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I read this story in the June 5, 2007 issue of my PreachingNow newsletter (a free weekly email for speakers which I recommended here).

"A recent Barna survey shows that only 41 percent said they read the Bible outside of church worship services in a typical week. Last year, Bible readership rose to its highest level since the 1980s with 47 percent. Increases in Bible reading began after engagement in the activity hit a 20-year low in 1995 with only 31 percent. The Barna study was reported in the May 22

"The ChristianPost article asserts that the drop in Bible reading over the past year reflects a trend of religious illiteracy that was bluntly described by Stephen Prothero in Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – And Doesn’t. The Boston University professor said Americans know little to nothing about religion, and while an overwhelming majority of the nation’s population claim they are Christian, only half of the adults can name one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and most Americans do not know the first book in the Bible (Genesis).

"Most Americans do not have strong and clear beliefs, largely because they do not possess a coherent biblical worldview," stated (David) Kinnaman (the study director). "That is, they lack a consistent and holistic understanding of their faith. Millions of Americans say they are personally committed to Jesus Christ, but they believe he sinned while on earth. Many believers claim to trust what the Bible teaches, but they reject the notion of a real spiritual adversary or they feel that faith-sharing activities are optional. Millions feel personally committed to God, but they are renegotiating the definition of that deity."

The Barna study found 83 percent of Americans identified as Christians. But only 49 percent of them described themselves as absolutely committed to Christianity. (Click here to read the full story.)