A recent Barna Group survey regarding religious themes for 2009 has been released. The report provides some interesting insights into the thinking of individuals and ministers concerning personal spiritual life. Here are some of the things that interested me in the research.
1. Faith/Spirituality, Not Christianity.
Today it is all about personal spirituality that may or may not be based on historical biblical theological principles from the Bible.
2. Customized/Individualized Faith
Many customize their own personal brand of faith with elements from many faith traditions.
3. Biblical Literacy Is Declining
The Barna report states: “Bible reading has become the religious equivalent of sound-bite journalism. When people read from the Bible they typically open it, read a brief passage without much regard for the context, and consider the primary thought or feeling that the passage provided. If they are comfortable with it, they accept it; otherwise, they deem it interesting but irrelevant to their life, and move on. There is shockingly little growth evident in people’s understanding of the fundamental themes of the scriptures and amazingly little interest in deepening their knowledge and application of biblical principles.”
4. Personal Spiritual Evaluation Is Unimportant
The Barna research says, “Our research found that a majority of churchgoing adults are uncertain as to what their church would define as a ‘healthy, spiritually mature follower of Christ’ and they were no more likely to have personally developed a clear notion of such a life.”
Have we lost any sense of spiritual priorities? What do you think? I would really like to read your thoughts on this report.
Filed under: business
Looks like Internet users are getting more comfortable with paying for a portion of their content online as noted by a recent Nielson survey.
However, not all Internet content is equal in the eyes of the consumer. Music tops the list of pay to play along with movies, games, and TV shows. It is interesting to note that online magazines and newspapers did make the list. It appears that about 50% of users would get out their credit card to read some magazines or newspapers online.
But what about online content from book publishers? The survey did not give any results on this very important content.
What do you think readers would do?
Happy New Year! It’s the time when people typically do some self evaluation and make resolutions. For the coming year, in addition to making changes to my schedule, exercise plan, and personal relationships, I have been giving some real thought to the condition of my spiritual life.
I want to pass along some questions from NavPress author Donald Whitney that I have used during this season to evaluate the condition of my spiritual life. I hope that they will help you, too, as you consider your spiritual condition. God’s plan is for us to live at full spiritual capacity! We are as spiritual as we want to be. Happy New Year!!!
1. Do you thirst for God?
2. Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?
3. Are you more loving?
4. Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?
5. Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
6. Do you delight in the Bride of Christ?
7. Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?
8. Do you still grieve over sin?
9. Are you a quicker forgiver?
10. Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?
Filed under: spirituality
This week Christians celebrate the most significant event in the history of mankind–the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised one sent from God. The God Man who was born of a virgin. Jesus Christ was declared by the angel on his birth as Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1: 23).
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I celebrate that God through Jesus Christ is here among us! He feels our pain. He understands our limitations. He knows the pains of human existence. He is with us! He has come and identified with us. He suffered shame, rejection, humiliation, and death. He has been saddened by betrayal, abuse and rejection even by his own family. He is with us!
He died for our sins and rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. He will come again to this painful, broken world. I thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, and worship you! Emmanuel! Maranatha Come, Lord Jesus!
I have been reading a very interesting book, Viral Loop by Adam L. Penenberg. It reminded me of the importance of trust when it comes to the internet.
Here is what I mean: All who socialize on the internet have a public self and a digital self. Interestingly the difference in relationships in our physical and virtual relationships is very small.
As a digital friend, you are known in a much larger network than in your physical relationships. Think about it–if you Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or participate in some other online social network, your digital relationships are much larger than the number of real-world friendships. As we connect online, we establish relationships of trust with a broader number of people, many of whom we have never met in person.
Why do so many participate in these online communities? As I learned from Viral Loop, “social networking makes us happy. Engaging with friends helps us live longer and better lives.” The author quotes a study that found that people with large networks of friends lived longer than those with fewer friends. But here is the big difference: The physical distance between the friends did not matter. A social network of trusting friends helped people live longer! So whether by phone, letter, or internet, a community of trusting friends makes us happy!
As you Facebook or Twitter, you are part of a virtual community of trust. What do you think about that? I would love to hear your comments.
In 2006 Second Life was hailed as the new virtual experience in social networking. Perhaps you were like me and gave it a try. I established my avatar and began my journey in Second Life. I would fly to church and to stores from island to island. (If you don’t know what I mean by “flying,” then you really should check out Second Life.) But most of the time I felt as if I were all alone in a virtual ghost town!
I read a very interesting article that talked about Second Life’s decline. The lessons learned from Second Life can help us understand what works and what does NOT work in the virtual world. I am not really up for recreating a physical world in the virtual. It so predictable.
I don’t think this represents the future of social networking. But of course that is just my opinion. I would say it looks like Second Life is about dead! What do you think?
The 21st century challenges publisher’s to consider a number of issues regarding the making of books for future generations. At NavPress we are thinking seriously about the impact of images and story on the making of books! I stumbled onto a post that reminded me that visual books are nothing new! Books in medieval times where visually designed! In fact images and text fit together nicely and books where a treasure of image art and textual art!
Could those days be coming back? What kind of books will be made in the future? Will they be a combination of images and text? These are questions I am considering these days. New days are before us!