The Need for Biblical Literacy

"See, just as the LORD my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. 6 You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!"   Deuteronomy 4:5-6

Craig Duffy co-teaches a course on 1 and 2 Samuel at the Institute for G.O.D. International. Our program stresses biblical literacy, and offers courses on nearly every book of the canon. 

A word concerning the biblical illiteracy amongst the people of God is a drum I will continue to beat until '...all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.' It's amazing to me how so many can claim an allegiance to Christ but are either unaware of his desires, or have such a second-hand, pedantic version of his desires that they are no longer connected to his will.

When faith is automatic, either by habit due to heritage or in association with others who share a culture of thought, it is no longer faith. Faith is on the other end of a weighted, contemplative moment in which a decision toward action is made. A decision based upon hope in that which is beyond our ability to understand independent of revelation.

For the people of God, this revelation comes through his word. 'Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.' 

As our faith is exercised, our understanding is expanded and we are connected to the Creator's intention for the progression of creation. We call this the will of God. The will of God cannot be disconnected from a practice of faith. Nor can the object of this faith be found in a system of ritual and ceremony, or in a cultural milieu of accepted ethic. Faith's object must be in a very real, often unpredictable, holy being whom we believe to be good as revealed by his own words.

Despite history's one-sided interpretive commentary on God's will, which has left humanity complacent and waiting for a better answer, we reject the temporary solutions of science, technology and conventional wisdom for a faith endeavor that is proved by obedience over time, within history itself.

The God of creation wants to prove his ideal through a community of faith that is educated on his desires and willing to risk by venturing out onto 'unstable waters' that he himself is not afraid to walk on.

The fifth verse of Deuteronomy 4 states that Moses was charged with teaching the expectations of God to the community of faith called Israel, how they should behave in the land they were to inhabit. The sixth verse states that their obedience to God's desire would bring about a display of wisdom and discernment to surrounding peoples who would in turn desire the same ethic - which the bible will teach is called holiness.

The revelation of God would be revealed through a community who by faith practiced an ethic that originated outside of man's ability to determine right or wrong. 

For Israel, adherence to the word of God started with Moses' 'teaching' the word of God. 

As the people of God we would have a lot less friction if we charged our community leaders to 'teach' the holiness of God according to his word. We don't need 12 steps to success, or seven ways to become accepted, nor do we need motivational epics on how we can find our true selves. We need Genesis through Revelation. We don't need conclusions, or answers to life's complexities, we need connection to our Creator through fellowship at his table by dining on his words. 

Our world is in need of a people who will learn this law and display an ethic which far exceeds that of patriots and decent citizens. This holiness finds its root in biblical literacy. The world will never know what God has intended for humanity unless the people of God subject themselves to this word and by faith live out the will of God to demonstrate that "what seems impossible, is possible with God." This type of obedience will bring about a mass exodus of nominal Christianity and produce the people of God.