The first Bible-companion textbook was adopted statewide in Alabama last week. The state’s board of education unanimously approved The Bible and Its Influence as a comprehensive curriculum in literature for Alabama.
“This is major news in the field of education,” said Chuck Stetson, chairman of the textbook’s producer, The Bible Literacy Project. “This means that any school in the state of Alabama can purchase our textbook with state-provided funds until 2013.”
The textbook, designed to be used in conjunction with a Bible, meets the outlined school board standards for a sole textbook used in an elective course. The full-color 387-page book covers content from Genesis to Revelation with featured sidebars about the Bible’s influence on literature, poetry, music, art, history, Western civilization, Abraham Lincoln, Handel’s "Messiah" and Shakespeare, as well as many other effects the Bible has had on civilization. Bible literacy courses are intended to familiarize students with the Bible, not to persuade them to believe a doctrine.
“Would I prefer a more explicitly biblical Christian teaching?” Charles Colson, the outspoken evangelical founder of Prison Fellowship, asked Time magazine earlier this year. “Of course. But you can't do that in public education. What you can do is introduce the Bible so that people are aware of its impact on people and in history and then let God speak through it as He will.”
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