Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bible reading

I am enjoying a new Bible reading method. If you have struggled to read the Bible consistently, or stopped reading altogether, you should check out this website. It offers 13 different plans for daily Bible reading. The one I'm using takes me through the Bible chronologically in a year.

What's neat about this plan is that everyday I get an email with a link to the day's reading. I don't have to think about where to go in the Bible, I don't even need to have a Bible - it's right there on my computer screen. Also, the link allows me to pick whatever Bible translation I want to use. I'm currently using the English Standard Version.

It's important for us to be reading the Bible in some regular, systematic way - even in small portions.

Unfortunately, trend-watchers tell us that Christians are growing more and more Biblically illiterate. A few years ago, some research was done on incoming freshmen at Wheaton College. Most of these students had been raised in Christian homes and attended church all their lives.
  • 1/3 of them could not put the following in order: Abraham; the Old Testament prophets; the death of Christ; and Pentecost.
  • 1/2 could not put the following in order: Moses in Egypt; Isaac's birth; Saul's death; and the Exile.
  • 1/3 could not identify Matthew as an apostle from a list of names.
  • When asked to name the book of the Bible in which certain events are recorded, 1/3 did not know Paul's missionary journeys are in Acts; 1/2 did not know the birth of Christ is in Matthew; 1/2 did not know the Passover story is in Exodus.
George Barna has documented the rejection of key Bible doctrines by many professing Christians today. For example, only 35% of mainline Protestant church members believe that Jesus was sinless; only 34% believe the Bible is totally accurate; only 27% agree that works don't get a person into heaven; and only 20% believe that Satan is real.

The point is not that we should all make A's on Bible trivia tests. But if we don't have a basic working knowledge of the Bible we won't know Bible doctrine. And if we don't have a grip on doctrine, we won't be prepared for the dangers, heartaches, challenges, and tragedies of life.

What Bible reading method has worked for you?


James said...

As a former High School Bible Teacher I can say with all the weight of personal experience this is a sincere problem. I was always amazed at how little my students knew on the front end.

I had a few students fall for the old true/false question:

True or False: Joan of Ark was Noah's wife.

One student in an essay question on the biblical covenants explained:

"God also made a covenant with Abraham promising to give him numerous offspring. The sign of this covenant was castration. Shortly thereafter Abraham's wife gave birth to a son. This was a miracle."

... indeed it was.

Rinnie said...

Thanks for the link, Mike, I've been wanting to do the "read the whole Bible chronologically" for awhile, so thanks for saving me from researching where to find it.

I'm on the tail end of reading the whole Bible through (for the first time ever - yikes!!) I've just been reading a couple books at a time, and then checking them off in my index when I'm done. I've finished the new testament, and only have a couple OT books left.

Mike said...

Way to go, Rinnie!