Friday, August 17, 2007

High Literacy Rate - Only Half The Story

In his epic work entitled "And It Came To Pass - Not To Stay", R. Buckminster Fuller poetically speaks of the progress of history. At one point, he says:

"World's people have changed from 90 percent illiterate to
90 percent literate;"

Quite a change, eh? That was in the 70s and now I'm seeing the literacy rate rated as 82%. Perhaps he rounded up?

However, that is only half of the story. It does look impressive, but there are some other facts which give a slightly more bleak picture:

* The female literacy rate is under 80%
* Two thirds of all illiterate people are concentrated in 8 countries in Asia and Africa
* In certain areas in Africa, 50% of females and 1/3 of men are illiterate

But, there's more.. Literacy in the Western world, while technically widespread, still stands on shaky ground. Countless thousands of affluent kids and adults in North America are literate but almost never read.

So, we may have a high literacy rate, but do we read? Can we read challenging books? Are we Biblically literate?

I'm afraid that the percentage of Christians who are Biblically illiterate is probably higher than the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa that are generally illiterate.

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