In The Dishonest Church, Jack Good mentions his experiences at a church-sponsored college, where he learned a great deal about the Bible from an Old Testament professor named Dr. Loren Dow. He learned the sorts of things that scholars know, but which don't necessarily conform to the party line of the orthodoxy. He then describes the reaction to all of this from his classmates. Some of them, disillusioned by what they learned, went on to have professions far removed from any religious calling. But others did go on to become church pastors. He describes what happened to these pastors:
They are well trained and well informed. They, too, shared in Dr. Dow's classrooms. They know that the Bible is a collection of writings composed by more than seventy very human writers. They know that the question of which writings to include in the Bible has been, and continues to be, a matter of controversy. They know that some of the material in the Bible attributed to Moses includes a description of Moses' death, and therefore could not have been written by him. They know that Paul wrote his letters before the Gospels were composed, and that the Gospels were written, in part at least, to argue with some of Paul's ideas. Yet reports I continue to receive inform me that most of these professionals keep all such matters well hidden from their congregations. With a few important exceptions, they continue to finesse all comments on any subject they consider delicate. Somewhat as a politician might, they tread carefully along the edge of truth and falsehood, using words with which they can live in good conscience but which fail to challenge or engage their listeners. They, along with the vast majority of local pastors, have chosen to reject the role of bridge between styles of faith; they selected, instead, the role of sentinel, guarding the laity from any contamination from the truths they themselves carry.Food for thought.