... [M]uch of what gets taught in the classroom doesn’t make it to the pulpit. Of course, the sermon as an art form is not the same thing as a lecture. However, what gets taught in the seminary classroom also often doesn’t seem to make it to the Sunday school, the youth group, the confirmation class, or even the bookshelves of your local Barnes & Noble. What does seem to make it to all of these - especially those bookshelves - is a form of Christianity that is all about feeling a personal relationship with Jesus and minimally about thinking about the Christian faith. That’s bad enough for those inside the church; those on the outside end up getting exposure to Christianity almost exclusively via anti-theistic screeds or Christian pop and porn.
I’m not trying to suggest that Christianity is not, on some level at least, about a personal relationship with the divine, but we have, in many ways, lost the connection to our heritage that built universities and the American public school system; that inspired education for the poor and enslaved; that inspired the abolitionist and civil-rights movements; and on, and on, and on. I think it’s reasonable to make the demand that churches - with the help of public, academic theologians - reclaim this history and engage the world in conversations about Christianity as though it is something more than a vague feeling. As though, in short, it is something serious.
(h/t Andrew Sullivan)