The Fruit of Biblical Illiteracy

Today's kids are Biblically illiterate. Even the ones who attend church.  They are growing up with little to no Biblical foundation to build their faith upon.  

It has been demonstrated that Biblical literacy has continued to decline. -Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College Professor

Gallup polls have tracked this descent to a current "record low."  

For well over twenty years now, Christian leaders have been lamenting the loss of general biblical literacy in America. Some among us may be tempted to seek odd solace in the recognition that our culture is increasingly post-Christian...much to our embarrassment, however, it has become increasingly clear that the situation is really no better among confessing Christians, even those who claim to hold the Bible in high regard.  -David Nienhuis, New Testament Scholar

Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. 

Americans revere the Bible - but, by and large, they don't read it. And because they don't read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates. -George Gallup 

According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can't name even five of the Ten Commandments. 

No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don't know what they are. - George Barna.

The sad fact - most of those mentioned above are adults who grew up in church.  The fruit of their Biblical illiteracy is becoming very clear now.  Somewhere along the way, we failed to effectively teach them the great doctrines and truths found in God's Word.

I was recently teaching a group of pre-teens.  I asked them who knew John 3:16?  Not one of them could recite it.  These were not kids with no church background. Most of them have grown up in church.

I was recently observing a class of 4-5 year olds.  The teacher asked them to name one miracle in the Bible.  No response. Not one child could name one of the miracles of Jesus.

These are just a couple of examples that reflect the spiritual famine that the generation to come is growing up in.

What are some of the causes of this Biblical famine?

Parents with wrong priorities. 

Headed to the ball field to play on a Sunday morning instead of going to church.

Taking the boat to the lake instead of going to church.

Sleeping in after a busy week. 

Forsake not the assembling of yourselves...has been pushed out of first place into something families do if nothing else is happening.

We have to help parents understand that attending church once a month is not going to build kids who know God's Word.

Families have very busy schedules. 

Soccer practice.  Piano recital.  Long hours at work.  Hobbies.  Karate lessons.  School.  Everyday tasks like laundry, mowing the yard, dirty dishes, etc. 

Lifeway Research survey revealed Americans do not prioritize reading their Bible, saying they "don't have time."

These crazy, busy schedules leaves little to no time for reading and meditating on God's Word.  Family devotions don't happen.  This is why you find take home papers on the ground in the parking lot after church.

45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.  - Lifeway Research


Social networking.



Video games.

Computer games.

All of these can pull our attention away from reading and learning God's Word.  The "noise" all of this creates makes it hard to get the Bible into children's lives. 

Churches using curriculum that doesn't teach Bible doctrine and apologetics

What is your curriculum teaching the next generation?  Does it include Bible doctrine?  Does it teach apologetics?  If not, you are unintentionally a part of why the next generation will grow up and not know the great truths of the Bible.  Character traits won't cut it.  Cute little stories shared with no Biblical teaching strategy will come back to haunt us when children grow up and don't know God's Word.

Adults who lack biblical knowledge are the fruit of churches that marginalized teaching Biblical doctrine and apologetics to children. -Dale Hudson

It's crucial that you use curriculum that teaches doctrine and apologetics. Check out my curriculum - Connect12 at this link.  It teaches kids 12 crucial doctrines with lots of apologetics included.  You can also check out the Bible Presentation Milestone.  It has been used by many churches to help kids and parents grasp the truths of God's Word together.  Check it out here.

We must recover the urgency of teaching children doctrine and apologetics.  If we don't, they will become believers who simply do not know enough to be faithful disciples.

We are already seeing some of the fruit that comes from Biblical illiteracy.  But the full extent of it will not be seen until a few years from now when Biblically illiterate children grow up to become Biblically illiterate adults.

The good news...we have a big opportunity to help children and families learn God's Word.  

We have a big opportunity to encourage parents to make God's Word and church attendance a priority.  

We have a big opportunity to teach kids WHY we believe what we believe.

We have a big opportunity to see kids grow up to love, read and obey God's Word. 

Will you join me in this endeavor?