Ligonier Says 2018 State of Theology Survey Results Reveal ‘Deep Confusion’ About Bible’s Teaching

State of Theology study logoWhat do Americans believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible?

Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research partnered to find out and last week released the results of their 2018 State of Theology survey, which interviewed a demographically balanced online panel of 3,000 American adults.

“Every two years, we take the theological temperature of the United States to help Christians better understand today’s culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship,” explained Ligonier Ministries in introducing its survey results at

Some of the key findings from 2018 included:

  • 60% of Americans agree that “Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth.”
  • 52% of Americans agree that “Abortion is sin.”
  • 44% of Americans agree that “The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today.”

Among evangelicals, some key findings included:

  • 97% of evangelicals agree that “There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”
  • 91% of evangelicals agree that “God counts a person as righteous not because of one’s works but only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
  • 52% of evangelicals agree that “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.”
  • 51% of evangelicals agree that “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
  • 32% of evangelicals agree that “Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth.”

“The 2018 State of Theology survey reveals deep confusion about the Bible’s teaching, not only among Americans as a whole, but also among evangelicals,” concluded Ligonier Ministries. “There is something very wrong when a majority of Americans can give the correct answers to basic Bible questions and at the same time say that their beliefs are purely a matter of personal opinion.”

According to the ministry, the survey results “show the urgent need for sound biblical teaching and the bold preaching of the gospel.”

“There is much work to be done, but it is our hope that these findings will serve the church in its efforts to reach more people with the faithful proclamation of the truth of God’s Word,” it stated.

The State of Theology survey was carried out from April 24 to May 4, 2018, and the results are available online at

Evangelicals were defined by LifeWay Research as people 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 Savior.
  • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
  • Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

By NRB Staff

Published: October 25, 2018


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