Sunday, November 27, 2011

Priority of Biblical Literacy

I have long been a strong proponent of Bible reading as a spiritual discipline, and the benefit and necessity of Christians becoming intimately familiar with the Scriptures. Here's good comments from Ed Stentzer at Lifeway on The Urgent Need for Biblical Literacy
......There is much research that shows the correlation between spiritual maturity and reading the Bible. In Brad Waggoner's book "The Shape of Faith to Come," which is based on a LifeWay Research study, and in George Guthrie's "Read the Bible for Life" material, we see that reading the Bible is the best predictor of spiritual maturity. In other words, if you are in the Bible, you are growing spiritually.

Many people are realizing that we aren't making as many disciples as we would like. Studies done by LifeWay Research show a lack of discipleship among many evangelical Christians. So we need to ask: What's the answer to that? Issues such as preaching, missional living and "doing life" in a covenant community are all part of the solution. But I think there's no question that an essential element is leading God's people to consistently engage God's Word through reading, studying and memorization. Biblical illiteracy is prevalent and personal commitment to God's Word is the only real answer......

....Perhaps what evangelicals need most right now is a strategy for biblical literacy. We need to reengage the biblical narrative and immerse ourselves in consistent study. It will help us be more gracious and winsome in the way we communicate. It will help us have a clearer view on controversial issues. It will help us to understand and communicate a clear Gospel as laid out in the Scriptures -- a Gospel of the cross and of the Kingdom. The Word of God is essential to where we are right now.