February 21, 2010

Saturated but Illiterate

We live in a day in the United States when it is easier to gain access to a Bible than ever before in any place or time in history.  We have Bibles in genuine leather, bonded leather, hardback, or paperback.  We have them in a variety of colors and designs.  You can get a firefighters bible, a feminist bible, a green bible, an archaeological bible, a military bible, or a teen study bible.  Bibles come with or without red letters.  You can get an NRSV, NLT, NASB, ESV, NIV, or TNIV.  There are shelves and shelves of bibles out there in most bookstores, be they Christian or secular, available for purchase, and if you can't afford one, you could probably go into most churches and they'll give you one for free. 

In light of this reality of bible market saturation, it is amazing that we live in a day when biblical literacy is at an all time low.  In the 18th century, non-Christians recognized the most subtle biblical allusions.  In our day, many people don't even know who Jesus is.  Not long ago my father-in-law told me about a little boy in New York who went into a Roman Catholic church for the first time and was curious to know who the man on the plus sign was.  This child is not unique. 

Bibles are available in this country.  They are out there.  The thing to see, though, is that without a deep love of God's life-giving word, market saturation will do us no good.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

“It is difficult to follow an early church example when we value a book they did not have more than the Holy Spirit they did have. It is not the Father, Son and Holy Bible.” Attributed to Bill Johnson at the Open Heaven Conference in Bethel.