Chuck Colson, in today’s column, talks about the biblical literacy (or lack thereof) of serious Christians in today’s society:
Some years ago, Sproul offered a rigorous course in Romans.
Two hundred serious disciples signed up. Half-way through the course,
Sproul took a week off to enroll in Evangelism Explosion (EE) courses.
When he came back, he told his students about EE, including conversation
openers like, “Why should God let you into heaven?” On a
whim, he asked class members how they would
Anyone who knows Sproul knows he teaches the great
evangelical doctrine in Romans, justification by faith alone, in
unmistakable terms. Every student should have known the answer. Not so.
There were awkward pauses; some people mumbled about living a good life.
Only thirty out of two hundred answered correctly. How could this
goes on to articulate several reasons why this could be. But the fact
of the matter is, the modern American Christian does not read his
Bible, or understand what he is reading when he does. Bibles might as
well be illegal, as they were in the Middle Ages or as they are in a
Muslim theocracy. What is the difference for our society — in
practical terms — if we do not read our Bibles because we can not, or
we do not read our Bibles because we will not? Colson goes on to
highlight some alarming statistics:
1992, only forty percent of college graduates were deemed literate; that
is, able to read and understand complex arguments and to give
comprehensive answers. That is shockingly low. But even worse was the
2003 study, when literacy had declined to an astonishing 31 percent.
This is why a group of today’s college graduates could sit through
a course on Romans and complex doctrine and not get
Perhaps it is time again for Christians to prepare
missionaries——to teach people to think.
The next time we are tempted with homeschool burnout, remember why we
homeschool: we are educating our children in biblical literacy, and
teaching them the lost art of thinking!