My mom asked whether we’d had any group discussion in our required Bible course, and I said no, of course not. It’s partially because we only have a 30:00 period for that but I think a bigger reason is because the material is so shallow that there isn’t anything to discuss. Most of the kids have a very bland attitude towards the whole thing. It’s not even that the theology being taught is wrong — it’s that there’s hardly any of it!
In my history and literature courses last year (at co-op) the entire class would get so excited; we’d go off on rabbit trails and tangents and have as intellectual of conversations as high schoolers could have. It wasn’t that we had a group of particularly opinionated kids, but we were studying material with so much depth and content that discussion was unavoidable (see: those few weeks when I could never stop talking about/analyzing out loud the Screwtape Letters).
So the fluffy theology is being spoon fed to us, which seems a bit indirectly oppressive to me, not in a ‘forcing you to believe this’ way but ‘oh my god, how are you ever going to teach these kids to think for themselves if all you do is cram facts without logic into their brains and not allow them to discuss it with each other?’ The phrase that comes to mind is intellectual malnutrition…
I almost feel sorry for the kids with the glazed over eyeballs in our half an hour of sugarcoated, oversimplified doctrine…there’s so much more out there that you can get excited about! IT IS NOT SO BORING! LET ME SHOW YOU THE DEEP GOOD STUFF!
In any case, WOW, I did not anticipate this newfound gratefulness for the content-rich education my parents brought me up on/gratefulness for allowing my brain to develop on its own schedule and gain understanding in the process.