Atheists and agnostics know more about religion than the average Christian. This is according to a Pew Forum study based on 32 questions of basic religious knowledge. This is according to Sam Hodges, Religion writer of the Dallas Morning News, on page 10A of the Dallas Morning News, on Tuesday, September 28, 2010.
Do we need any more reason to reject the quasi-traditional revivalism of the tent, the prosperity nonsense gospel of the tele-evangelist or the entertainment model of the mega-plex religious center? We lose the culture war a little more every day because we allow the erosion of knowledge in our congregations. It is not because we do not believe. We just don't know any more.
We may find we have lost the shrinking Christian sub-culture to the entertainment mega-plex. All of us watch potentially productive worshipers drive to the hottest band. This is not much different from the traditional revivalism of past decades, when Christianity was well accepted and the church was the best show in town.
My argument here is different from that one. I think we are losing the culture wars because we are losing the knowledge war, which is different from losing the shrinking church going sub-culture. We are simply no longer equipped to do battle with the better informed Islamists, atheists and agnostics in our midst, or the spiritually apathetic portion of the population, who routinely dismiss our belief in the basis of knowledge. Simply put, these folks do not care about our stories or worship styles.
Please see the Christian entertainment mega-plex is a form of monasticism, though it is a monastery without the solitude and meditation. It is sugar; empty calories, sweet to the taste, turning to ugly fat once in the body.
If the entire religious system of a generation can be undone by the sincere (or sneering) question, "How do you know?" it may be time to turn off the amps and go back to school. We can grant the relativity of knowledge, as is consistent with the teachings of ancient scientist Paul in his writings cf. I Corinthians 8:2. We dare not let all Christian knowledge be subsumed to a more aggressive, better educated belief system or, more tragically, pushed aside to the intellectual ghetto.
I argue here that one fellow who can answer the knowledge questions may be of more worth to the Kingdom than ten who can tell you the name of their favorite worship leader. I intend to stir up a hornet's nest there.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.