April 14, 2009

Christians on Christianity

Posted in Atheism, Atheism and Morality tagged , , , at 10:29 am by Andrew

The Barna Group, as many of you know, is a professional research organization — run by conservative Christians, mind you — that collects data about American Christianity and Christian beliefs and practices. Notably, the folks at Barna follow accepted research methods; as far as I can tell, it’s every bit as good as a secular polling outfit (and probably better than the Zogbys of the world).

Well, Barna has released their latest report, and it’s chock full of cross-tabbed goodies. For instance:

* 59% of professing Christians agree or strongly agree that Satan “is not a living being but a symbol of evil.”

* Similarly, 58% of professing Christians agree or strongly agree that the Holy Spirit is a symbol, rather than an actual, living being.

* Sadly (and weirdly), however, 54% of Christians continue to believe that people can be under the influence of demons or evil spirits, which I guess explains the persistence of people who believe in exorcisms. Well, that, and powerful imagination.

Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the rest of the fun. Go read it!

HT: The Real Issue.



  1. danielg said,

    In short, the real problem with a superficial look at Barna’s big numbers is that it includes a significant number of cultural Christians, not born again bible believers.

    As Barna notes:
    Born again adults are more than twice as likely as nationals to strongly disagree that Satan is just a symbol of evil, and that Jesus sinned while He lived on earth.

    Frankly, those who are not born again are not Christian, biblically speaking. Just read the first three chapters of John’s gospel. They’re just people with Christian sentiments.

  2. danielg said,

    Again, Barna’s study is mostly about people who ‘self-identify’ as Christian. While that is significant regarding xianity in America, it is insignificant as long as believing Christians are not sucked into such unbiblical positions.

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