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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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October 14, 2008

Class dismissed?

Last Sunday, Incarnation Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn., started a Bible study as part of the ELCA’s Book of Faith initiative. The ELCA’s five-year emphasis is an effort to draw people into study so they can become more familiar with the Bible as a source of truth in their lives.

An article in the Shoreview [Minn.] Press began: “Most churches offer some type of Bible study course that can help people learn about the good book. A recent study conducted by the ELCA, however, found that few people actually attend those courses. ELCA research found that only 6 percent of its members are currently involved in Bible study and 47 percent have never been involved in a Bible study course.”

Luther Dale, a pastor of Incarnation, was quoted: “God speaks through the Bible to us today, it helps us understand who we are and how we can live.” He warns that it’s not a self-help book in the traditional sense, but “it confronts us as who we are as human beings and how God is related to us in this turbulent, sometimes nasty and wonderful world.”

If Bible study can provide such insight and the classes are being offered, I wonder: “Why aren’t there more people in class?”

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