When is a Book Not Just a Book?

I was once asked if you were stranded in a desert island, what three books would you want with you. Three? How can you limit it to that. But the answer does show a little about your personality and likes. And though my answer does vary depending on what I am reading recently – there is always one book that always make the list.

Part of the equation in my life is I love to read. I get this naturally from my father. And one of the hardest things about not being settled is that most my library is in storage – boxed away. I do keep a few out and I get most my books off Hoopla, iBooks, or other ebook formats. I visit the library and even sit in Barnes & Noble while reading books off the shelf (while sipping coffee of course). And I will go back to many books again and again like old friends visiting over and over.

But of course, the one I go back to repeatedly is the Bible. Why? Because the Bible is more than just a book – it is God’s revealed Word, inspired, inerrant, and worthy of studying – applying – teaching. So, Today and tomorrow, I want to hit a couple of highlights on God’s Word in society and in your life.

… the Bible is more than just a book – it is God’s revealed Word, inspired, inerrant, and worthy of studying – applying – teaching

In society, the view of the Bible is slipping towards skepticism. Though a vast majority have a positive view of Scripture, more than half have read little or none of the Word. And though 87% own a Bible – reading it remains spotty.

Here are some stats that show how people interact with the Word – based off a study one the past six years, up to 2017 …

  • 20% are engaged
  • 38% are friendly
  • 23% are neutral
  • 29% are skeptical
  • 13% are hostile

And while being engaged is stabilizing, skeptical and hostile to the Word is growing.  This can be seen in the fact that only 3% of teens read their Bible daily. And teens probably know more about lessons from Hogwarts than from Scripture. When Canada has growing number of Jedi Knights but lessening number of evangelicals, than we have an issue.

If your head hurts from these stats – you might not want to read the following articles. But you can read them if you want to see more charts and graphs and data.
Barna & 2017  …  Barna & 6 Year TrendLifeWay & ResearchYouth & the Bible

What is this really telling us – America is more and more slipping away from His Word. Skepticism and hostility is growing. But for those who respect the Word and desire to be engaged with it, we need to see it more than just a book – it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. We need to read it regularly. And tomorrow we will look a little more at how to read it.

Till then, open up the book – and find something marvelous and life changing.

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