From Dinosaurs to Depression
by Dale Reeves
Pastor of Creative Content
The American Bible Society recently surveyed 65,000 individuals in 100 cities in America and they published a report on the state of the Bible in our country. They define a “Bible-minded city” as one whose respondents reported reading the Bible within the past seven days and who agreed strongly when asked about the accuracy of the Bible.
According to this report the most “Bible-minded city” in America is Chattanooga, TN, where 52% of the population reads the Bible at least once a week. The last city, #100 on their list, is Albany/Schenectady, NY, where only 10% of the population report reading God’s Word at least once a week. Cincinnati comes in at #35 on the list with 32% saying they read the Bible at least once a week, just below Indianapolis and Kansas City, and just above San Antonio, TX, and New Orleans, LA.
The Barna Research Group released a report entitled, “State of the Bible 2018: Seven Top Findings.” Among the findings were these:
- Adults who use the Bible several times a week account for 27% of the total adult population.
- More than half of Bible users now search for Bible content on the Internet (57%) or smartphone (55%), and another 42% use a Bible app on their phones.
- More than one-third of Bible users listen to a teaching via podcast (35%) or audio version of the Bible (36%).
- Two-thirds of Americans (66%) express at least some curiosity to know more about what the Bible says, including one in three (29%) who express a strong desire.
- A similar number of adults (63%) are interested in knowing more about who Jesus Christ is, including 31% who agree strongly.
- Just over half of adults who used the Bible in the past week (53%) say they give a lotof thought to how it might apply to their lives.
- Overall, almost six in 10 U.S. adults (58%) believe that the message of the Bible has transformed their life, including 28% who agree strongly with this statement.
- Married adults and those with children under 18 are both more likely to indicate that the Bible has been life-changing.
Those who do not read the Bible or attend church often are still searching for answers and meaning and trying to connect with God. Sixty percent of these “Bible curious” people in the U.S. have no real connection to a church. By monitoring Google searches about the Bible, the American Bible Society has learned what types of questions the curious are pondering. What are the Top 10 topics concerning the Bible that are researched? Here they are, according to the ABS:
- Divorce, marriage, adultery
- Love and relationships
- Depression, suicide, and mental health
- Age of the Bible
- Science and religion