The legendary Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers, arguably the best team to ever set foot on a professional football field. Once, after his Packers lost to a very inferior team, Coach Lombardi said nothing after the game. The next morning these monstrous men who had spent most of their life on the gridiron, sat in silence, fearing the wrath of the coach who demanded so much from them. When Lombardi entered the room he spoke softly. He said, “Men, today we go back to the basics.” He then held up a football and said emphatically, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
There are many times as I watch the church flounder to be the glorious church that God has called her to be that I went to hold my Bible high into the air and say, “Today we go back to the basics. Church, this is a Bible.” ”
The truth is that the church today seems to be more biblically illiterate than ever before. I think there are several reasons for this. One is all of modern electronics we have today in our entertainment world. Between the television, DVD’s, movie theaters, IPODS, video games, computers and the internet, we have very little time left for the Bible.
Another problem is the disintegration today of absolute truth and the bent there is toward critical thinking that has caused us to spend more time questioning the Bible than learning the absolute truths and convictions that allow Scripture to change our lives. Now don’t get me wrong, I think we should all be able to know more than a recitation of a creed. We need to not only know what we believe but why we believe it. But the need is to start first with what we believe. I was able several years ago to have breakfast where the President of a well-known Bible College spoke. He said very clearly that incoming freshmen know less about the Bible today than ever before.
When I taught my Contemporary Issues class at Grace College, the very first thing that I would do on the very first day of class is to have the students take out a piece of paper and from memory list the 66 books of the Bible in order and spelled correctly. In seven years of teaching, I had less than five students that could do it without any errors.
Folks, listen, why don’t you give it a try? Without looking in your Bible, pull out a blank sheet of paper, number 1 to 66 and see how close you can get. Can you list the books of the Bible in order? Can you spell them correctly? My guess is that many (perhaps most) cannot do both. So, let’s go back to the basics! Is there really anything more basic to the Bible than knowing the books of the Bible in order and how to find them when the pastor says, “Let’s turn to…?”
Why not make the determination right now to tackle this one no matter how long it takes. You may be able to do it in a week. It may take a month. For some, it may take a year. That’s okay. Learn three 3 books a week and in just 22 weeks you’ll be finished.