Failing Christianity

Piedmont College professor Barbara Brown Taylor laments her Christian students’ lack of knowledge of church history and tradition.

They never noticed that Matthew and Luke tell different stories of Jesus’ birth, or that Mark and John tell no such stories at all. They never imagined that the first Christians did not walk around with New Testaments in their pockets. No one ever told them about Constantine, Augustine, Benedict or Martin Luther. They never thought about what happened during the centuries between Jesus’ resurrection and their own professions of faith. In their minds, they fell in line behind the disciples, picking up the proclamation of the gospel where those simple fishermen left off …

College students in all other regards, they remain fifth graders in religion. How, when they meet someone who asks them intelligent questions about their faith, will they come up with equally intelligent answers? Keep your class notes, I tell them. You never know when you may need them.

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