We’re used to the enemies of God’s Word mishandling the Bible. But a far worse problem is what its friends do. Stay tuned to BreakPoint!
Today we have more options for reading the Bible than ever before. While many of us still prefer our leather covers, ribbon markers, and gilded pages, the American Bible Society recently found that 41 percent of Americans read Scripture on the Internet. Twenty-nine percent say they search for Bible verses on their cell phones, and 17 percent say they use their Kindle or iPad.
Yet despite all this access, pollster George Gallup has dubbed the United States “a nation of biblical illiterates.” Time magazine says: “Only half of U.S. adults know the title of even one Gospel. Most can’t name the Bible’s first book. The trend extends even to Evangelicals.”
And even if we do have somewhat more “head knowledge” about the Bible, something is obviously seriously amiss. While marginally better than the rest of the culture, our rates of divorce are too high, and our rates of giving are too low, just to cite two examples. This is despite all we claim to believe about the Bible.
Do you think I’m exaggerating? Then listen to Jewish scholar Abraham Heschel, who told Christians, “It has seemed puzzling to me how greatly attached to the Bible you seem to be and yet how much like pagans you handle it.”
Ouch! Handle the Bible like pagans—us? Well, I’m afraid Heschel is right. Because like pagans, we turn to religion—and, in our case, to Scripture—for what we get out of it. In this pagan hermeneutic, Scripture has become a collection of heart-warming stories or encouraging proverbs. We conveniently ignore the claims it makes on us, which is why so many of us live like pagans in our daily lives.
But there is good news, and that is I'm excited right now to tell you about a new DVD that will give you the tools to develop not a pagan hermeneutic, but a Christian hermeneutic. It’s called “He Has Spoken: The Worldview of Scripture” by my very dear friend and colleague, John Stonestreet, and also T. M. Moore, who for years served as Chuck Colson’s closest theological adviser.
“He Has Spoken” is a great teaching resource for you, your small group, your Sunday school class—even your whole church.
And here’s why. Because sometimes we throw around the term “worldview” on BreakPoint and sort of assume you know what it means. A worldview is a lens through which we view reality, and it helps us answer questions like, “Is there a God? “What makes for a meaningful life?” and so on.
Well, that’s pretty basic. But did you know that Scripture itself has a worldview? It does, and it’s incumbent upon those of us who say we love the Bible to understand what its worldview is and to adopt it for ourselves. And it’s much more than acquiring the right information. As the book of James says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
“He Has Spoken: The Worldview of Scripture,” will not only give you the information you need to align your worldview with God’s, it will help you to think more Christianly about every area of life so that you can live more like a Christian and less like a pagan!
Yes, there’s some work involved, but discarding our pagan hermeneutic is well worth the effort. And John will tell you more about that next week on BreakPoint.
Win 1 of 3 copies of “He Has Spoken.” Three ways to participate (1) Leave a comment on this commentary (include your full name); (2) LIKE us on Facebook; or, (3) Tweet this line: "Free Christian resource! RT to win He Has Spoken by @jbstonestreet and TM Moore from @ColsonCenter http://bit.ly/18PTXjY”
Promo ends September 16, 2013. US and Canada residents only.
He Has Spoken: Replacing Pagan Hermeneutics - Next StepsAs Eric has suggested, we encourage you to purchase a copy of this powerful DVD series, "He Has Spoken." And why not get an extra copy for your church library? It's a great resource to strengthen your biblical literacy, both personally and church-wide.
He Has Spoken, DVD and study guide
John Stonestreet, T. M. Moore | Colson Center | September 2013
Internet Bible reading surges, now 4 in 10 read God's words digitally
Paul Bedard | Washington Examiner | September 4, 2013
The State of the Bible 2013: A Study of U. S. Adults
Barna Group for American Bible Society | 2013