Barna has new reserach that confirms what we mostly already knew. Americans pick and choose their religious beliefs and practices pretty much the same way the pick and choose everything else. This has drawn much commentary.
One of the conclusions of the study is:
Faith, of whatever variety, is increasingly viral rather than pedagogical. With people spending less time reading the Bible, and becoming less engaged in activities that deepen their biblical literacy, faith views are more often adopted on the basis of dialogue, self-reflection, and observation than teaching. Feelings and emotions now play a significant role in the development of people’s faith views – in many cases, much more significant than information-based exercises such as listening to preaching and participating in Bible study.
I’m not sure if faith was ever all that pedagogical. And, I know some educators who would argue with Barna’s conception of pedagogy. But this conclusion – at least – strikes me as a wonderful description of the process as it actually happens.
I see nothing worth wringing hands about here.