biblical illiteracy

Randy Alcorn is concerned about the level of Biblical illiteracy in the church today, even among its leaders. It is a very real concern.

Biblical illiteracy among Christians is arguably at an all time high, with chilling implications that can hardly be overstated. I know that various things in the church will inevitably change, such as songs and hymns taking on new forms, and that’s fine. What isn’t fine is for God’s people to neglect His Word.


Most importantly, the Bible itself is a book, sixty six books in one. If our young people are not readers, then they will not be readers of God’s Word. If they aren’t readers of God’s Word, their spiritual lives will dead end. The church’s future leaders will not know what God has said, and when that happens how can the church function as the body of Christ when it is disconnected from the mind of Christ?

We’re already seeing the first wave of biblical illiteracy among many current church leaders. When Scripture says an elder must be “able to teach” this implies much more than communicative skill. It requires an active working knowledge of God’s Word. In my opinion, no one should be a church leader—whether an elder or overseer or pastor who anyone who gives direction to the church—unless he is a daily student of God’s Word and knows it far better than he knows the contestants on Survivor and American Idol. And he should be far more passionate about Scripture than about television programs, movies, golf, football, NASCAR, politics, blogging, or other interests.


…if pressed to name the twelve tribes of Israel (in many cases, even the apostles), they wouldn’t get more than a couple. Ask “give two passages that indicate Christ is the only way to God,” and you won’t have to wonder why people are not sharing their faith in Christ. They don’t know what to share. How can you share what you don’t know? How can you know if you do not know God’s Word?

God promises His Word will not return to Him empty, without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it. God’s Word, in the hands of His Holy Spirit, has the power to transform lives, to shape them for eternity. But our sanctification, as individuals and families and churches, can only go so far if we are not steadily gazing into God’s Word. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth.”

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