How’s YOUR Religious Lteracey?

So how literate are you when it comes to your religious knowledge? That’s a fair question, isn’t it? To question one’s literacy about the content of their religious beliefs? I mean, what are your beliefs about if not about actual things you believe to be true? And if religious beliefs are important to you, shouldn’t knowledge about basic religious beliefs be important to you?

But a surprising quiz/survey recently came out by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that does not shed a good light on Americans and their religious literacy. This survey does, however, affirm that Americans are the most religious people on the planet. Just not the most literate about their religious beliefs. Ouch! Highest in number of people who believe; lowest in literacy about those beliefs. Not a good combination, I think.

ABC News did a story on this last night that you can read and watch here. I encourage you to watch the video of the story they ran on their Tuesday night news, then take the quiz for yourself. It’s obviously a shorter version of the survey than what they talk about in the story. It may comfort you to know that I got all my answers correct, but then again I’m a pastor. This is my job. My getting any wrong should cause you serious concern.

One more troubling thing about this survey: the ones who scored the most answers correctly were the atheists and agnostics. Ouch again! It raises the question—How important is biblical and religious literacy to the average American Christian? If faith in God’s word—i.e., belief in the literary content of the Bible that defines the Christian faith—really is the most important thing for a Christian to know and understand and believe, then why are so many so content in knowing less about the Bible than they do the weekly plots and characters of their favorite TV shows, or the latest happenings of their favorite music stars or Hollywood stars, or the technical disciplines of their vocation?

Perhaps your religious literacy is quite good. Take the quiz now for yourself and see how you do.

Please understand that my purpose in this blog is not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to raise a vital question—Are you reading your Bible? Do you value growing in your knowledge of God’s word enough so as to actually read it? Is that value reflected in your daily schedule? Have you read the New Testament cover to cover yet? How old are you? How old do you want to be before you have read the New Testament for the first time? If you’ve read the New Testament, then have you read Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, and Nehemiah yet? The number of pages you have to read to read all that is less than the average textbook you read in college. Or the average novel you’ve read on the beach.

Wouldn’t it be great a year from now if you could answer Yes, I have read the entire New Testament from cover to cover? Or, Yes, I have read Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, and Nehemiah? Why not make a plan to start tomorrow? No, why not start today?

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