We Aren't as Smart as We Think We Are

Bible reading is important, but not sufficient, for religious awareness. Congregants need accessible introductions to scripture, Christian theology, Christian history, and world religions. Because intellectual growth alone is not sufficient for a holistic faith, these studies need to be accompanied by training in spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation as well as service to the community. (I am developing a series of adult study introductions to Christianity and biblical texts for congregational study in my work at Lancaster Theological Seminary. For more information see www.livingtheadventure.org as well as the brief bibliography listed below.)

Moderate and progressive Christians need to reclaim Christian education as an essential aspect of congregational life beginning in childhood and extending throughout the life cycle. This involves creating classes that involve theological reflection, spiritual practices, and social concern. Ultimately the issue is not just religious literacy and ignorance, but a holistic commitment to shaping a life of faith that enables people to experience God in their daily lives, the challenges of life, and in the religious pluralism of our time.

A Brief Bibliography

Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us

Dorothy Bass, ed., Practicing our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People

Dorothy Bass and Don Richter, Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens

Dorothy Bass and Miroslav Volf, eds., Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life

Maxie Dunnam, Workbook of Living Prayer

Bruce Epperly and Kathy Harvey Nelson, eds., Christianity 2.0: Renewing a Life of Faith available at www.livingtheadventure.org)

Bruce Epperly, Holy Adventure: Forty-one Days of Audacious Living

Bruce Epperly, Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry

Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

10/1/2010 4:00:00 AM
  • Mainline Protestant
  • education
  • History
  • Christianity
  • Bruce Epperly
    About Bruce Epperly
    Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, pastor, and author of twenty one books, including Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living, and The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Postmodern Age. He may be reached at drbruceepperly@aol.com for lectures, workshops, and retreats.
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