Christians say that we are people of the Book, but increasingly we don’t read the Book.
In a recent article, Ed Stetzer points out some startling data: “A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. More than 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost one in five churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day…
“Our lack of biblical literacy has led to a lack of biblical doctrine. LifeWay Research found that while 67 percent of Americans believe heaven is a real place, 45 percent believe there are many ways to get there—including one in five evangelical Christians. More than half of evangelicals (59%) believe the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal being—in contrast to the orthodox biblical teaching of the Trinity being three Persons in one God. As a whole, Americans, including many Christians, hold unbiblical views on hell, sin, salvation, Jesus, humanity and the Bible itself.” (Pastors.com)
In his article, Ed argues, “Small groups are key to combating and changing the epidemic of biblical illiteracy.” That’s certainly a key factor; so is faithful, consistent biblical preaching that opens God’s Word to the people in a way they can understand it and grasp its implications for their lives.
As we move into the back-to-school season, let’s commit ourselves also to get back-to-Bible in preaching that opens hearts and impacts lives.