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‘Irrelevant’ Bible

April 2013

The majority of people hold the Bible in some respect, but think it has no importance to 21st century Christian life, a survey has found.

     The recent 9aday campaign — initiated by the Langham Partnership and All Souls, Langham Place — conducted a survey among nearly 2000 UK adults.

     Although Christians believe in the centrality of the Bible to the ‘usefulness to the mission of God into our world’, many people believe it is useful only for personal matters.

     The study showed that people think that the Bible’s role in our attitudes to family, possessions, the poor and work seem to be waning. According to the findings, this influence seems to be dropping fastest amongst younger respondents.

     To this worrying trend can be added the insight that when asked two doctrinal issues: the existence of hell and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between man and God, opinions varied.

     Even among professed Christians, the study found that a growing number of evangelicals believe that God is too nice to send anyone to hell and that all religions eventually lead to the same God.

     Vaughan Roberts, vicar of St Ebbe’s, said he considers the shaping force of the Bible to ‘be vital’. A statement from Langham Partnership said, ‘We want to add our voice to the call to keep the Bible as a primary shaping force amongst 21st century Christians. If we wish to be “Christ-shaped” then we can only do that by becoming “Bible-shaped”.’

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