Here is an interesting article.
It reports about two UNC professors’, Christian Smith and Peter Kaufman, attempts to educate Christians about Christianity at UNC. The tale, like all such tales, is bitter-sweet. We applaud them for what they are doing, but are sad that it is needed so badly. I have believed for a long time that American Evangelicalism is that in name only and is in serious danger of becoming completely irrelevant because of a lack of message and a lack of definition. Notice here:
“In the summer of 2003, Smith and 16 other researchers traveled to 45 states to conduct in-depth interviews with some 267 teenagers involved in the study. What Smith found shocked him: The majority of teenagers who identified themselves as evangelicals were “incredibly inarticulate” about their religious beliefs. ‘They were well-trained in the dangers of drunk driving and STDs,’ he said, but they fumbled on basic questions about Christianity.”
As important as the practicality of avoiding these social and moral pitfalls is, how does anyone expect someone to stand up to the criticism that they will get in Bart Ehrman’s classroom (who is also at UNC)? Sure, they may try to avoid the parties and the sex, but what is their basis for doing so? Mom and dad? Idealistic and naive, wouldn’t you say? How about we train them so that they don’t leave the faith? Then they will follow a moral code because they are compelled to do so? What can we do?