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GENERATIONS AND THE BIBLE
A new research report from the Barna Group examines recent nationwide studies on how different generations of American adults view and use the Bible. For the purposes of this research, the Mosaic generation refers to adults who are currently ages 18 to 25; Busters are those ages 26 to 44; Boomers are 45 to 63; and Elders are 64-plus.
There is often more that unites the various generations than divides them. The Barna research regarding the Bible confirms the central role this revered text has for most Americans. A majority of each of the four generations believes that the Bible is a sacred or holy book. Another commonality is that millions within each of the generations report reading the pages of Scripture in the last week.
There is also significant generational overlap regarding people’s views on the nature of the Bible. Similar proportions of the generations embrace the most conservative and most liberal views. For instance, the highest view of the Bible is that it is the actual word of God and should be taken literally, word for word, is embraced by one-quarter of Mosaics (27%), Busters (27%), and Boomers (23%), and one-third of Elders (34%). The extreme view on the other end is that the Bible is not inspired by God is embraced by proportions that are also statistically close to one another, including Mosaics (25%), Busters (19%), Boomers (22%), and Elders (22%).
However, despite these similarities, the Barna studies show that the youngest generations are charting a new, unique course related to the Bible. Here are the types of changes being forged by young adults:
Less Sacred: While most Americans of all ages identify the Bible as sacred, the drop-off among the youngest adults is striking: 9 out of 10 Boomers and Elders described the Bible as sacred, which compares to 8 out of 10 Busters (81%) and just 2 out of 3 Mosaics (67%).
¡öLess Accurate ¨C Young adults are significantly less likely than older adults to strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches. Just 30% of Mosaics and 39% of Busters firmly embraced this view, compared with 46% of Boomers and 58% of Elders.
More Universalism: Among Mosaics, a majority (56%) believes the Bible teaches the same spiritual truths as other sacred texts, which compares with 4 out of 10 Busters and Boomers, and one-third of Elders.
Skepticism of Origins: Another generational difference is that young adults are more likely to express skepticism about the original manuscripts of the Bible than is true of older adults.
Less Engagement: While many young adults are active users of the Bible, the pattern shows a clear generational drop-off, the younger the person, the less likely then are to read the Bible. In particular, Busters and Mosaics are less likely than average to have spent time alone in the last week praying and reading the Bible for at least 15 minutes. Interestingly, none of the four generations were particularly likely to say they aspired to read the Bible more as a means of improving their spiritual lives.
Bible Appetite: Despite the generational decline in many Bible metrics, one departure from the typical pattern is the fact that younger adults, especially Mosaics (19%), express a slightly above-average interest in gaining additional Bible knowledge. This compares with 12% of Boomers and 9% of Elders.
David Kinnaman, who directed the analysis of the research, explained that the central theme of young people’s approach to the Bible is skepticism. They question the Bible’s history as well as its relevance to their lives, leading many young people to reject the Bible as containing everything one needs to live a meaningful life. This mindset certainly has its challenges but it also raises the possibility of using their skepticism as an entry point to teaching and exploring the content of the Bible in new ways.
The president of the Barna Group pointed out that since many young people want to learn about the Bible it should be an opportunity for Christian leaders.Perhaps young people want to participate more in the process of learning, not simply attend Bible lectures or be trained in classrooms. Mosaics and Busters have come to expect experiences that appear unscripted and interactive, that allow them to be open and honest with their questions, that are technologically stimulating, that are done alongside peers and within trusted relationships, and that give them the chance to be creative and visual. Their expectations may or may not be entirely healthy, but without considering these issues, the Bible will continue to lose hold on the next generation.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
6 out of 10 Americans believe Satan is only a symbol and not real
47 % of Christians believe the same thing
1 out of 4 Christians believe it doesn’t matter what religion you are because all of them are the same and they all lead to God
31% of Christians believe Heaven can be earned
Daily horoscope reading is equal among Christians and non-Christians
Only 51% of Christians would make it illegal to distribute pornographic material
35% of Christians believe it is ok to bend the rules to get what you want
RELIGIOUS MERGER CREATES 900 MILLION HINJEWS
New Delhi, India (SatireWire.com) — Hinjew leaders today conceded the merger of Hinduism and Judaism has not worked out as planned, as instead of forming a super-religion to fight off the common Islamic enemy, they have instead created a race of 900 million people who, no matter how many times they are reincarnated, can never please their mothers.
SOURCE: Beliefnet.com. Reprinted with permission from SatireWire.com.
JESUS- NOT HATE BUT HOPE
It’s a little name.
A small word.
Say this little name in public, however, in a way other than an obscenity, and stand back and watch the fireworks.
This little name is like a tiny detonator that triggers a nuclear warhead.
You can say "God," and you won’t get a squeak.
You can say "Our Father/Mother in Heaven," and few will flinch.
You can say "Great Spirit," and people will nod in approval.
You can say "Allah" and you will be deemed tolerant.
But say "Jesus" and just wait for the sonic boom.
Articles will appear in the paper. Reprimands will be posted from the home office. Suits will be threatened by the civil liberties block.
So don’t say Jesus.
Jesus is divisive, and now is a time for unity.
Jesus is an extremist, and that must mean right wing.
Jesus is exclusive, so His name amounts to hate speech.
Keep His name to yourself. Cloister it in your church. Lock it in your prayer closet. Close it between the covers of your Bible. But for God’s sake, don’t voice it in the public square!
It’s immodest. It’s immoral. It’s unloving.
Only one problem.
Jesus is God.
Only one problem.
Jesus alone brings salvation.
Only one problem.
All other gods are nothing.
So speak Hi...
THE FASHION OF PLURALISM
While religious pluralism may be a novel experience for us, it is putting us in touch with the world that surrounded the biblical authors.
The pluralism and the paganism of Our Time were the common experience of the prophets and apostles. In Mesopotamia, there were thousands of gods and goddesses, many of which were known to the Israelites--indeed, sometimes known too well...
Nothing, therefore, could be more remarkable than to hear the contention, even from those within the Church, that the existence of religious pluralism today makes belief in the uniqueness of Christianity quite impossible. Had this been the necessary consequence of encountering a multitude of other religions, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, and Paul would have given up biblical faith long before it became fashionable ... to do so.
SOURCE: Pluralism Is Not New, Citation: David Wells in No Place for Truth, or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 8. Contributed by A. Todd Coget.
A former Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, W R Inge, famously observed that any church which enters into a marriage with the spirit of the age "will soon find itself a widow in the next".
The doubleheader train was bucking a heavy snowstorm as its steam engines pulled it west.
A woman with a baby wanted to leave the train at one of the little stations along the route.
She repeatedly called, “Don’t forget me!” to the brakeman responsible to call out the stations they approached. Her husband was to meet her.
The train slowed to a stop, and a fellow traveler said, “Here’s your station.” She hopped from the train into the storm. The train moved on again.
Forty-five minutes later, the brakeman came in. “Where’s the woman?”
“She got off at the last stop,” the traveler said.
“Then she got off to her death,” the brakeman responded. “We stopped only because there was something the matter with the engine.”
They called for volunteers to go back and search for the woman and child. When they found her hours later, not far from the track where they stopped, she was covered with ice and snow. The little boy was protected on her breast. She had followed the man’s directions, but they were wrong—dead wrong.
Paul declares Christ is the one Mediator between man and God. Peter emphasizes there is no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.
Another of her like would be Ophrah – not a witch, but described by Christianity Today as one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America today – perhaps even all over the western world where her program is shown. This ex baptist now espouses the view that “one of the biggest mistakes we make is to believe there is only one way. There are many diverse paths leading to God.” She is described as a ‘postmodern priestes...
PICK A SIDE
There's a fictional story of the soldier in the American Civil War who did not want to fight with anyone. In an attempt to remain NEUTRAL, he dressed in Union pants and a Confederate jacket. Unfortunately BOTH SIDES shot at him.
In our Southern Baptist Convention we pass resolutions every year. A resolution is a position statement, on certain moral and ethical issues that arise. One of the things that the Southern Baptist Convention did a few years ago was to pass a resolution about Jesus being the only way to salvation. Listen to what one pastor said:
“In regard to the resolution, I understand God to be a gracious, life-giving mystery who, for me, is most clearly encountered in the human Jesus, the Christ. Therefore, I am Christian. I assume that there are other lights, other understandings of God’s movement of love and justice in our world. To judge with certainty another person’s relationship to God is for me the height of arrogance.” (SBC Annual Meeting June, 1994)