The Great Divorce
I just breezed through a recent academic catalog by one of the major publishers. Within its pages, there are descriptions of several soon-to-be-released books written by brilliant Christian men and women. As I read through the titles and the blurbs, I couldn't help but wonder, "Why so many?" Of course, new books are the result of new research, and scholars are doing more than their fair share of advancing their disciplines for the cause of Christ. Some skeptics might accuse the academy of self-promotion: the guild needs to write, publishers need to print. And, every time I work through these catalogs, my book budget grows beyond my resources. I think, "I must read this. I must have this. I must know this."
But then I think of the Church and how many Christians will never read any of these rich resources, these gold mines of knowledge, these warehouses of spiritual help. In truth, I don't meet very many non-specialists (read, "average Christians") who read much of any of this stuff that helps me so much. Oh, they'll listen to preachers. They'll watch t.v. They'll listen to radio and music. But, to read serious, deep, theological reflections on the essence of our faith? Not many takers.
But, that doesn't stop scholars from writing. Thus, the ever-widening gap between scholarship and every-day Christianity makes me wonder whether scholars are making a difference in the Church at all.