As the era of electronic media opens, less Americans are keeping close contact with books, also effecting their biblical knowledge as well.
According to a new government study “Reading at Risk,” fewer than half of adults read a novel, short story or book of poetry last year. The study further revealed that the number of readers is experiencing a drastic decline, especially among young adults.
Wheaton College professor Leland Ryken commented that Americans are being drawn to more passive forms of entertainment. "I would also lay a lot of blame at the doorstep of what I'm going to call electronic media," Ryken said. "I think they have beguiled people away from reading into other ways of using their free time."
Ryken also pointed out the effect of electronic media within the Christian community.
"The decline of reading," Ryken explained, "has to take a toll in (the) decline of biblical knowledge."
However, not everyone is against such trend. Some people think Christians should evangelize through the new media and work according to social and cultural changes.
"We are moving very quickly into other media so we can capture these people from their own cultural background and from their interest point," said Peter Bradley of the International Bible Society.
However despite such decline in number of readers, publishers say sales of religious books is experiencing a dramatic increase, which gives a sign of hope for Christian literacy in America.