Dr. Toby Jennings on Biblical Illiteracy and How It Affects the Knowledge of God (Part 1)

Toby Jennings
Toby Jennings


Recent research estimates that just over half of the American population considers itself Protestant Christian, with just over a quarter being Evangelical Protestant. To what may we attribute such decline?

Undoubtedly, at least one reason is a decline in knowing God, significantly influenced by biblical illiteracy. If a person is to be known by what he or she determines to reveal about him or herself, then the correlation between biblical illiteracy and a diminished knowledge of God is evident. If the invisible God has chosen to reveal himself by means of Scripture, need we even ask the question “How does one come to know God?”

When being interrogated before King Agrippa, the apostle Paul responded, “I am convinced that none of these things escapes his notice, since this was not done in a corner” (Acts 26.26). That is, the events surrounding God’s consummate self-disclosure in Jesus Christ are no secret. To wit, the commemoration of Easter just celebrated around the world is ardent testimony to this fact.

True, the God who created everything out of nothing has graciously and abundantly made Himself not only known but also knowable to anyone who will inquire honestly. He has done so in the person and work of Jesus Christ—the divine Son who “has explained” God to a world willfully estranged from Him (John 1.18). The Holy Scriptures are the written testimony of Jesus Christ (John 5.39; Rev 1.1). They are the means God has provided for us to know Him, and through them He bids us to come to Him.

Just as God freely gave every good and perfect gift to our original parents, Adam and Eve, and bid them to enjoy freely the abundant life He daily lavished upon them, so also God continues to offer the same abundant life to us too through the same resource Adam and Eve had available to them—every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4.4; Deut 8.3).

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Ed Stetzer

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