In 2016 Kenneth Briggs wrote a book called, “The Invisible Bestseller” that detailed how the Bible was both “everywhere and nowhere.” His premise was simple. The Bible is prevalent in American society, with median average of three copies per home. And if you forget to take one on a business trip or vacation, chances are good your hotel will have one as well. Yet, despite its pervasiveness, fewer Americans than ever are actually familiar with what is inside the text.
Americans have a positive view of the Bible. And many say the Christian scriptures are filled with moral lessons for today. However, more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible.
It’s probably little coincidence that, as Albert Mohler notes, fewer than half of our population can even name the four Gospels detailing the life of Jesus. It’s a peculiar reality, to be sure: the same people who will get up in arms if you announce plans to remove a picture of the Bible from the public square can’t read or identify much of what is in that Bible.
For instance, Walt Disney company recently announced an end to the 35-year run of an event called “Night of Joy” in their American theme parks. Night of Joy was a Christian music festival geared towards youth that was notorious for creating difficult and problematic behavioral issues for park workers.
But that explanation for ending the festival didn’t stop an onslaught of well-intentioned Bible warriors descending onto the Disney fan forums to denounce the fact that they cancelled an explicitly Christian event that "instills Biblical values in the general population." Even a peripheral survey of those often perverse and hostile rebukes of Disney indicate that the commenters could profit from an infusion of some Biblical values themselves.
Hopefully it isn’t necessary to say this, but those using profane and disrespectful words to advocate for more appreciation of the Bible are doing substantial damage to the perception of the Bible’s power. The best way to entice others into understanding the Bible’s significance is to live a life transformed by its truth. It should go without saying that we can’t be transformed by it if we don’t open it.
Public assaults on God’s Word are becoming increasingly common and progressively intense. And there’s no question that with groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation suing every vestige of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage in an effort to expel it from the public square, that there is a need for public defense of the superiority of Biblical thought and its cultural influence. I’m certainly not suggesting otherwise.
What I am suggesting is that those who wish to conduct such a defense at least familiarize themselves with the “Good Book” before launching Facebook rants and Twitter broadsides. Life-transforming, cultural-revolutionizing, world-changing power is found inside the covers of that dusty Bible on the shelf. Perhaps a renewed commitment to promoting its study would be more profitable than warring over its symbolic popularity?