57 Percent of Churchgoers Say the Bible Is ‘Challenging’ When Reading on Their Own

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57 Percent of Churchgoers Say the Bible Is ‘Challenging’ When Reading on Their Own


An overwhelming majority of Protestant churchgoers say they are confident they could address someone’s doubts about the truthfulness of Scripture, but many churchgoers nevertheless say they also find the Bible “challenging” at times, according to a new poll.

The LifeWay Research survey of 1,002 Protestant churchgoers who attend services at least once a month found that 57 percent said they “find it challenging to make sense of the Bible” when they read it on their own. Nineteen present “strongly” agreed with the statement, while 38 percent said they “somewhat” agree.

The poll, released Wednesday, was conducted in partnership with Explore the Bible curriculum.

“Reading and studying as an individual is important, but we need others to help us think through what we discover,” said Dwayne McCrary of Explore the Bible. “Studying together also allows us to gain insights from others that move us forward in our study as well.”

But on other questions, churchgoers expressed confidence. For example:

  • 90 percent agreed that “when I read a passage of the Bible on my own, I can usually understand how it is relevant to me.”
  • 82 percent agreed that if someone came to them “expressing difficulty accepting morals taught in the Bible that don’t fit their cultural values,” they “would be able to directly address their difficulties.”
  • 81 percent agreed that if…

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