Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I read this on the Baptist Press site, describing the lamentable (and statistically verified) neglect of the Word of God in my denomination (the Southern Baptist Convention).

Note this connection in the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Q1. What is the chief end of man? A. Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
Q2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him? A. The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

Bible illiteracy among believers means that they cannot "glorify and enjoy" God. Therefore, they cannot fulfill their purpose in life, which is singular and common to all humanity. No amount of searching outside of the Word for a "Purpose-Filled Life" will accomplish this task. As the Reformer said, "the human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols" (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.11.8). Following our feelings, opinions, experiences (and those promoted to us by our friends or people we trust), we will seek a million other ways to find purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and the direction on how to do that is found only in the Word of God.

Biblical literacy is critical to the life of the individual believer and - more importantly - the Church (where the identity of the believer should be found). Most grievously, the only One Who is worthy of glory does not receive it from a biblically ignorant people, no matter how genuine their intentions, how "spiritual" they are, or how big, "relevant," or multi-faceted the ministry offerings of the congregation are. Apart from biblical literacy, we are a grief to the God to Whom the Church belongs (as Acts 20:28 says, "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood").

Read the Book. Take advantage of the opportunities your congregation gives for increasing biblical literacy. If these don't exist, find a congregation where it does.

Read the Book.