Biblical Illiteracy

by Dateline: Heaven

What is it that about 92 percent of Americans own at least one of, and that two-thirds of Americans say it it holds the answers to the basic questions of life-but fewer than half of these same Americans can answer even the simplest questions about?

The answer, of course, is the Bible. David Gibson, in the Washington Post's "Religion News Service" [Dec. 9, 2000.] quoted Pastor Andy Dzurovcik: "Biblical illiteracy is rampant even though so many people seem to be getting into the Word. The Bible is the best-selling, least-read and least-understood book. ... It's the real dumbing down of America, in that sense."

How bad is it? One Gallup survey shows that fewer than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis), only one-third know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (many named Billy Graham, not Jesus), and one-quarter do not know what is celebrated on Easter (the Resurrection, the foundational event of Christianity).

Nevertheless, Gibson noted that while at least 20 million Bibles are sold each year, in addition to tens of millions that are distributed free, Bible reading is declining. Last month, another Gallup poll showed that the number of people who read the Bible at least occasionally has dropped to 59 percent from 73 percent in the 1980s. ...God says: "The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land-not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11).

And Dateline: Heaven adds: All the issues and concerns of life are given God-given solutions in the Bible, including every issue that surfaced in the recent political campaign. Face it, we're looking for solutions in all the wrong places. Let's give God a chance.

Dateline: Heaven