I must say, this conversation is very familiar in my evangelical background. As a former youth Pastor, it seems to me that the issue of poor catechesis is a cultural stronghold. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of wickedness in heavenly places.” I presume we all recognize that quote. For me, a big part of why I learned to care a lot about scriptural literacy was because my dad demonstrated it to me. His bible was worn out. He also brought me along for communal prayer and worship in a way that it was more like including me instead of dragging me. I still remember the first time he invited me to a midweek bible study. “Do you want to come with me?” I was too young to follow along the subject, but I understood that I was being included. We were exercising our faith–me and my dad together. He also surprised me with a 15 cent milky way afterword. It wasn’t a bribe; it was sharing a treat together. That builds a bond. When we got to a certain age, my dad took me and my brother to a christian book store and bought us each bibles. I remember it distinctly that the bible he bought me was in a similar style as his. It was the same translation too. There is something about mentoring here because somehow the way he did it, It seemed like a rite of passage. I wore out the new testament portion before I was 13. When I left for college, I had a new copy, but I kept the old one for a long time until it literally fell apart.
I have three bibles in my semi truck with me. I admit its a bit excessive, but… its the most awesome book you ever heard of!!! one of them was given me my dad. its an unusual translation that helps get a different angle on a language I don’t speak. I also have a King James (I know, not very catholic but still a pretty good translation) and I have a Reina Valera my wife bought me. I hope my kids love scripture as much as their grandpa.
Young children are inclined to find joy in the things their parents sincerely love. If we want young people to know and love scripture and doctrine, we have to be “poster child” adults who love the word in word and deed. If we act like scripture doesn’t mean much to us or that the community of faith is a drudge, they will not want to join us–why would they?