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How (Not) to Read the Bible

6/9/22 | Weekly Pastor's Email | by Matt Doan

    I Have Sad New to Share…
    At the end of 2021, the Pew Research Center shared the results of a recent survey they conducted that broke my heart. Pew’s research uncovered that here in the United States, “the nones” (religiously unaffiliated) share of the public is 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago. They also found, Christians continue to make up a majority of the U.S. populace, but their share of the adult population is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011. A few years earlier in 2018, a Barna Research survey found roughly 70% of high school students who enter college as professing Christians, will leave with little to no faith.

    These are really sobering and sad statistics. But they are not just statistics. They represent what is happening in our own families, neighborhoods and even here at Calvary Church. These statistics represent actual people we know and love.

    What Should Be Our Response?
    At Calvary Church, we value truth - we think biblically about everything and humbly about ourselves. We need to be a generation who knows and understands God’s word. First, so we ourselves will hold onto the foundations of our faith in Jesus. Second, so we can answer the legitimate questions skeptics and seekers alike are asking. This is why I am really excited for this Sunday!

    We will have Dan Kimball sharing with us this Sunday, June 12 in the 9:00am worship service. He was my former youth pastor at the church where I grew up in Northern California. Since then, he has authored several books on leadership, church and culture. He is the founding pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, a faculty member at Western Seminary, and leads the ReGeneration Project. His passion is to see Christians follow and represent Jesus in the world with love, intelligence, and creativity.  Dan will continue our Proverbs series (Proverbs 4:20-22) and show us how to respond with truth and grace to critics who say the Bible is “Anti-Women, Anti-Science, Pro-Violence, Pro-Slavery etc.”

    Then Sunday night at 6:00pm in the Chapel, Dan will return to share in-depth content from his recent book, “How (Not) to Read the Bible” as part of our summer Wisdom Lecture series.  In fact, the first 75 people to show up Sunday night will get his book for free, courtesy of Dan! Both the morning service and lecture in evening are going to serve as a great encouragement to our church family. I encourage you to bring a friend both morning and evening.

    A Note from Dan
    "I wrote this book from a sense of urgency due to the many discussions I was having with both Christians and non-Christians about the Bible. Strange-sounding scripture verses depicted on memes, highlighted in YouTube videos or read straight out of the Bible were causing understandable confusion and doubt. The church has been really great about pointing out the nice, positive parts of the Bible, but we don't do such a great job explaining the difficult parts. This book takes a direct look at many of the most disturbing sounding verses. It explains how to read (and not read) them, and how to understand them in their complete context so that you can have full confidence in the Bible being the inspired Word of God."

    We look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday,

    Matt Doan

    P.S.  Calvary Kids Water Day is today (Thursday!) from 5-7pm and VBS Registation for kids and volunteers is now open!

    P.P.S.  Also be praying for the Cyprus G.O. Team (our first overseas Global Outreach team from Calvary since 2019) who leave tonight for the island of Cyprus.