Coleman quotes an article by Stephen Prothero in its entirety, well worth reading. His introduction is spot on:

I’ve often noted that much of what I learned in seminary I should already have known. Our pews are often full of well-educated professionals whose corresponding level of Christian education is that of kindergartners; thus we should not be surprised when this results in our churches being mired in childlike debates. How can congregants move past beliefs in, for example, biblical inerrancy or dispensationalism or understand what the Bible really says about poverty and violence if they have not been provided with solid instruction in biblical interpretation and theology, let alone interact responsibly with people of other religions? If this doesn’t happen, their beliefs will be – and, in fact, are formed by the Christian bookstore – a scary thing.

A Unitarian minister once described her experiences in the ecumenical association in which she participated in White Bear Lake. New priests and ministers, fresh out of seminary, were often the most religiously conservative and resistant to genuine ecumenism, whereas the older ministers were quite willing to openly discuss new ideas and to bridge the gap beyond religious dogma. Her impression was that just starting out in their careers, young ministers were worried about offending their congregations by sharing modern scholarship and thinking about the Bible — what they had just learned in preparation for the ministry. So much for challenging the spirit.

Not that I’m one to talk.