Stephen Mattson has written a piece for Sojourners, “Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?” Here is a sample:
By their very nature, intellectuals are curious. They analyze, theorize, and love to ask questions. These attributes are often criticized by church leaders and seen as an attack on traditional and established institutionalized beliefs. Innocent inquires are often met with an “How dare you question what we say?!” type of response, often followed up by cold-hearted exclusion and derision.
Many churches stubbornly hold theological, political, and social positions simply because they've always been that way, and changing them would be admitting defeat. Change itself is viewed as dangerous.
The amazing thing is that Jesus condemned those who were the most certain about their beliefs — the Pharisees. And much of Christ’s ministry revolved around trying to get people to change! Maybe we should start doing the same.
In many faith communities, certainty is preferred over doubt, answers are preferred over questions, compliance is preferred over objections, contentment is preferred over conflict, and conformity is preferred over disruption. Oftentimes, intellectuals simply give up on the church not because they don't have faith, but simply because they're ostracized by church leaders and excluded from their faith communities.
Click through to read the rest.
I am reminded once again what a special place Crooked Creek Baptist Church is. It provides a wonderfully welcome place for intellectuals, without alienating everyone else in the process!