According to the report, “Since 2011, the percentage of those who believe that the Bible is ‘just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice’ has risen from 10 percent to 19 percent of those surveyed. …the percentage of Americans who are engaged with Scripture is equal to the percentage who are skeptical — both at 19 percent.” (Ibid)
|One is considered “engaged with Scripture” if he reads the Bible at least four times a week and believes that it is God’s Word. Image credit|
In that study, a person is considered “skeptical” if he chose “the most negative or non-sacred view of the Bible” among five options in the survey questionnaire. On the other hand, a person is considered “engaged with Scripture” if he reads the Bible at least four times a week and believes that it is God’s Word. Sadly, those who admit they are too busy to read the Bible were about 40 percent last year. But, this year, it rose to 47 percent.
Is there a correlation between the growing skepticism and the neglect in Bible reading? According to the study, “Overall, Millennials (ages 18–29) are driving the shift toward an agnostic view of the Bible… Thirty-nine percent of Millennials never read the Bible” (Ibid). Did that doubt towards the Bible lead people to neglect reading it? Or, did they question the Bible because they didn’t read it at all? I’m afraid we might just end up in the proverbial chicken-and-egg discussion.
|There’s no use declaring that the Bible is God-breathed while at the same time disregarding it. Image credit|
Here we see the two-pronged need to explain why we regard the Bible as the Word of God and to exhort those who claim to hold on to that belief to actually read it. Otherwise, there’s no use declaring that it is God-breathed while at the same time disregarding it. Joshua 1:8 tells us, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (ESV)