Biblical Illiteracy

One observation that has been made about Christians at large is that they are biblically illiterate. Dr. Kenneth Berding, New Testament professor at Talbot Theological Seminary, wrote an article for Biola Magazine where he observed, "These days many of us don't even know basic facts about the bible." So, how do we stem the tide of the crisis of biblical illiteracy? One way that Kairos endeavors to do this is by offering what is called "The Discipleship Class".

What is The Discipleship Class?

The class is an introduction to some of the more basic elements of what it is to be a disciple of Jesus. This is done in the course of 10 months covering five major topics and numerous minor topics. The format of the class is a modular format where each topic has a definite beginning and ending date and includes content strictly related to the topic of the module. For instance, the first module covers the topic: "An Overview of the Bible". It begins with a seminar and lasts a total of seven weeks.

Why call it "The Discipleship Class"?

Being a disciple means that we follow Jesus in the way that he lived, responded, thought, and felt about the world around him. However, simply doing what Jesus did would be impossible if it weren't for the Bible. For how would we know the way Jesus lived, responded, thought, and felt? More than that, how would we come to know who Jesus is?

To know Jesus and that way he lived demands information. Where do we get such information? We get it from the Bible.

The Discipleship Class introduces students to the Bible as literature, as an historical anthology, and as a revelation of God Himself. The way this is accomplished is through classroom teaching, bible and supplemental reading, and writing assignments. The class works through a set curriculum that gives them an overview of the biblical storyline and essential doctrines pertaining to the bible - doctrines like necessity, sufficiency, clarity, authority, innerancy, and inspiration. As a particular doctrine is presented each week, the class has an opportunity to read supplemental information and ask questions during class time. The content of each class is taught from both a theological and apologetical standpoint so that the student would not only build confidence as to the trustworthiness of the bible, but also develop the tools needed to articulate and defend such a claim.

We call it the Discipleship Class because it is indeed a class. Our goal is that the class will be a key tool to accomplish the purpose of our church, which is to make disciples. Since there is a crisis of biblical illiteracy, and because discipleship is deeply dependant upon the Bible, overcoming this crisis is pivotal to disciple-making. The Discipleship Class is designed to both make disciples, and to help disciples make more disciples.

An Overview of Module One

Special 1-day seminar prerequisite: "An Overview of the Bible"
What makes the Bible God's Word? Why is the Bible important? How is the Bible organized? What is the storyline of the Bible? What authority does the Bible have?

Week 1
Inspiration & Canonicity
What does it mean that the Bible is inspired by God? How does inspiration impact how I read the Bible? How was the Bible formed? Are there other Bible books?
Week 2
Inerrancy & Transmission
Are there mistakes in the Bible? Is the Bible trustworthy? Why does inerrancy matter?
Week 3
Clarity & Illumination
How do I know what the Bible really says? Do I need special training to understand the Bible? How do we come to the correct meaning?
Week 4
Necessity & Sufficiency
What do we mean when we say Christians need the Bible? Why is it so necessary? Do we need more than the Bible that to grow as Christians?
Week 5
Historical Reliability
How do we know that the Bible is historically reliable? What evidence is there to support the truth of the Bible, historically?
Week 6
Unity & Cohesion
What does the Bible claim for itself? Why is the Bible a good source of truth?