April 2007

Bible study made easy

A few years back, one-third of freshmen entering Wheaton College (Illinois) didn’t know that Paul’s travels are recorded in Acts or that the Christmas story is found in Matthew. Gary Burge, Ph.D., Wheaton professor of New Testament, reported these findings from a Bible literacy test administered to incoming freshmen.

Burge also said he asked 45 seniors to paraphrase, from memory, the Ten Commandments. Only one student could do so. Though these students are mostly from strongly evangelical churches, their ignorance of Bible basics is disturbing.

 The professor maintained that Biblical illiteracy is “a universal and growing problem” among students and churches, citing the trend toward a therapeutic emphasis in preaching as part of the problem.

The crisis facing the church is not that Christians disagree with what they have studied in the Bible and what is taught from the pulpit. It is rather that many have heard too few Biblical truths to begin with. As churches turn to “spiritainment” to draw the masses, what often falls through the cracks is the transfer of basic doctrinal truths.

“There’s not an educational dimension [to church] any longer,” Burge said. “We’re all about the experience, not the facts.” As a result, the younger generation is not learning the important stories, people and background of the Bible. Burge reported the Wheaton findings in his article on Biblical illiteracy in Christianity Today.

Desiring to challenge and help Christians grow deeper through Bible study, AFA and Logos Bible Software are sponsoring the Bible Study Bus Road Trip: America. Logos Bible Software gives the serious Bible student a place to start and the means to maintain a rewarding study of the Word of God.

“We’re really excited about the Bible study program Logos offers,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon, “and we’re eager to be a part of their solution to Biblical illiteracy in the Body of Christ.”

The Logos Bible Study Bus will travel almost 13,000 miles around the United States this spring and summer. The Logos events are free to all participants, and one does not have to own or commit to purchase products.

Scott Lindsey, Logos director of ministry relations, will travel the first leg of the 70-city tour, which kicks off April 9 in Portland, Oregon. From April to August, from Portland to Richmond, Virginia, and from Del Rio, Texas, to Billings, Montana, the Bible Study Bus will criss-cross the nation with conferences presenting Logos’s cutting-edge technology.

“Every time I present Logos at a conference, jaws hit the floor in seconds,” Lindsey said. “Countless times I have had people come up to me afterwards and tell me Logos is an answer to prayer.”

Every generation is spending more and more time in front of their computers, so it’s only natural that the computer should become a place of Bible research and meditation. Users can go straight from checking a favorite newsgroup to checking what the Bible says on the topic, seamlessly integrating a Biblical worldview into the daily ebb and flow of life.

Lindsey said the goal of Logos is not to show off technology but rather to show off the Word of God. The program puts trusted Biblical reference books on the user’s computer to help find information faster and dig even deeper into the Bible.

The Logos Scholar’s Library includes more than 330 volumes, a $6,000 value in print editions. It includes 19 Bible versions, commentaries (including Matthew Henry’s), a Logos deluxe map set and images of the Holy Land, books on Biblical history and culture,  pastoral resources and ideas, sermons, devotionals, a Logos hymnal plus books on prayer, Christian living, home school education, prayer, witnessing, discipleship, and great quotations.

What about those who aren’t very comfortable in front of a computer? Logos is for the novice as well as the tech-savvy. Each event is designed to appeal to everyone from home schooling families to pastors to retirees.

Dr. David Jeremiah, president of Turning Point Ministries, said, “I am a computer neophyte and was not looking forward to a few hours of tech training. But my apprehension quickly passed as we were captivated by this amazing new technology. You owe it to yourself to find out how Logos can bring a new level of excitement and scholarship to your time in the Word.”

“Knowing the eternal truths of the Bible is the responsibility of every Christian,” said AFA founder Don Wildmon, “not just pastors and teachers. That’s why we urge families and churches to attend these Logos events. Don’t miss the bus!”

Join Logos and AFA to bring Bible study back to America. To find a complete list of conference sites and register for the free event in your area, visit www.biblestudybus.com.