There are three major changes that are reshaping the landscape in which we read and engage with the Bible. These shifts are most apparent among today’s youngest generations so, in a sense, they give shape to the present and future reality within which we read and interact with the Bible.
First, the steady rise of skepticism is creating a cultural atmosphere that is becoming unfriendly””sometimes even hostile””to claims of faith. In a society that venerates science and rationalism, it is an increasingly hard pill to swallow that an eclectic assortment of ancient stories, poems, sermons, prophecies and letters, written and compiled over the course of 3,000 years, is somehow the sacred “word of God.” Even in just the few years Barna has been conducting “State of the Bible” interviews, the percent of Americans who believe that the Bible is “just another book written by men” increases. So too does the perception that the Bible is actually harmful and that people who live by its principles are religious extremists.
Second, as Gabe Lyons and I propose in Good Faith, the broader culture has adopted self-fulï¬llment as its ultimate measure of moral good….