So Many Fight for the Bible, but So Few Read It

Perhaps a renewed commitment to promoting its study would be more profitable than warring over its symbolic popularity?

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.

According to recent polling from LifeWay Research,

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?

While I wouldn't disagree with reading the book you ostensibly are advocating for I find your position too passive. Especially in light, as you note, that there is a dedicated effort to erase your faith from the public square. As you've noted "Christianity" is increasingly out of step with the nation's culture which makes any sell difficult. That, due to the Left, many of its positions are now "sinful" to use your type of vernacular in the eyes of the greater majority of people. A profane facebook page that allows you to keep a toehold influencing the culture is a worth a lot more than piousness.

Mr. Krevin, I think you need to know that "Christianity" is not trying to be "in step" with the nation's culture. Being out of step with godless profane lifestyles is pretty much what the Bible advocates. People who actually read the Bible know that.

@Katherine: My father is "Mr". I'm Jack. Or Krevin. And the matter is fairly straight forward. Either you dictate the culture or the Left does. It has nothing to do with betraying your principals or even mellowing your position. Hell, the Left is very "in step" with culture and they've only become even more hardline because of it.

And that's my point. It doesn't matter how great an example of Christ you live if the culture had determined such a life is sinful. People will be turned away because, most people, think of themselves as "good people".

Jack you are right! We Christians are to be the "salt of the earth"; setting the example so others may see "the joy of serving Jesus with a smile" (Otis Deaton). In our present day the Church is being overly influenced by modern culture which is totally out of step with Christianity. Many who claim the faith have no understanding of the faith because they don't study the Bible and attend a church that still teaches and preaches the truth of the Bible. If you attend a church that does not teach a message of sin and the need for salvation you are in the wrong church! Some of our so-called 'mainline' protestant churches have "sold-out" to the secular gospel of "health, wealth and happiness" which can be achieved by throwing a lot of money in the offering plate! NO, that is not what the Bible teaches. Come to the front of the sanctuary, shake hands with the preacher and join the church an you are "saved". NO, that is not what it means to become a Christian. Christians are to "be in the world but not of the world". We don't need to isolate ourselves from the world, just separate ourselves from the wrongs of the world. It is easy to say you are a Christian but difficult to be one!