A new survey from the ministry of the late R.C. Sproul reveals that 52 percent of American adults believe Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more.
More surprisingly, Ligonier Ministries’ biennial State of Theology survey found that almost a third of evangelicals (30 percent) are among those who agree that Jesus was merely a great teacher.
“Statistics like these from the State of Theology survey can give us quite a shock, but they also shed light on the concerns that many American Christians and churches have expressed for decades,” commented Dr. Stephen Nichols, Chief Academic Officer of Ligonier Ministries and President of Reformation Bible College, in the announcement of the survey results.
“As the culture around us increasingly abandons its moral compass, professing evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God’s absolute standard in Scripture,” he continued. “It’s clear that the church does not have the luxury of idly standing by. 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.”
Conducted with LifeWay Research, Ligonier’s survey polled a nationally representative sample of 3,002 adults in the United States, including 630 professing evangelicals, from March 10 to 18, 2020.
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.
The full results for the 2020 survey will be available online at TheStateofTheology.com starting September 8. The survey provides key findings on what Americans think about God, truth, the Bible, worship, and ethical issues.
To help Christians articulate the Bible’s teaching on the person and work of Jesus Christ with accuracy and simplicity, Ligonier Ministries has formulated the Ligonier Statement on Christology. Available in twenty written languages, this statement can be read and downloaded at ChristologyStatement.com.