This is no longer a matter of personal or private faith.

With politicians, social leaders and even some clergy invoking a book they seem to have never read and whose phrases they don’t understand, America is being besieged by Biblical illiteracy.

So where do we find a model of forming deep people? Most of Jesus' public ministry was invested in a small number of men and women.

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My earliest appreciation for the term came when I read a comment by Richard Foster, "The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people." What does it mean to be a deep Christ-follower today when the unlimited options, noisy distractions, and million versions of truth swamp our soul?

How is it possible to be a deep person while being swept up in community, school, and church events, shopping, networking, laundering, family-building, and a 50-60 hour work week?

The accounts of how Jesus recruited his disciples show the opposite.

Jesus spent time on the boat with Peter and other fishermen, Peter told him, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man! Jesus responded, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people." (Luke ). Too much of a past, he may have reasoned; too many character defects; too many other ambitions.

“Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it,’’ wrote George Gallup Jr.

and Jim Castelli, pollsters and researchers whose work focused on religion in the United States.

Jesus approached discipleship, however, very differently from many of the rabbis of his time.

Rabbis would often vet their students to carefully make sure they were the most influential, the most brilliant, and known for their righteousness.

Climate change is said to be impossible because of promises God made to Noah; Mosaic law from the Old Testament directs American government; creationism should be taught in schools; helping Syrians resist chemical weapons attacks is a sign of the end times—all of these arguments have been advanced by modern evangelical politicians and their brethren, yet none of them are supported in the Scriptures as they were originally written.

Keep up with this story and more The Bible is not the book many American fundamentalists and political opportunists think it is, or more precisely, what they want it to be.

Their abilities or giftedness may be quite diverse, but each has the power to influence others to follow Jesus, grow in Christ-likeness, and live a life of faithful service.