Barna Group: The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate

This morning, the Barna group published an article entitled, “Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010.” Topping that list is a discussion that seems to be (re)gaining popularity both within and outside of churches, schools and seminaries: biblical and theological literacy. Is there a distinction? Perhaps, but we won’t get into that here.

The post briefly stated some of the core pieces of the larger conversation on biblical and theological literacy (or illiteracy):

  • Young adults are leading the demographic of Americans who are growing less and less aware of “universally-known truths about Christianity.”
  • Few adults believe faith is a central (or even integrated) part of their lives.
  • The growing generations of young people who will “ascend to numerical and positional supremacy in churches across the nation” will not only lead to a growth in biblical illiteracy, but also usher in a decade of theological diversity and inconsistency.

Rounding off the list of 6 themes, and very much related to biblical and theological literacy: #6–The Influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible. The issue of biblical literacy, as research has shown, isn’t merely about memorizing factoids and creeds–it’s about how knowledge and understanding of Scripture translates to one’s life. After all, isn’t Scripture

16 inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.  [2 Timothy 3:16-17, NRSV]

The article, “Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010” is property of The Barna Group of Ventura, California and may be found here.


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