Here are some intriguing excerpts from her article.
The good news about the Good Book is that it's still the No. 1 seller of all time, with an estimated 6 billion copies sold. The not-so-good news though, according to a new survey by The American Bible Society, is that it's lost a bit of its prominence in affecting people's lives.
The "State of the Bible 2012" looked at the trends surrounding the most influential book of Western civilization. The survey found that while 82 percent of Americans revere the Bible as sacred literature, that number is down slightly from a year ago when 86 percent thought so.
And when asked whether The Bible contains "everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life," 69 percent agreed either strongly or somewhat. That number was down also from the previous year, when 75 percent responded the same way.
One of the challenges the ABS is launching is encouraging people to read the Bible. The survey found that when asked about certain spiritual truths, nearly half (46%) of Americans couldn't differentiate between the teachings of the Bible, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon.
The ABS sees opportunity rather than disappointment in the results.
Lamar Vest, President and CEO of ABS, says, "We do see that as something to be concerned about, but it is still a very high percentage, when you have 82 percent of Americans agreeing on anything. So we're still very pleased about it. We're sorry for the slippage, but still, 82 percent gives us an incredible open door."
Vest says, "There are probably five Bibles on every shelf in American homes. Americans buy the Bibles, they debate the Bible, they love the Bible... they just don't read the Bible."
The survey reveals how much more work is needed to prove to the public that the Bible is not a dusty out of date, rule book. The ABS, says Vest, is not trying to get people to go out and buy new Bibles, just to make good use of the ones they already have.
I applaud both Ms. Green for her story and Mr. Vest for his admonition. To this very day, there are no doubt hundreds and hundreds of millions of people living under oppressive regimes on this planet who would love to have access to a single copy of the Bible. Yet, we who are blessed with so many copies, so many translations, and so many versions of God’s word, along with concordances, commentaries, and the like, seem to care so very little for what we have been given.
We in America are like the man who spends tons of money buying a set of weights, a treadmill, an elliptical machine, and various other accoutrements for exercise, and then sets them all up in his basement, and yet never touches any of them!
This is all very sad, because the power of the Bible is not realized by osmosis. One cannot simply place it on the nightstand and absorb its power by proximity while he or she sleeps. It has to be read, studied, and applied. Unless and until we choose to pick it up and open it up and lap it up, it will do us very little good.