Ed Stetzer, President of Lifeway Research, author, and speaker has recently written an article worth noticing on biblical illiteracy and Bible engagement. I encourage you to check out the full article here - it's worth reading. Really. (Or, you can see a few expanded installments on the article starting here.)
Here's a short outline/summary of what he says. My hope is that this will pull you into the larger article of which this is a snapshot.
"...when it comes to our nation understanding one of the greatest gifts ever given to humanity—the Bible—we're moving from dumb to dumber ... and it's no laughing matter."
The Challenge: Biblical Literacy Is Getting Worse
Biblical Illiteracy is Part of a Larger Problem
Biblical illiteracy breeds spiritual immaturity. And yet Stetzer notes that "most Christians desire spiritual maturity." Knowing that we don't drift into maturity, how do we get there? "Plenty of research shows the correlation between spiritual maturity and reading the Bible. If you want spiritually mature Christians, get them reading the Bible. That's a statistical fact, but more importantly, it's a biblical truth."
It's All About (Bible) Engagement
"There are several things we can do to reverse biblical illiteracy here in America. At LifeWay Research, we define Bible engagement as 'allowing God, through His Word, to lead and change an individual's life—one's direction, thinking and actions.' When we compiled all the data from our most recent study on Bible engagement, we found this maxim to be true: Engaging the Bible impacts one's spiritual maturity more than any other discipleship attribute. In fact, 'reading the Bible' topped our list of things we found impacting spiritual maturity..."
How Do We Fix the Problem?
As Stetzer has worked with churches, he's noticed patterns that cultivate biblical engagement. Here are four patterns that produce the fruit of biblical engagement (and, from that, spiritual maturity):
Let me repeat here what I said at the beginning: I encourage you to check out the full article from which this is taken here - it's worth reading. Really. (Or, you can see a few expanded installments on the article starting here.)
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.