The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem

While America’s evangelical Christians are rightly concerned about the secular worldview’s rejection of biblical Christianity, we ought to give some urgent attention to a problem much closer to home–biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it.


Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “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.” How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it’s worse than most could imagine.


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

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Ask anyone what the golden rule is and most would probably be able to answer with love your neighbor as yourself. Of course that is the second commandment and it hinges upon the first that we must LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Many think that the Lord helps those who help themselves. Although this phrase is not found in the bible but instead it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar wording, "God helps those who help themselves" later published by Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richards Almanac.

A good deal of societal ills can be laid squarely at the church’s doorstep for its failings in teaching sound biblical doctrine and truths. I feel that the church has excelled at teaching a particular denominational doctrine but has failed the congregations but not giving them a hunger and a thirst for truth and righteousness.

We can not expect the world to change if we are unwilling to embrace the richness of God’s word and apply to our own lives, and then get about God’s commandment to go and teach all nations the truths of God’s word, making them disciples of a biblical world view.

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