Does Reading the Bible Give you an Open Mind?


  • The likelihood of Christians saying it is important to actively seek social and economic justice to be a good person increased 39 percent with each jump up the ladder of the frequency of reading Scripture, from reading the Bible less than once a year to no more than once a month to about weekly to several times a week or more.
  • Christian respondents overall were 27 percent more likely to say it is important to consume or use fewer goods to be a good person as they became more frequent Bible readers.
  • Reading the Bible more often also was linked to improved attitudes toward science. Respondents were 22 percent less likely to view religion and science as incompatible at each step toward more frequent Bible reading.
  • The issues seemed to matter more than conservative-liberal tags. In the case of another major public policy debate, same-sex unions, nearly half of respondents who read the Bible less than once a year said homosexuals should be allowed to marry, while only 6 percent of people who read the Bible several times a week or more approved of such marriages.

David Briggs: Frequent Bible Reading Tied to Social Justice, Openness to Science.

Again – um, duh?

Of course, I assume that this excludes proof-texting, but actually reading the bible and engaging the text.

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13 Replies to “Does Reading the Bible Give you an Open Mind?”

  1. I’d be willing to bet that the same results would occur with someone who joins a sci-fi/fantasy book club.

    The more you challenge your brain with questions about what you’re reading and conversations about its implications, it follows logically that you’d be more open to other concepts.

    The Bible is not itself the marker; it’s the propensity to read critically any sufficiently interesting text.

      1. Based on one study, whose methodology could easily be challenged… My hypothesis is that I could repeat the findings with any other sufficiently engaging text and regular critical study. The action is not “reading the bible.” The action is “regularly reading critically.”

        We have seen the outcome of a nation filled with people who regularly read the bible, and they are certainly not open-minded.

          1. Now you’re just being stubborn. Shocker!

            I’ll say it again: my alternate hypothesis is that I could repeat the findings with any other sufficiently engaging text and regular critical study.

            The evidence that people who read the bible are more open-minded just isn’t there, which calls into question the veracity of this particular study and, perhaps moreso, its methodology.

            If you can find a reliable way to separate proof-texters from actual “readers”, good luck…

          2. Good. Do the test and repeat the findings.

            Talk about being stubborn – anytime someone can contribute something good to the bible, you react harshly. Shocker.

      1. It’s my “alternate hypothesis” that you’re wrong, and I’ve presented just as much evidence to substantiate it as you have.

        I.e. none at all.

  2. Joel, as I said in our phone conversation… People who read the bible in as studious and scholarly manner as you are in EXTREMELY short supply.

    For many, the simple act of scanning the words within the leather-bound covers makes them feel good.

    Other studies using fMRI technology shows that people who have “religious experiences” have the same brain activity & dopamine levels as a person using illicit substances to “get high”…

    I don’t see the downside of positing the alternate hypothesis that critical reading skills are the real motivator for an open mind and not the text being read.

    1. “I don’t see the downside of positing the alternate hypothesis”

      When you’ve some evidence to support it, please let us know.

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