Reflections from Seminary Students

The Pew Forum Survey and Lectio: Guided Bible Readings

October 6th, 2010 § 1 Comment

Sometimes, I find it difficult to deal with people who claim they know something when it is clearly evident that they are clueless. Whether to save face or to gain access to the “in” crowd, these people attempt to knowledgeably dialogue on this hypothetical subject. Inevitably, his or her dearth of understanding betrays him or her. Similarly, the latest survey from Pew Forum on Religion exposes the ever greater scarcity of religious knowledge in American Christianity.

The results of the survey released by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life are staggering:  Atheists, Agnostics, Mormons, and Jews score best on the religious knowledge survey. Protestants as a whole could only correctly answer an average of 16 questions out of 32. In fact, 53% of Protestants were unable to correctly identify Martin Luther as the defining figure in the Protestant Reformation. It is clear that many self-proclaiming Christians act similarly to those clueless hypothetical friends in the preceding paragraph.

While Americans scored slightly above average on questions pertaining to the Bible, the general lack of knowledge concerning rudimentary elements in the Christian faith is alarming. If Christian’s have insufficient knowledge of Christian principles, how can they act within the guidelines of Christian teaching and doctrine?

Seeking to find a remedy for these harrowing statistics, the Center for Biblical and Theological Education debuts Lectio: Guided Bible Readings this fall quarter. A freely available weekly reading program, Lectio provides the public with useful tools in which to dive deeply into Scripture. Led by School of Theology faculty, Lectio seeks not only to educate individuals but also to unite them with a community studying the same biblical subjects. Join us as we read through the bible together.

- Donovan Richards

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