Thursday, April 10, 2014

biblical literacy

Many studies show that we [this applies to our society as a whole, but I am writing specifically about those who claim to be Christian] are increasingly becoming biblically illiterate. You can check the various bible societies for exact stats.
There are several types of illiteracy.
  • The illiterate. There are people who are illiterate or functionally illiterate, often because of generational poverty, mental health issues and/or substance abuse. 
  • The illiterate because they did not grow up with the Bible. This is a good type of biblical illiteracy because it can change with time as people begin to read and understand the Bible.
  • The illiterate because they have difficulty reading the Bible. In my experience, this is often older folks or people who grew up in fundamentalist churches that rely on the KJV. This is often a hard group (especially the fundamentalists) to help understand that newer translations are valid and can be helpful for their spiritual life.
  • Then there are the illiterate because they simply don't read the Bible. It is this last group that saddens me so much. 
If we claim to be people who walk with and follow Jesus, then:
  • Why don't we read and study and meditate on the scriptures? 
  • Why do we think we can know the heart and mind of God, if we seldom read the scriptures?
  • Why do we think we can reduce the scriptures to Facebook posts and Twitter tweets?
I love how Rich Mullins once responded to the question:
   "What is your favourite Bible verse?" 

Being and becoming people who follow Jesus and walk this missional journey with him is rooted in our being people who listen to the voice of God through the scriptures and by the Holy Spirit.

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