Spiritual Growth: Weekly Deals & The Importance Of Truth

First, our list of weekly recommendations:

  1. [easyazon_link asin=”143368392X” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive[/easyazon_link] by Thom S. Rainer.  Available at Lifeway, on sale for $7.99.
  2. [easyazon_link asin=”1433679736″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference[/easyazon_link] by Thom S. Rainer.  Available at Lifeway on sale for $7.99.
  3. [easyazon_link asin=”0316400734″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]The Closer[/easyazon_link] by Mariano Rivera.  Available at Lifeway on sale for $16.80 or for $14.99 on Kindle from amazon.com
  4. [easyazon_link asin=”1433683881″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change[/easyazon_link] by Matt Chandler.  Available at Lifeway on sale for $11.89 or $9.99 on Kindle from amazon.com
  5. [easyazon_link asin=”1433682265″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World[/easyazon_link] by Kostenberger, Bock and Chatraw.  Available at Lifeway on sale for $7.79 or $4.99 on Kindle from amazon.com

Biblical Illiteracy and why Truth Matters

This past week I read a very interesting article that dealt with the claims and concerns of a New Testament Studies professor at Biola University.  In this article, Dr. Kenneth Berding was referenced as indicating that Biblical illiteracy is at a tipping point in our culture.  Berding wrote, regarding our consumption of scripture that “I’ve heard people call it a famine. A famine of knowing the Bible”.

The truth of the matter is that our culture, our churches and therefore us, we Christians, are not spending time in the Word of God, allowing it to penetrate our hearts and minds.  Simply put, the majority of American Christians do not know the Word of God or how it applies to their lives outside of “do not murder”and “do not steal”.

He said that “all the research indicates that biblical literacy in America is at an all-time low”and that in his “own experience teaching a class of new college freshmen every year for the past 15 years suggests to me that although students 15 years ago knew little about the Bible upon entering my classes, today’s students on average know even less about the Bible.”

I would whole heartedly agree with Dr. Berding.  I spent approximately 18 years serving as a student ministries pastor and for the last 4 years have served as a lead pastor.  Within that time, I have made the same observation, but not only of our nation’s youth but of the church as a whole.

The reasons for this are too numerous to mention in one article, but suffice it to say that a lack of interest, a lack of seeing the Bible as integral to our daily lives and quite honestly a lack of encouragement from families and churches have added to the problem.

My concern is not the reasons why this exists and my desire is not to preach a sermon.  My desire is how do we combat the rate of Biblical illiteracy within our culture, our churches and our families.

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1433682265″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Pu8Ep10EL.jpg” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ width=”333″]Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World[/easyazon_image]That is why I am recommending a wonderful book to you called [easyazon_link asin=”1433682265″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World[/easyazon_link].  It is written by Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock and Josh Chatraw.  If you have read the post on helpful hints in selecting a book that is worth your time and money, you will see those hints to be especially true in this case.  There are 15 well-known and respectable Christian theologians that endorse this book.  While that is not the only criteria for a book’s worthiness…it definitely gets you excited to read what follows.

The intended audience for the book starts with those who are entering college and helping prepare them with ways to understand what they say they believe and how to defend it.  However, the audience is not limited to college freshmen.  I honestly believe that any and every Christian would benefit from reading this book because the challenges we face related to our beliefs extend well beyond a college classroom.

If you are looking for a book that handles the Word of God accurately and with a great deal of care, this book does that.  If you are looking for something that helps answers questions from the critics, whether in the classroom, the office or in your own home, this book does that.  Finally, if you are looking for a book that helps you answer your own questions…even the ones you are afraid to ask in public, this book does that.  As the authors have said, “this book is about God and His truth in a changing world and shifting culture.  It is about you and your experience with your own personal assortment of skeptical voices and authority figures.”

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It will help strengthen your understanding of scripture, how it has come to us and how to handle the “tough”questions that consistently surface.  These are questions we as Christians should not only know the answers to for ourselves but we should know how to intelligently and in an intellectually honest way, answer the critics (even the ones found inside ourselves).  I would ask that you put this book at the top of your reading list as you will find it well worth your time.

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1433682265″ cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″]Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World[/easyazon_block]

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