Report: Ligonier and LifeWay say biblical literacy among evangelicals is at a shocking low
· · Sep 26, 2022 ·

Every two years, Ligonier and Lifeway do a "State of Theology" study to show whether or not evangelicals still hold to biblical beliefs.

The results of this year's survey are discouraging.

Here are a few of the answers that should leave most church attendees and Bible believers scratching their heads.

Despite the clear teaching of Scripture, this year's survey reveals that approximately half of evangelicals believe that God learns and adapts to various situations, meaning that they believe that God does change.

These results show that American evangelicals and the general U.S. population are essentially equivalent in their agreement with this statement. Nearly half of both groups believe that God changes by learning and adapting. This may indicate the influence of open theism (which denies God's complete knowledge of future events) and process theology (which denies God's omnipotence and asserts that He does undergo changes) within the evangelical church. This finding may also indicate a lack of clear, biblical teaching on the character of God in evangelical churches.

The average man on the street is just as likely to have the correct answer about God's unchanging nature than a self-proclaimed evangelical.

What about original sin?

The fact that two-thirds of evangelicals believe that humans are born in a state of innocence reveals that the biblical teaching of original sin is not embraced by most evangelicals. God's Word, however, makes clear that all humans are "by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). This truth is foundational for an accurate understanding of the gospel and of our absolute need for the grace of God in salvation.

Some more insights:

  • 94% believe sex outside biblical marriage (1 man and 1 woman) is sinful, but only 37% believe sexual or gender identity is a choice.
  • 28% believe the Bible's explicit condemnation of homosexuality doesn't apply today.
  • 26% believe the Bible is not literally true.
  • 56% believe God accepts the worship of all religions (that all religions lead to God and eternal life).

Here's the big one though in anaylsis from Breakpoint:

Some 56% of evangelicals agreed with the idea that "God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam," in contrast to Jesus' words in Matthew that without Him, "no one knows the Father."

The most stunning result had to do with the topic of Jesus Christ's divinity. When asked whether they agreed that "Jesus was a great teacher …but not God," 43% of American evangelicals answered yes. That number is up 13% from just two years ago.

43% of American evangelicals do not believe that Jesus is God!

That's the core tenet of our belief. There is no Christianity without the divinity of Christ. Faith in a mortal Christ makes us more pitiful than anyone on the planet (1 Corinthians 15).

It's worth noting that these failures are not because evangelicals have a low view of Scripture. Some 95%, after all, still agree with the statement that "the Bible is 100% accurate in all that it teaches." The implication, then, is that they simply don't know what it teaches, either because they haven't been taught or they haven't cared enough to learn.

In fact, in many corners of evangelicalism, it is assumed that doctrine doesn't matter. This can take at least two forms: hyper-emotionalism, the idea that God will settle for our sincerity and our affection, even over and above whether or not our beliefs are true; or a hyper-politicization, one that assumes it really matters whom you vote for and what group you belong to, not what you believe about the essential truth of the Gospel or the claims of Christ.

Our fellow Christians are often completely lost. They do not have an understanding of doctrine or theology in the least.

If Christianity is what can save our nation and defeat the forces of evil, then a right understanding of Christianity is necessary in order to be ready for battle.

Unfortunately, we are soldiers asleep on watch while the Enemy lays waste to everything around us.

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