention another way we can address this problem, and that is by fixing the one thing that is missing in most sermons today.
In my role as a seminary professor, I have heard a lot of sermons over the years. Some of these are from students preparing for ministry, but many are from seasoned pastors who’ve been in the pulpit for years.
And these sermons seem designed to do many positive things: inform, proclaim, teach, explain, illuminate, clarify, comfort, encourage, and motivate. And, sometimes, they do some less positive things: entertain, titillate, speculate, charm, beguile, and even amuse.
But there is one thing that very few sermons do, and that is [Read more…]