“The letter to the Times is indicative indeed of a much wider problem in our intellectual culture, namely, the tendency to avoid real argument and to censor what makes us, for whatever reason, uncomfortable. On many of our university campuses this incarnates itself as a demand for “safe spaces,” where students won’t feel threatened by certain forms of speech or writing. For the first time in my life, I agreed with Richard Dawkins who recently declared on Twitter, ‘A university is not a “safe space”. If you need a safe space, leave, go home, [and] hug your teddy…until [you are] ready for university.'”
This drives home to me again that the largely disembodied, behavioristic models of Christian growth need to be shown a better way. I am troubled and have written a bit (book reviews of Wild at Heart, Prayer of Jabez, and a “men’s” book, The Last Men’s Book You’ll Ever Need) on the silly and superficial models that are all too easy to criticize. Men who rave about the life-changing nature of Wild at Heart boot camps and earlier things like Promise Keepers remain immature as Paul said “in their thinking” and so struggle (needlessly I must say) with all manners of life.
Historic Christianity has the resources to offer compelling models that address the whole person. My fear is that pastors and other Christian leaders are increasingly ignorant of the riches that largely remain buried.
A son or daughter grows up in a Christ-professing home. Sadly, the parents have not availed themselves of opportunities to grow in their own understanding of the Christian faith. They can’t interact or answer any of the objections to Christianity that increasingly nag Johnny and Sally.
Johnny and Sally go off to college. They abandon their Christian upbringing.
The parents add to their sorrow with the misguided notion that their kiddo abandoned the faith due to “liberal professors.”