Biblical literacy and spiritual growth [Excerpts]
As research shows the correlation between spiritual maturity and reading the Bible, one organization is addressing the significant lack of biblical literacy within the Christian community, as few Christians take time to make Bible study a daily practice.
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, says his group's findings indicate that church members may be aware of general themes about Christianity, but they lack the biblical literacy necessary to better understand the full story of what God is doing in the world.
"We did a study [and] found the number-one correlated factor to spiritual growth and maturity was consistency in the Bible," he reports. "We know how essential this is to spiritual maturity, so literacy is not just something that kind of floats out there by itself; it is a tool. Biblical literacy is a tool that God uses to grow people spiritually as well."
Stetzer also contends that part of the problem is that many believers consider it the job of their pastor to digest and regurgitate the spiritual gleanings found in scripture.
"And in doing so, their spiritual diet suffers -- and it's obvious by the anemic state of many Christians," he notes. "So I think ultimately, God's given us his Word not so pastors alone can walk through it, but at the end of the day, it's so that [believers] might engage the scriptures themselves and grow from them."