The biggest crisis facing the evangelical, global church today is the growing lack of biblical literacy worldwide, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, the newly elected secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance.
“Our biggest problem is that Bible knowledge is fading away,” Schirrmacher told The Christian Post. “This is the utmost problem we have beyond all theological differences, financial problems, and political questions.”
Schirrmacher, who studied theology in Switzerland and the United States, and serves as the WEA’s Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns, said that in the Western world “more and more kids that come from evangelical families are not really rooted in the Bible,” and many of them leave the faith.
“In the Western world, the percentage of kids from Christian families who stay in the faith is going down,” he said.
The number of young people leaving the faith in Western countries is “counteracted” by people becoming Christians as young adults in other parts of the world, according to Schirrmacher.
However, these young Christians also lack deep biblical knowledge and “only know about the Bible what they learned from their conversion,” he said. In rural areas, young Christians are often tasked with leading large churches despite their lack of biblical and theological knowledge.
“So many people are becoming believers that the one who has been a believer the longest becomes the leader of the church,” Schirrmacher said. “That might be three years. Short for us, but long for them. We have such a high conversion rate worldwide, that it’s extremely difficult to follow up with discipling, with teaching, with Bible knowledge. The result is that people know much less and are more much more open to secularism and strange things like the ‘health and wealth’ gospel.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett