|Volume II, Issue 1 |
|An Interview With Judy Lunsford |
Test Your Christian Literacy
O Theophilus is the Quarterly Journal of The Center For Biblical Literacy
It was my great pleasure, on a crisp October morning in Atlanta, to interview Ms. Judy Lunsford, author of Test Your Christian Literacy: What Every Christian Needs to Know.
Ms. Lunsford has taught literature, history, public speaking and creative writing in secondary schools in Illinois, Alabama and Georgia as well as Sunday School classes, Bible studies and ladies’ seminars. She has worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley and has been writing since 1986. Test Your Christian Literacy first appeared in 1989. It was followed by 30 Days to Understanding Church History (1991). Judy presently lives in Marietta, Georgia.
SC: Can you briefly describe what motivated you to write your book
JUDY: I noticed that people could not talk easily about the Bible. Many acted as if there was no connection between the Old and the New Testaments. When George Barna, the statistician, began publishing his conclusions about Christian literacy, I recognized a need to reemphasize Bible basics, such as geography, poetry and history. Christians need to know enough about the Bible to adequately communicate their faith
SC: Is it your general impression that Christian believers are sufficiently motivated to become serious students of the Scriptures? If not, what may be the reasons
JUDY: I feel that most Christians are not disciplined enough to sustain study. Because discipline is hard work, many believers choose to let others draw Biblical conclusions for them. This handicaps the entire Christian community, for all Christians are told to study- to rightly divide the word of truth. I also find that while many pastors do a great job of inspiring and encouraging their congregations, they rarely equip them to do serious Bible study. Unfortunately, motivating people to become disciplined Bible students seems to be politically incorrect.
SC: Do you see a connection between the cultural, literary and moral decline of our nation and Biblical illiteracy?
JUDY: Absolutely! Literacy is based on the belief that there is truth, that is, a common pool of knowledge, values, facts, etc., worth passing on. This truth guides human behavior. When individuals create their own truth, we have “every man doing what is right in his own eyes.” Consequently, acts of violence, like abortion and euthanasia, become a matter of one’s perception of truth. Even secular scholars like Ed Hirsch conclude that illiteracy leads to decline-moral, cultural and spiritual. Christians who allow themselves to remain Biblically illiterate are hastening the process.
We are already living with two consequences (of illiteracy). First, language has blurred; words like “salvation” and “sin” mean different things to different people. Suave commun-icators often mask the differences, deliberately giving a term the illusion of having universal meaning. Second, society is bereft of a Biblical context. It has become so man-centered that Christian viewpoints are ridiculed. Adults who cite Scripture or God as a reason for action or belief are depicted by the media as close- minded fanatics or unsophisticated simpletons.
SC: What, in your mind, could be done to halt this downward trend by those in responsible spiritual positions?
JUDY: There are two things. First is prayer. We need revival, especially among those in leadership. Second is a concerted effort to reach the youth and new believers inspiring them to love the Word of God. People must see that the Bible has inspired creative and practical responses to dreadful social and moral problems such as William Wilberforce’s fight against slavery, Elizabeth Fry’s prison reforms, and George Muller’s orphan houses.The Bible is no less powerful today.
All materials on the O Theophilus Journal are Copyright by CBL. They may be copied for personal use only. They may be republished with permission from The Center.