Kenneth Berding, a professor of New Testament at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, warns that there is a crisis of biblical illiteracy in America. He says, “I've heard people call it a famine. A famine of knowing the Bible! ... Christians used to be known as ‘people of one book.’ Sure, they read, studied and shared other books. But the book they cared about more than all others combined was the Bible. They memorized it, meditated on it, talked about it and taught it to others. We don’t do that anymore, and in a very real sense we’re starving ourselves to death. ... Does this sound overly alarmist to you? People who have studied the trends don’t think so. ... These days many of us don’t even know basic facts about the Bible. I remember a student--not a new believer--who asked a question after class about Saul’s conversion in Acts 9. She wanted to know whether this was the same Saul who was king over Israel. ... When I was teaching at a college in New York, I assigned each student to write a biographical sketch of an Old Testament character. I came across the following line in a paper about the Old Testament figure Joshua: ‘Joshua was the son of a nun.’... All the research indicates that biblical literacy in America is at an all-time low. My own experience teaching a class of new college freshman every year for the past 15 years suggests to me that although students 15 years ago knew little about the Bible upon entering my classes, today’s students on average know even less” (Kenneth Berding, “The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy,” Biola Magazine, Spring 2014). This is a frightful window into the condition of evangelical churches. It is not solid Bible Christianity. It is a shallow thing that is a mile wide and an inch deep. It is a worldly thing. Young people in the average church know far more about, and are far more passionate about, social media and professional sports and R-rated movies and video games and rock & roll than about the Bible. They are disciples of the sensual pop culture, not disciples of Jesus Christ, because “no man can serve two masters.” And this is not a problem that is limited to “evangelicals” and Southern Baptists. Biblical illiteracy is a major problem among fundamental Baptists.
(Friday Church News Notes, June 20, 2014,www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)