Tuesday, March 14, 2017

biblical literacy: wish vs. vision and plan

Here's an IFWE essay by Hugh Whelchel on "biblical literacy".

We might "encourage" biblical literacy, but is it (really) a high priority?

Sermons can be Bible-based. (An expository approach will promote more literacy). But they address a broad audience and are often aimed at seekers. Beyond that, even excellent sermons, speaking to a passive audience, can only do so much here (and that ain't much)!

Small groups can do a lot. But are they Bible-focused with strong applications or application-centered with some Bible sprinkled in? Are they weekly (or nearly so)? Do they require people to read the Bible outside the group meeting or are they largely passive?

Individuals can do a lot on their own. But do they know how to read the Bible well? Do they know how to persevere in their reading? Do they know how to make the Bible applicable? Do they have a process / discipline that holds them accountable to the practice?

Along these lines, I'd love to see small groups that commit to reading, journaling, and then getting together to discuss what God's said to you, on a weekly basis. For example, one might read Matthew over four weeks, one chapter per day.

Without these things, literacy is only a wish. Paraphrasing the famous basketball philosopher, Bobby Knight: Everybody has a will to be Bible-literate and to encourage it in their flock, but how many have the vision and plan to make it happen? If you're not taking reasonable steps to make it happen, quit pretending that you "want" it.


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