According to a preliminary release on the findings of the 2020 State of Theology survey, 52% of American adults believe that Jesus was a great teacher, but he is not God.
Among those surveyed who identified as evangelicals, 30% agree that Jesus was merely a great teacher, and “nearly 65% still agree with the statement, Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God”.
Ligonier Ministries’ biennial State of Theology survey “provides key findings on what Americans think about God, truth, the Bible, worship, and ethical issues”, the authors say.
It was made along with LifeWay Research, which surveyed a representative sample of 3,002 US adults, including 630 professing evangelicals, from March 10 to 18, 2020. The full report will be release later in September.
“Evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God’s absolute standard in Scripture”
“Statistics like these can give us quite a shock, but they also shed light on the concerns that many American Christians and churches have expressed for decades. As the culture around us increasingly abandons its moral compass, professing evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God’s absolute standard in Scripture”, Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries and president of Reformation Bible College, pointed out.
Nichols stressed that “this is a time for Christians to study Scripture diligently, engage confidently with people in our culture, and witness fearlessly to the identity and saving work of Jesus Christ in the Gospel”.
LifeWay Research defined evangelicals in the survey as those who “strongly agreed with the following four statements: the Bible is the highest authority for what I believe; it is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour; Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin; and only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Saviour receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation”.
“The confusion illustrated in these results suggests a dire need for Christians to be taught Christology, the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ”, the authors from the Ligonier Ministries concluded.