"Do you know anybody who grew up in a religious environment, maybe even a Christian one, and walked away from the faith/church/God when they turned eighteen and went away to college?
Whenever I ask this question in a group of people, almost every hand goes up. Let me suggest why. Imagine what happens when a young woman is raised in a Christian setting but hasn't been taught that all things are hers and then goes to a university where she's exposed to all sorts of new ideas and views and perspectives. She takes classes in psychology and anthropology and biology and world history, and her professors are people who have devoted themselves to their particular fields of study. Is it possible that in the course of lecturing on their field of interest, her professors will from time to time say things that are true? Of course. Truth is available to everyone.
But let's say her professors aren't Christians, it is not a "Christian" university, and this young woman hasn't been taught that all things are hers. What if she has been taught that Christianity is the only thing that's true? What if she has been taught that there is no truth outside the Bible? She's now faced with a dilemma: believe the truth she's learning or the Christian faith she was brought up with.
Or we could put her dilemma this way: intellectual honesty or Jesus?
How many times have you seen this? I can't tell you the number of people in their late teens or early twenties I know, or those I have been told about, who experience truth outside the boundaries of their religion and abandon the whole thing because they think it's a choice (which is a fatal flaw in thinking we'll address in a moment). They are experiencing truth in all sorts of new ways, and they need a faith that is big enough to handle it. Their box is getting blown apart, and the faith they were handed doesn't have room for what they are learning.
But it isn't a choice, because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life." If you come across truth in any form, it isn't outside your faith as a Christian. Your faith just got bigger. To be a Christian is to claim truth wherever you find it.
It's not truth over here and Jesus over there, as if they were two different things. Where we find one, we find the other. Jesus is quoted in the book of John saying "I and the Father are one." If Jesus and God are one, if Jesus shows us what God is really, truly like, and God is truth and all truth is God's truth, then Jesus takes us into the truth, not away from it. He frees us to embrace whatever is true and good and beautiful wherever we find it.
To live this way then, we have to believe in a big Jesus."
- taken from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
If you do not have a copy of this book, I would suggest you get it. You don't even have to agree with what he says, but I think it will open your eyes to things you wouldn't have thought of before. This passage changed my view of some things. What does it do to yours?