Illiteracy and Spiritual Growth

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Rolfe, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Rolfe

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    There is a thread currently running in the Theology Section about books. The implication is that they are necessary for spiritual growth.

    I am curious what people here believe about the capability of the illiterate to grow spiritually.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    Yes, they can grow spiritually, but not nearly as far, as deep, as mature as they could if they could and did read. Sadly, there are those who can read but do not.
     
  3. JonC

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    They are helpful in understanding Scripture. Without commentary, it is easy to place the text of Scripture within our own context and misunderstand what is actually stated. These books are helpful (speaking of commentary) in bridging not only language but cultural gaps when studying the Bible. Also, books help as we wrestle with theological issues (many contemporary issues have been considered in the past...we can benefit from historical theology.

    But no, the implication that these books are necessary for spiritual growth, IMHO, is intellectual snobbery. If they are needed, then the issue becomes which ones are the right ones...if they are needed, then surely the right ones are to some degree inspired...etc. I guess it depends on the understanding and need of the individual. But what is needed for spiritual growth is the Spirit.

    I have, BTW, ran across many who are very well read and intellectually right on target but seem to be lacking in the spiritual growth department.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I disagree with that Crabtownboy.

    Given the history of Christianity is spread across centuries where the vast majority of believers couldn't read, it seems unlikely that illiteracy is a hindrance to sanctification and spiritual growth.

    We do plenty of work in and with third world churches. They have many members who can't read...but they can sing, they can use their hands, they can recall the stories (they're quite good with the stories), they can recite verses and passages, they can do ministry. In fact, in many ways, some of the most vibrant people I know spiritually in these places are illiterate.

    Because the Gospel transcends our intellectual abilities and Christianity is not a religion based solely in the mind, but it is placed also in our hearts.

    As someone with a terminal degree in theology, my life is enriched and my faith enhanced by my ability to read. Shame on me if I think that someone who can't is less of a Christian. :)
     
  5. RLBosley

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    This. :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    But who is to know how far they might have matured had they been able to read. Why did the Roman church find it useful to keep the masses of people ignorant?



    There are no lessor Christians, but there are Christians who are more mature than others. Do you know of any great theologians, philosophers or thinkers who could not read? One of the most mature Christians I have known had little formal education, but he could read and he did read lots and lots and lots.

     
  7. preachinjesus

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    Well your point about the RCC is incorrect. In fact, the RCC is responsible for the spread of educational systems in the medieval period. As for their use of the Latin Mass, well that's a different issue.

    Generally speaking, there are usually individuals in the community who are able to read and keep them affixed with Scripture. If not them, than the regular check ups just like Paul says he got in Galatians 1-2. You seem to be inferring something I haven't written here.

    We always want to help people be educated. Education is the silver bullet for so many things in our society and lives. Education changes the world. My points aren't about education, but about the reality the those who can't read are in no worse place than those who can. Our salvation and sanctification aren't predicated on the ability to read the words of Christ, but to receive the Word.

    And I simply reject the notion that intellectual growth equal maturity. :)
     
  8. MB

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    Since it is Jesus who saved us isn't it also true that it is God who finishes the work He began in us all. Whether we can read or not.
    MB
     
  9. Inspector Javert

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    #9 Inspector Javert, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2014
  10. JohnDeereFan

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    There are enough resources now that you can learn and grow to a certain extent without being able to read. But it's kind of like running a race with a rock tied around one leg.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Out of curiosity (and I'm not trying to be a wiseguy) but is anyone illiterate these days? Maybe I'm just considering this country!?!
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    I sure learned allot in seminary and grew a love for books, and also that is where I learned Street Evangelism and grew a passion for witnessing there. Boy books and good teaching/preaching sure ddi help me.
     
  13. Don

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    Is this a serious post? Or did someone hack Evangelist's account?
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Oh Don....there is a belly laugh right there:laugh:
     
  15. kyredneck

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    All I can say is that evidently there's a lot of you poor souls that have never sat under the powerful preaching of the gospel that I've been blessed to hear. One doesn't have to be literate to listen to the healthful teaching of the gospel.

    It's the way God set it up, He designed it, He intended our timely salvation to be through the preaching of the gospel.

    Thank you Lord!
     
  16. JonC

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    Yes...books are good. But I had one in college, "Modern Business Statistics," that was bad. Very, very bad. And the author was Reformed...I think. Kept saying stuff like "coefficient of variation"....Arminians don't say stuff like that.
     
  17. HAMel

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    While a Sophomore in High School a notice was posted about taking an IQ test. It was two hours long and I said to myself..., "Self, go ahead. You'll get out of English and Biology class. It was play time, to me. Besides, I didn't know the difference between an IQ Test and a Left Handed Water Pump.

    So, I took the test. I scored so low they wouldn't tell me how bad it was afraid it would warp my "widdle" mind. Seriously, I just marked answers and just wasted my time.

    As an adult I have been tested and found to be in the higher echelons of average, reflecting at around one hundred with a deviation of fifteen. No, I'm no Einstein nor am I a Bubba. An interesting aspect of an IQ test however is that there is no real way to gauge someone intelligence. Rather, an IQ test better rates ones personality.

    Moving right along here..., I didn't find out until 1990 that I am an Introverted individual. At this point, a lot of doors opened for me and, what had been cloudy in years past finally began to make sense.

    I can read and gain very little. I can listen and the topic opens up like a raging river. I can then think about it all for a day or two and retain it for an entire lift time.

    The biggest difference between an Introvert and an Extrovert basically boils down to how we process information. About 75% of the world are Extroverted while only 25% of us are Introverted. Pipe smokers are usually extremely Introverted.

    As such, people who are lacking in basic education more than make up for their loss through other processes. Example being, a blind person can "see" what sighted individuals often can't see. I worked with a deaf mute (from birth) years ago who told me (by writing a note) the only thing he ever heard was his dog yelp when it got hit by a car and killed. I just looked at him.



    ...may I suggest that for grins and giggles you all take the Meyers-Briggs test. It on line and should reflect about 100 questions. There are no right or wrong answers but it's fun to see the results.
     
  18. Salty

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    Actually an excellent question.

    How many college Freshman are required to take remedial English?

    The need for remediation is widespread. When considering all first-time undergraduates, stud­ies have found anywhere from 28 percent to 40 percent of students enroll in at least one re­medial course. When looking at only community college students, several studies have found remediation rates surpassing 50 percent.

    Link for this info
     
  19. Don

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    My wife showed me a Pinterest thing: "How, in only 100 years, did our colleges go from requiring Latin to teaching remedial English?"
     
  20. evangelist6589

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    You kidding? That kind of a subject can be taught by anyone even unbelievers. The same with Math, economics, sociology, art, computer science, computer information systems, etc..
     

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