New Radio Program Tackles Challenge of Biblical Literacy Head-On

(Unsplash/Jonathan Velasquez)

Radio programmers at "Proclaim 18," The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Feb. 27 - Mar.2, are being introduced to a new program that tackles the "Acts 8 problem"—people who don't understand the Bible.

While best known for making God's Word available in places where people do not have easy access to a copy of their own, Bibles For The World (BFTW, is turning some of its attention to helping those with readily available Scriptures make more sense of it.

The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based missions organization has launched Learn the Bible in a Year, a new daily radio feature that leads listeners from Genesis to Revelation in 365, two-minute programs. Debuting recently on more than 500 stations across the United States, the project is designed with busy people in mind, offering a short, clear guide to the main themes and messages of the Bible.

The team behind the series hopes it will not only deepen Bible engagement in the United States, but help further its work around the world.

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Produced by Westar Media, Learn the Bible in a Year is presented by former pastor and Bible teacher Dr. Shane Houle, now BFTW's Director of Scripture Engagement. Explaining the initiative, he said: "In Acts 8, when Philip met the Ethiopian gentleman riding in his chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah, he asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' 'How can I,' the man answered, 'unless someone explains it to me?'"  

Houle is also the author of an accompanying 600-page book of the same name, which is to be translated into other languages. Previously self-published, Learn the Bible in a Year has now been produced in a special BFTW edition being given free to supporters of the organization. With the aim of helping people "put the pieces of God's story together," Houle spent six years on the project.

"That's the premise for this book," he said. "I wanted people to be able to easily understand God's story from beginning to end. And I'm delighted that Bibles For The World wants to make the book available to people, not only in the United States, but also in translations around the globe."

The project was born out of concern at the growing level of biblical illiteracy in America, according to BFTW President and CEO John Pudaite.

"Our passion to see God's Word be available to everyone, everywhere, is only exceeded by our desire that they understand its contents," he said. "Because of our focus on the power of God's Word to transform lives, we have a unique opportunity to help foster a new appreciation for the Bible—and to enlist more people in making God's Word known to unreached peoples," he added.

In addition to radio, the Learn the Bible in a Year series can be followed at the BFTW website (, where subscribers can listen to episodes and download accompanying study materials designed to be completed in just seven minutes a day. It is also available as an iTunes podcast (

BFTW was founded in 1971 by Pudaite's father, Rochunga Pudaite, who came from a headhunter people group in northeast India evangelized by a missionary who introduced them to the Gospel of John. The organization has since distributed millions of Gospels of John, and more recently full Bibles, to unreached people groups.

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