Thursday, February 10, 2011

The decline of Bible literacy

Here is my new article entitled The Decline of Bible Literacy.

Some excerpts below.

A research report published by the Evangelical Alliance in the UK (EAUK) just came out. It mentions two interesting trends about Christians in the 16-24 age group. First, they are “less likely to strongly agree that the Bible has supreme authority in guiding their beliefs, views and behaviour.” Second, they are “less likely to pray or read (or listen to) the Bible every day.”

On the one hand, there has been an overemphasis on the intellect. Pastors at my age (the 40-something age group) often complain that their theological training was loaded with a highly intellectual analysis of the Scripture, which is not useful in ministry.

On the other hand, there are those who habitually use the Bible out of context. Their teaching is characterised by the use of proof-texts and the neglect of the literary, social and historical context of the Biblical texts.

Maybe our attempt to make sense of the Christian faith in the emerging culture has led us to neglect the basics, including the simple but all-important discipline of reading the Scripture devotionally - both individually and as a community?

The Bible is no dry theology textbook. It is a book consisting of stories easily accessible to everyone – both the educated and unlearned.

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