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Crosstalk: December 7, 2017

​Randy Melchert is a school administrator, a researcher and a consultant. He sits on the board of directors for VCY America and is administering the 2018 Bible reading challenge.

Jim began with a question for Randy: How is our Bible IQ as a nation and as a church are we reading our Bibles?

Randy's response my sound shocking but it's true. He indicated that many people aren’t reading anything. A recent study found that one out of four adults haven't opened up any book in the last year.

--Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
--Many Christians can't identify more than 2 or 3 of the disciples.

According to data from the Barna Research Group:

--60% of Americans can't name even 5 of the 10 Commandments.
--82% of Americans believe 'God helps those who help themselves' is in the Bible.
--The majority of adults believe the Bible teaches that the most important purpose in life is taking care of one's family.
--Over 50% of graduating high school seniors thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
--A considerable number of respondents thought the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.

Obviously this shows a great lack of biblical literacy. This shouldn't surprise us when you consider that only 45% of those who regularly attend a church read the Bible more than once a week. 1 out of 5 people who attend church regularly never read the Bible at all. And the most scary statistic Randy found? 80% of Americans have never read the Bible through even once.

On the flip side, Back to the Bible's Center for Bible Engagement did a study of those who read the Bible just 4 days a week. Here's what they found:

--You're 57% less likely to get drunk.
--You're 68% less likely to have sex outside of marriage.
--You're 61% less likely to engage in pornography.
--You're 74% less likely to engage in gambling.
--You're 228% more likely to share your faith with others.
--You're 231% more likely to disciple others.
--You're 407% more likely to memorize Scripture.

The key is to have a plan and a way to get started. One way to do that is through the 2018 Bible Reading Challenge that was presented on this edition of Crosstalk. It involves use of The One Year Bible published by Tyndale. This King James Version paperback is divided into 365 portions. Each day (15 minutes per day) you'll read a portion from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms and Proverbs.

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