Study: Uncertain times drawing people to truth

Monday, July 27, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Bible study group 2Concerns over COVID-19 have kept many people from large and small gatherings, even when it comes to Christians and studying the Bible. But new research on the subject does show some heartening statistics.

Researcher John Plake of American Bible Society recently told the "Washington Watch" radio program his organization has noticed an increase in curious exploration of scripture.

"When we look at things like Google trends, we noticed that as the coronavirus was leading everyone into lockdowns, particularly on the eastern seaboard, that there was a five-year historic spike on Internet searches around the word 'Bible,'" Plake relays.

Meanwhile, researchers found a decline in the percentage of Americans who say they never use the Bible on their own.

"That meant that there are actually people who normally have nothing to do with scripture, who are wondering, Well, what does the Bible say maybe about suffering or maybe about injustice," the researcher poses.

As for people who are closely connected to scripture, or what Plake calls "scripture engaged," their studies have taken a step backward.

Plake

"Many of them are parents that have been at home. They've been trying to juggle a job through a screen, homeschooling their children while their children are still enrolled in their regular schools, and managing all of those things at once," Plake explains. "Consequently we've seen particularly downward pressure among the women of America who normally do very well with scripture engagement, but boy, it just looks like they're not getting the support that they need, and I think it's something that we can address as the Church."

This is the tenth year for the Barna Group and the American Bible Society’s "State of the Bible" survey. The report is available for download, and it includes suggested next steps for pastors, for small group leaders, for families, and for individuals to begin incorporating scripture more in their lives.

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