John Wesley On The Formative Reading Of Scripture And Educating Children -- By: Philip McKinney II

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 04:1 (Fall 2013)
Article: John Wesley On The Formative Reading Of Scripture And Educating Children
Author: Philip McKinney II


John Wesley On The Formative Reading Of Scripture And Educating Children

Philip McKinney II

Phil McKinney II serves with his wife (Angie) and three daughters (Kaylee, Taylor, and Rylie) as the Discipleship Minister at the Fairfax Church of Christ in Fairfax, Virginia. His 21 years of ministry experience in northwest and central Arkansas and northern Virginia have given him a unique look at the way ministries and churches serve the Lord and disciple others for Christ. Phil also teaches as an adjunct professor for Harding University, Harding School of Theology, and Toccoa Falls College. He holds degrees from Harding University, Harding School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In the last decade, research has demonstrated that today’s Christian teens believe in the Word of God. For instance, a 2005 Gallop Youth Survey reported that 39% of Protestant and Catholic teens surveyed said that the Bible is the “actual word of God” and should be taken literally; 46% said that the Bible is the “inspired word of God” but believed that not everything should be taken literally in its pages; and 14% said that the Bible is just an “ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.”1 In another study, the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) reported that about one-third of Protestant teens (32%) read their Bibles by themselves at least once a week or more.2 These statistics alone would suggest that we are raising children who believe in God’s Word. Unfortunately, belief in the truthfulness of Scripture does not equate to being transformed by it.

In the same study conducted through the NSYR, researchers found that reading the Bible once a week or more did not necessarily bring teens closer to God. These teens believe in God and that he is personally involved in people’s lives.3 They generally believe in the afterlife, angels, miracles, and a judgment day.4 Sixty percent say that faith is very or extremely important in shaping how they live their lives and seven out of ten of these teens report having committed to live their lives for God.5 Yet, these same teens (who appear very religious and committed to God) also report that they do not feel very or extremely close to God (56%) and there are still some 40% of the teens surveyed who do not feel that faith is very important in shaping their lives.6

What might these statistics ...

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