Chances are you’ll recall the 2012 information story a few 17-year-old lady who collapsed at work with a swollen tongue. Seems she’d eaten virtually nothing however McDonald’s hen nuggets her whole life. No fruits. No greens. Simply deep-fried hen. She realized it the onerous method: man doesnt stay by breaded nuggets alone.
Scripture says one thing comparable about our relationship to Gods Phrase. Have been extra than simply bodily beings designed to stay off fruit and veggies and the occasional hen nugget. Have been additionally religious beings, designed to stay off of each phrase that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3). This implies if we neglect the Bible, the aforementioned story of malnourishment can grow to be an enacted parable of our religious situation.
And but its astonishing how spiritually malnourished we might be amid such an abundance of biblical availability. For many of Gods individuals all through historical past, listening to Gods Phrase was actually the one technique of entry. Its not as if every particular person Hebrew within the desert had his personal private scroll. We, alternatively, have print Bibles and e-Bibles. Bibles on our telephones and Bibles on our cabinets. Bibles in dozens of fine English translations and specialised examine Biblesall at our fingertips.
Are we any higher for it? Has our information of and dedication to studying the Bible saved tempo with this elevated availability?
Biblical Illiteracy and Distraction
It will appear not. A current LifeWay examine discovered that solely 32 % of Individuals who attend a Protestant church recurrently say they learn the Bible personally every single day. Evangelical Protestants faired somewhat higher (36 %), however not a lot. As Albert Mohler put it, The scandal of biblical illiteracy [is] our downside.
Maybe Google actually has made us silly and weve misplaced the power to pay attention. Maybe have been surrounded by too many distractions. For some, the Bible will get displaced by Instagram or Twitter or (now) Disney+. For others (Martha-types), the Bible could possibly be crowded out by feverish serving and actions. However for a lot of others, its extra delicate. Whilst a pastor and a theological editor who each do a number of studying, we will testify to the temptation (and typically the precise sin) of Bible neglect. We are able to discuss in regards to the Bible, learn books and weblog posts in regards to the Bible, and use the Bible to arrange sermons, Sunday-school classes, or argue for our positions on social and political points. In brief, typically we will do all the things with the Bible besides learn it. We doubt have been alone.
And this can be a downside.
Peter Leithart not too long ago noticed how skillfully many Christian academics from the patristic age to the Reformation have been capable of vary throughout the entire Bible with none of the props and crutches we depend on . . . as a result of they’d saved it within the palace of reminiscence. That form of mastery doesnt occur with out deep and sustained studying. How can we even method such studying as we speak?
Combating to Know God in 2020 and Past
God doesnt count on the identical diploma of biblical mastery from all his individuals. We’re not all referred to as to be pastors or academics. However have been all referred to as to know him, to starvation for him, and to commune with him. And apart from prayer, there is no such thing as a higher solution to know and commune with God than to listen to his voice in Scripture.
And that is the worst a part of biblical illiteracy. After we neglect studying the Bible, we don’t simply miss information, we missGod. Have been privileged to worship a God who makes himself recognized to us in phrases. And have been doubly privileged to have virtually fixed entry to these phrases.
After we neglect studying the Bible, we don’t simply miss information, we missGod.
The 12 months 2020 will present us with ample alternatives to forego communing with God in his Phrase in favor of trivial distractions, good causes, and maybe most of all, an countless stream of presidential-election protection that (for a few of us) will search to hunt to dominate our each waking second. With out a Mary-like sitting at Jesuss toes and listening to his Phrase, these forces will deaden our souls and provoke us to chew and devour each other (Gal. 5:15). Have been going to need to do battle, and for that we’d like the sword of the Spirit, which is the Phrase of God (Eph. 6:17).
TGCs Learn the Bible Marketing campaign
To that finish, The Gospel Coalition has partnered with Crossway to launch an initiative for 2020 referred to as Learn the Bible. The objective is to assist particular person Christians and church buildings learn Gods Phrase faithfully subsequent 12 months. Heres what it involvesand no, it’s not too late to affix:
- The Robert Murray MCheyne Bible studying plan, which takes us by all the Bible in a 12 months (together with the New Testomony and Psalms twice).
- An audio podcast model of quantity 1 of Don Carsons For the Love of God, a each day devotional commentary that follows the MCheyne Studying plan.
- Bible and theology articles and movies on TGCs homepage that monitor with the weekly Bible readings and assist us reply robust questions that come up from what have been studying in Gods Phrase.
- A Fb group (be part of right here) that seeks to foster dialog in regards to the each day Bible studying and what have been studying about God, his Phrase, and the way we must stay as his redeemed individuals.
So we invite youindividual Christians, households, pastors, church leaders, faculty administratorsto contemplate becoming a member of us in 2020 to “Read the Bible.” Our objective on this initiative is to not promote TGC, however to level individuals to Gods Phrase.
We cant resolve the disaster of biblical illiteracy alone, however we will by Gods grace assist and encourage extra Christians to immerse themselves within the Bible.
Man shall not stay by bread alone. Lets proceed to feast on Gods Phrase in 2020 and past.