If you're looking for another reason to waste time online, you'll want to visit the newish Yahoo! Answers feature. You can register, ask a question -- any question at all -- and then sit back and wait for people to answer your question. Be advised that the experts weighing in seem to be mostly 14 years old, or drunk, or crazy, or a combination of these things; but every once in awhile you'll get a serious response from a grownup. I asked a question about interesting things to do with an underused bottle of garam masala in my pantry, and actually got some useful advice.
And you too can be a question answerer.
I went over to the Spirituality and Religion section to see if I could be a question answerer. It's an interesting experience, reading all the questions. While some of them fall squarely within the parameters of 14-years-old/drunk/crazy, others are worth answering. But sadly, the lion's share of questions directed toward Christians seem to be on the same theme -- the Book of Genesis. They're questions about issues like Adam and Eve, and talking snakes with legs, and how all the animal species fit on the Ark, and the linguistic implications of the Tower of Babel story.
I don't think that all of these questions are being asked by 14-year-olds. But even if the are -- to me, these questions speak to a real deficit in the biblical education we give older kids and adults in our churches. We don't teach people how to read the Bible. We don't give them the tools to understand the when and who and to whom and why of biblical texts. We don't talk to them about things like genre and context...and in so doing, we don't give them a context in which to understand these stories.
I don't think that middle school is too young an age to start moving beyond the "Bible story" model of religious education, and start educating kids about how to read the Bible in a contextual way. For that matter, I think that such stuff should be addressed in adult religious education as well.
My sense is that it very often is not, because it might make some people angry -- people invested in ideas like the factuality of the talking snake with legs. With all due respect to deference to the weak in faith -- I'm not sure why the least academically or emotionally equipped people in a faith community should be the people driving its religious education program. And I think that for every person who has to believe in the talking snake with legs, because to doubt its existence is to begin to dangerously tip the applecart of faith, there is another person who, given some academic insight into the story and allowed some space to ponder it creatively and even playfully, will say, "Thank God -- now I can take this seriously."