The End of Biblical Literalism

For the last 40 years Gallup has polled Americans on their view of the Bible.  For the purposes of this research, respondents are asked to choose between inspired by God not to be taken literally actual word of God to be taken literally, and fables, history, and moral precepts recorded by people. Over the entire 40 year period the most common way Americans have interpreted the Bible is as a book that is inspired by God but not to be taken literally.  That perspective has held rather Read More …

Americans Like but Don’t Read the Bible

Last week LifeWay Research released the results of their latest poll of Americans' thoughts about and readership of the Bible.  It turns out that overall Americans continue to hold this sacred text in high regard even as readership rates and biblical literacy decline. Previous research by the American Bible Society found that at least one Bible is present in 87% of American homes.  Also, more than 75% of American homes have an Internet connection they could use to access the Bible online. Read More …

All Time Most Popular Posts

I have now posted well over 1,600 times here at SoWhatFaith.com.  There are many reasons I keep writing, but none more important than you - my readers. Based on your views, my 16 most popular posts are Review of Not a Fan (2011) Lost, Found, Party (2015) Prayers of the People - Youth Sunday (2009) Reading the Whole Bible (2010) The Acceptable Year of the Lord - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2011) Top Church Websites (2012) 12 Marks of Convergence Christianity Read More …

Recent Reading: Politics & Bible

Politics are everywhere; I have yet to spend more than a few seconds scanning my social media feeds before encountering a political remark. Political experts are everywhere; 99% of the political remarks I read and hear are communicated as though the communicator is a subject matter expert.  In reality, of course, most are simply people who have strong feelings about their particular perspectives. Political writing is particularly popular.  As a non-expert, I have read three books this year Read More …

Most Popular Sermons of 2015

I preached around forty sermons this year at Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ (Fort Myers, FL).  According to YouTube views, the most popular messages are That's the Book for Me – watch / read - a 16 min. message on the Bible (warning: this is the first and only sermon I have ever preached that includes singing) Titleless – watch / read – a 13 min. message on humility Surprising Salaries – watch / read – a 12 min. message on generosity Personal Transformation + – watch Read More …

Sermon: That’s the Book for Me

Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (The Message) Sermon Excerpt The B-I-B-L-E yes, that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God. What a song! I know many of you sung it years ago, but I don’t even know how to begin to respond. Huh?  What?  How?  Stand alone? Word of God? The Bible may be the best-selling book of all time, but it is certainly not a book in the traditional sense.  It is a collection of 66 “books.” It is a sacred text for those of us who seek to follow the Read More …

Millennials & the Bible

Barna Group recently released findings from the largest survey it has ever done on a single generation's view of the Bible.  Christian Millennials' (those born between 1984 and 2002) views of the Bible vary considerably from those of non-Christian Millennials. Among so-called practicing Christian Millennials 96% believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, 85% believe the Bible is the literal word of God or is divinely inspired with no errors Read More …

How We Read the Bible

According to recent research conducted by the Barna Group commissioned by the American Bible Society, American Bible readers strongly prefer reading the Bible in an old fashioned printed edition of the Bible.  The preferred formats are print - 84%, digital - 10%, audio - 5%, and all others - 1%. So What? A few months ago I blogged about the tremendous rise in e-reading.  While the report does note a shift toward digital reading the shift is far slower when it comes to the Bible Read More …

Bible Over Facebook?

Around 143 million people in the US and Canada check their Facebook accounts on a daily basis.  By comparison, the number who read the most popular book of all time - the Bible - in those countries on a daily basis is around 40 million.  In other words, the daily Facebook users outnumber the daily Bible readers by more than 3 to 1. So What? I will admit that I check Facebook more often than I open a Bible (in any and all formats both online and offline).  Is the same true for you? What Read More …

2014 = Year of the Bible?

Jonathan Merritt, senior columnist for Religion News Service, recently suggested that 2014 may be known as the "Year of the Bible" thanks to five films: “Son of God” | 20th Century Fox (February 2014) “Noah” | Regency Enterprises (November 2014) “Heaven is For Real” | Sony Pictures (April 2014) “Exodus” | 20th Century Fox (December 2014) “Mary, Mother of Christ” | Lionsgate Films (December 2014) So What? The good book will certainly be represented on the big screen through Read More …