What is Christian Literacy?

refers to the ability to use a language - to know what words means, to be able to use grammar, sentence structure, to be able to converse in that language is to be literate.

Religious literacy
means having the ability to understand and speak about our faith intelligently. It’s the ability to communicate the basic tenets of our religion.

I'm very grateful to B.U. Professor Stephen Prothero for his excellent book, "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn't." This book, along with my desire to teach the faith, served as the inspiration for this effort.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


In the history of Christianity, both in the biblical record as well as throughout church history, the word "faith" has had two basic meanings.

One meaning has to do with beliefs, accepting the basic tenants of Christianity. These tenants include such things as the character and nature of God (loving, holy, just, covenant-making, etc.), our main doctrines about God, such as the Trinity, as well as our beliefs about the person and work of Christ (the incarnation, the atonement of the Cross, his resurrection and his promised return). To accept the Christian faith is to choose to believe these truths about God and Jesus Christ.

The other meaning of faith has to do with trust, as in, "Keep the Faith." Faith is trusting in the goodness and graciousness of God, in spite of one's circumstances.

Here's a thought: these two meanings belong together. To be a Christian is not simply to intellectually accept all the right doctrines. It's to personally trust in the goodness of God and the benefits of Christ. Faith takes God seriously and responds to God's graciousness with gratitude, commitment and discipleship.

Prayer: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Increase my faith and trust in You. For You are trustworthy, and your graciousness and promises are extended to me. Thank You, Precious Savior. In your Name. Amen.

Extra Credit: Great verses on Faith

Not surprisingly, some of the most wonderful passages in the Bible are
about faith.

Matthew 9:2
Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Matthew 17:20
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. "

Mark 10:52
And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road

Romans 3:28
Therefore we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

Ephesians 6:16
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 6:11
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Titus 1:2
a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

James 2:17
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:21
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

1 Peter 5:9
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

1 John 5:4
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.

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