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The Importance of Biblical Literacy Pt. 5

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C.H. Spurgeon once said, “The answer to every objection against the Bible is the Bible.”

When engaging in a spiritual discussion, how quick are you to go to God’s Word? Jesus gives us a striking example when he was posed a question by some Jewish leaders who wanted to hear his opinion on a complex religious issue. They were using it as bait for a trap.

Being God though, Jesus was not intimidated by them or their question. He simply replied in Mark 12:24, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?” He then continues on in verse 25 asking them, “….have you not read….?” (look up the entire chapter of Mark’s Gospel for more context)

Jesus corrects the questioners by implying that if they had been reading the scriptures, they would’ve known the answer.

In Luke 4:17-21 we also read of Jesus reading scripture to other listeners.

17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,

BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.

HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,

AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,

TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

There will likely come a time in all of our lives (our kids included) when people ask questions to try to trap us in our religious beliefs. At those times, may the investments of reading the scriptures and having them read to us equip us for the moment. It’s not about sharing our own opinion, but in the same way Jesus responded, let’s use the Word of God.

The Importance of Biblical Literacy Pt. 4

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Proverbs 3:1-7 depicts a beautiful picture of a relationship of learning between a parent and a child.

Prov. 3:1     My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;

2 For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.

3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

We often read this and (rightly) focus on the child, commanding them not to forget their father’s instruction. But think of it from the other angle. As parents, are we regularly and intentionally turning our kids’ attention toward Biblical wisdom?

If we are following the model of Proverbs, we are regularly investing ourselves in our children, and thus we are training them up with a love for God’s Word. By introducing them to the wisdom of the Bible, we are pointing them to the banquet table and wellspring where they can feast and drink of the goodness of God.

Biblical illiteracy is spiritual famine. But unlike how we feed and fuel our bodies, the sustenance does not enter through the mouth, but rather through the ears and eyes of the heart.

With children, this happens through repetition. When it comes to the Bible, the more we read to our kids, the more they read to themselves, the more opportunities they have to grow spiritually. The Bible is the lamp to keep them on track through their journey of life.

While it can be easy to give the role of Biblical instruction to Sunday school teachers, we need to be saturating our kids with intentional Biblical instruction ourselves.

The Importance of Biblical Literacy Pt. 3

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It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to find out that recent surveys on general Bible knowledge have shown a decline in Biblical literacy. Sadly, these statistics are true for the church as well.

One of the best ways to stem the tide on these statistics is to train kids with the knowledge of the Bible. Kids are sponges. Take language learning for example. Kids can learn a complex language as a toddler in a matter of months. It takes adults years of study to master a new language.

But the Bible calls us to do more than just teach our kids the Bible. As parents, we’re called to teach our kids to love the God of the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). This doesn’t mean we abandon Bible literacy among children. Actually the opposite is true. We should teach our kids to love God by teaching them the Bible.

The key to this is training kids to love the Bible. In an article by Biblica, Paul Caminiti says this regarding the issue, “A Bible lover will become a Bible learner, but a Bible learner will not necessarily become a Bible lover.”

Psalm 19:10 describes the Bible as “more desirable than gold” and “sweeter than honey”. As parents, we need to find ways to place this sweet honey in front of them so they can taste it for themselves (Psalm 34:8).

The Power Bible provides a gateway for kids to enter and discover the world of the Bible in a fun and engaging way. Never sacrificing accuracy, the Power Bible is based on the New American Standard (NASB) text. In the visual age we live in, the fast-action pace of the comic format Power Bible grabs kids’ attention and keeps it.

Find out more about the Power Bible here. 

Why We Created The Preacher’s Bible

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After fifty years of studying and expositing the Word of God verse by verse, using a variety of Bibles—none of which had all the features I prefer—I was asked, “If you could create the perfect Bible for pastors and Bible teachers, what would it include?” This edition, The Preacher’s Bible, is the result.

Of course, the most important feature of any Bible is the biblical text itself. The ideal Bible for preachers should include the most precise translation of Scripture available. For decades I have taught from the New American Standard Bible. Based on the best original manuscripts and following the principle that God’s Word should be translated literally, the New American Standard is, I believe, the best English-language version of the Bible. Using it in The Preacher’s Bible was an easy choice.

Preachers also need a Bible that is easy to read from the pulpit. I like single-column pages with large type. Displaying the verses line by line instead of in paragraph form, and with the verse numbers clearly off set, is also ideal. Those features have been incorporated into The Preacher’s Bible.

A Bible taken to the pulpit should also be supremely functional at the study desk. The Preacher’s Bible includes wide, blank margins for jotting cross-references, notes, and outlines that are crucial for interpreting the text. The paper in this edition, thicker than in typical Bibles, is designed to prevent handwritten notes from bleeding through the page. The reinforced binding and fine leather cover ensure a lifetime of use. Over time, the preacher will accumulate a study Bible of his own making as he has been taught by the Spirit. The Preacher’s Bible will become a written legacy of the biblical interpretation and emphasis that has marked both the private study and public ministry of the preacher.

My prayer is that as you use The Preacher’s Bible, it will become a lasting, precious record of the illumination of the Holy Spirit in your life and ministry.

The Importance of Biblical Literacy Pt. 2

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Most surveys in the last 10 years about Biblical Literacy in the US have been trending downward. You may have seen some of the stats:

  • Fewer than half of adults can name all 4 Gospels.
  • 60% of Americans can’t name 5 of the 10 Commandments.
  • 12% of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

The best way to stem the tide of Biblical illiteracy is to train kids to read and love the Bible.

However, just knowing this isn’t enough because it needs to be put into practice. And that can be the most challenging part.

Here is some good advice from Jon Nielson, author of Reading the Bible with Your Kids. We believe if you put this into practice, you’ll strengthen the bond of faith and family by making the Word of God central in your household.

  1. Pick a regular time and place for Bible reading.
  2. Read short chunks.
  3. Stop to explain and gauge comprehension.
  4. Think of age-appropriate questions for discussion.
  5. Connect each passage to Jesus.
  6. Let Bible reading lead to prayer.

The best way to foster a love for God’s Word in your child is to show them what a love for God’s Word looks like. This can be done by reading the Bible with your kids. Based on the NASB, the Power Bible is a tool that can help you do just that, engage your child with an age appropriate presentation of the Bible in a beautifully illustrated and solidly Biblical way.

Not familiar with the Power Bible? Find out why professors from Biola and Westminster endorse this full-color comic format of the Bible.

Learn more here: https://316publishing.com/green-egg-media/

Adam Raccoon Artist /Author Glen Keane Wins an Oscar!

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At the 90th Academy Awards, Glen Keane received his first Oscar in the Animated Short Film category for directing Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball.”

Glen, a legend in the world of animation is best known for creating Disney characters Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”, Aladdin, Pocahontas, the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast”, Tarzan and Rapunzel in “Tangled”.

Glen is also the creator the Adam Raccoon children’s series, published by our Green Egg Media. The eight titles were originally completed between 1987 and 1995. Glen developed the storylines from material he created for his church’s children’s ministry.

In 2016 Glen partnered with Green Egg Media to get the series back in print as quality hardcover editions. For the new editions Glen drew a map of Master’s Wood where the adventures take place and also updated the cover art on three of the books in the series.

The re-release of the series has been met with excitement as parents and grandparents are now passing down the Adam Raccoon stories to younger generations.

Joni Eareckson Tada says of the series, “The Good News always makes for a great story, especially when it’s told in a fresh, creative, and totally unique way – it’s how I feel about every book in the series, The Adventures of Adam Raccoon. Boys and girls can’t help but see themselves in the antics of little Adam, as well as in the many times he is miraculously redeemed from his errors. Best of all, they will relish in the clever and colorful drawings that convey action, wonder, sorrow and delight. Each of Adam’s stories will be read again and again…the series is that good. I highly recommend The Adventures of Adam Raccoon to pre-schoolers, young readers, teachers, parents, and, yes, even art students!”

To celebrate Glen’s Oscar and his exhibit that opens on March 8th at the Walt Disney Family Museum, Three Sixteen Publishing is offering the limited edition Signature Set of Adam Raccoon for 20% off when you use promo code “March Gladness”.

For more information about Glen and the series, please visit AdamRaccoon.com

To learn about Glen’s faith, please read this story from Gideons International: https://www2.gideons.org/blog/Tale_as_Old_as_Time