According to Pew Research, America has a literacy problem. “When was the last time you read a book? For almost 1 in 4 of us, it was more than a year ago, according to Pew Research. That’s three times the number who didn’t read a book in 1978.”  The problem is even worse than that because, although Christians claim to believe the Bible is the Word of God, we aren’t reading it.
“A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.”
What about in Great Britain? The United Kingdom Bible Society surveyed British children and found many couldn’t identify common Bible stories. When given a list of Bible stories, a staggering 59% didn’t know the story of Jonah came from the Bible and almost 1 in 3 didn’t know the story of the birth of Jesus was in the Bible! Parents didn’t fare much better. Around 30 percent didn’t know the stories of Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, or the Good Samaritan are in the Bible! Worse, 27% think the story of Superman is in the Bible. 1 in 3 believes Harry Potter is a Bible story and more than half (54%) believe The Hunger Games is or might be a story from the Bible!
It shouldn’t be this way! Nine out of ten American homes (Christian or not) have at least one Bible in them. The average American (Christian or not) owns at least three Bibles.
What can we do?
- We need to confess our lack of study and ask God for forgiveness.
- Set aside a regular time – even five minutes a day – to read the Bible.
- Use a Daily Bible Reading plan to guide you. I highly recommend Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s.
- Join one a small group to help you study. A recent study “shows that as Christians increase their participation in small groups, their Bible engagement scores go up.”
Where should I start?
In my next blog, I will introduce my favorite Daily Bible Reading plan. It was written by a Church of Scotland minister over 200 years ago and it still blesses my life.
 All of the quotations used in this article were downloaded from http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2015/epidemic-of-bible-illiteracy-in-our-churches.html?paging=off published by Christianity Today.