U. S. evangelicals confused about theology
June 2017 – Most American evangelical Christians are confused about theology according to The State of Theology, a research project sponsored by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research.
While more than 90% hold orthodox views on issues ranging from the perfection of God to the sinfulness of sex outside marriage between a man and a woman, other beliefs are disconcerting.
The study focused on beliefs in six key doctrinal areas: God, goodness and sin, salvation and religious texts, heaven and hell, church, and authority.
Concerning God, 97% believe God exists in the Trinity; however, 56% believe the Holy Spirit is a force instead of a person.
In regard to heaven and hell, only 40% believe hell is an eternal place of judgment, and 60% believe all people will go to heaven.
Fifty-nine percent believe worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regular church attendance. Among those, 30% believe the Bible is written for each person to interpret as he or she chooses.
Nathan Finn, dean of the school of theology and missions at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, said we are “as influenced by American individualism as we are the Christian worldview,” and have, therefore, devolved into a “me and my Bible are enough’ mentality.”
The study presented 3,000 American adults with a number of statements such as the one in the graphic above. Respondents were asked to strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, indicate not sure, somewhat agree, or strongly agree.
Visit thestateoftheology.com to explore the data in various demographic categories such as age, gender, region, education, etc.
factsandtrends.net, 10/11/16; thestateoftheology.com