You have probably heard that the Bible is the number one best selling book of all time. But did you know that it’s the number one best seller every single year? There is no shortage of Bibles in the land. In fact, we are inundated with them.
A brief walk through Lifeway or a gander on Amazon.com will reveal Bibles for adventurers, hunters, nurses, teen guys, moms, princesses, college kids, colorers, and even puppy lovers. There’s a Bible for everyone and yet it doesn’t take a social scientist to see that we aren’t a people living out a biblical worldview. While Bibles are on our shelves, on the whole, they’re not making an impact in how we think or behave.
In February of this year, Barna Research conducted an in-depth study asking “Who’s Got a Biblical Worldview?” Here are some interesting findings from their 40-question survey that investigated both beliefs and behaviors:
- 30% of the nation’s population may be considered born again Evangelical Christians.
- Only 31% of born again Evangelical Christians have a biblical worldview.
- 88% of theologically conservative pastors have a biblical worldview.
- Only 45% of people who read the Bible everyday have a biblical worldview.
These statistics beg at least a couple questions. Are people reading the Bibles they own? Why isn’t the Bible more greatly impacting the worldview of those who read it?
It’s not because people don’t believe the Bible is the word of God. A recent survey reports that almost 80% of Americans believe the Bible to be either inspired by God or the literal word of God.
In a book I’m currently reading, the author posits that “one of the core reasons for our Bible engagement breakdown is that so many would-be Bible readers have been sold the mistaken notion that the Bible is a look-it-up-and-find-the-answer handy guide to life.” Philip Yancey calls this a diet of spiritual McNuggets.
As we search for Magic 8 ball inspiration, it seems we are undermining our ability to truly engage with the message God has imparted through the Bible. We’re snacking instead of feasting. We aren’t actually nourished and impacted. We’re as unhealthy spiritually as the guy was physically in Supersize Me.
So how do we get healthy? How do we replace the McNuggets with a real meal—one with a grilled chicken breast and broccoli? I read that it took the Supersize Me guy 14 months to correct the damage he did in one month of munching only on McDonalds.
I suspect our journey to health lies in a few things: truly prioritizing what we say matters, developing disciplines and habits, waging war against distraction, and committing deeply to a community that will read along with us, as well as help us translate God’s truths into real actions in our daily lives.
If what Jesus said in Matthew is true, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away,” (Matthew 24:35), then I want to know those words. Really know them! I don’t want to make my way through life without investing in what is actually going to last.
And yet, I confess I am distracted. I am lazy. I am aware of the truth and yet reject it at times, favoring my flesh above it. While I adhere to a Biblical worldview in general, a close examination of how I spend my time and treasure and thoughts and words, often tells a different story.
Like the father of the boy in the Gospels I cry out, “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). As we head to church tomorrow morning and live out our dailiness next week, may we be a people who not only have many Bibles in our homes, but also host the Word of God in our hearts, souls, and minds and may those words not only be informational, but also transformational. May we forego the McNuggets and sink our teeth into a truly satisfying meal.