Friday, July 01, 2011
For most of the past 20 years I have served on selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship. In general, the experience is an annual reminder of the tremendous promise of America's next generation. We interview the best graduates of U.S. universities for one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on young scholars.I think that is very true, and I wonder if the same could not be said for how we do church. We no longer seek to make well rounded disciples - we offer a plethora of experiences to produce - worshipers, self-helpers, anything but disciples.
I have, however, become increasingly concerned in recent years - not about the talent of the applicants but about the education American universities are providing. Even from America's great liberal arts colleges, transcripts reflect an undergraduate specialization that would have been unthinkably narrow just a generation ago.
As a result, high-achieving students seem less able to grapple with issues that require them to think across disciplines or reflect on difficult questions about what matters and why.
What I find most troubling is we have done so in the name of evangelism and yet evangelism was meant to happen in a person-to-person fashion. How can it if we do not make people that are capable by being both knowledgeable and winsome - smart and of good character?
We are in a sad place.