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Biblical Literacy and The Media @pmphillips #medialit

Biblical Literacy and The Media @pmphillips #medialit

Biblical Literacy Survey

Preaching Survey

  • Remember ‘accommodation theory’ – how do you understand what the church feels about preaching?  ( Protecting from “reputational damage”.  Take the results… talking to “the experts” about what needs to change… but need to talk to the “activators” – those who are actually in the pew – rather than the professional body which tends to talk about “we’re doing great thanks”.
  • Encourage & lead… not about what may look good – remember that you are doing it for those in the pews/the audience NOT the person pushing. See Mary, Queen of Shops – create something that emphasises the client-side…  (
  • Are those videos (Rob Bell, etc.) what the church thinks wants to work. Great debate… just because I don’t like it, does that mean it’s not a great piece of communication?

Biblical Literacy Survey

  • Levels of Biblical Literacy have never been so low…
  • Why have so little Biblical training when training as ordinands? Why are you not ‘steeped’ in the Bible before going out…
  • Surveyed 1000 people in 9 different centres around England/Wales.
    • 75% of people have access to a Bible (35% modern versions, many have multiple)
    • 31% said it was significant (22% under 45)
    • 18% read it in the last week (11% under 45) [11 million, population of London]
    • 4% non-churchgoers read it last week.
    • People don’t engage with the Bible
    • People don’t know their Bible
    • 85% u45 have no knowledge of Abraham
    • 62% no knowledge about the Good Samaritan (although this is a phrase used in our language, only asking for A FACT)
    • 60% no knowledge about the Prodigal Son
    • 96% knew nothing about the madman at the graves.
    • Fairfax Report in the States – don’t learn Bible earlier, difficult to understand later.
      • If you don’t know your Bible, will be culturally and socially deficit.
      • Richard Dawkins says if you don’t know your Bible you have a cultural deficit.
      • Bible Society: Toxic rule book, it’s “not for normal people”, it’s for Holy Joes, good people, makes no sense for today, full of horrors.
      • Press very interested in the findings, Media Offices, BBC Press Releases, used personal contacts & used Twitter.  Phones read hot, and requests for copy are still ongoing.

Digital Symposium

  • Hashtag, Twitterfall, etc.

Preaching Survey; “View from the Pew”

  • Massive press interest
  • Tiny survey, 16 churches, not claiming to be representative.
  • Got picked up on p4 of the Times by Ruth Gledhill, and from there got picked up by many other hotspots.
  • Lots of opportunities to be interviewed – including 20 seconds on the BBC!
  • The power of the media – can hear own information quoted back as selves… without attribution!

#cnm10, 16 October 2010, London, checking out the Theology of the Internet, including:


Check out: Twitterfall ( #medialit

Diversity of responses again. Some didn’t get it, some thought it indicated that it’s not possible to become a Christian without intervention from someone else – others found it very effective.

Mini Christian viral – not on the scale of Susan Boyle!

Net Bibles

Package New Media – social shaping of technology

What about this video? More short & snappy?: