Monday, June 06, 2005

Spiritual Junk Food and Its Effects

So, what happens when you get several decades of Christ-less preaching and marketing practices instead of theology and worship?

This is what you get. In this NRO article, Dave Shiflett explains why secularists have little to fear from American evangelicals. Sadly, he's right.

Yet one finds little of the crusading spirit of religious certitude even among the dread born-again Christians and Evangelicals. Pollsters, including the much-quoted George Barna, have instead divined widespread heterodoxy and a live-and-let-live attitude.

Born-again Christians simply aren’t as generally advertised. Consider their view of Jesus, once regarded as the Sinless One. Twenty-eight percent agree that “while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people.” That is far from a crusading belief. Even further afield, 35 percent of these supposedly hard-core believers do not believe Jesus experienced a physical resurrection, a belief shared by 39 percent of the general population (85 percent of Americans say they believe that Jesus is “spiritually alive,” whatever that may mean. One recalls that many Americans believe their deceased pets are now ghosts, which may also qualify as being spiritually alive.)

In this same spirit, 52 percent of born agains believe the Holy Spirit is merely a symbol of God’s presence or power but is not a living entity, not much different than the general adult population (61 percent). Nor does the devil find much support. Nearly 60 percent of American adults say Satan does not exist as a being at all, but is merely a symbol of evil; 45 percent of born again Christians agree.

These supposed storm troopers of the religious right have surprisingly little interest in bringing non-believers into the fold. Over one quarter — 26 percent — think it doesn’t matter what faith a person has because religions teach pretty much the same thing, while 50 percent believe a life of “good works” will get you into heaven.

Reformed crusaders will argue that this is a clarion call to get out there and fight for Reformed theology. Maybe so. I'm more inclined to think that we ought to learn to crawl before we start talking about running marathons. Right now, I'd settle for a simple revival of Nicene/evangelical orthodoxy!


Blogger pgepps said...

I linked this with little additional commentary over at Comment Me No Comments.

Reading through Frame. Posted Nicene Creed on my blog as reference test.


5:55 AM  
Blogger burttd said...

Thanks. Your blog is now linked. Let me know if/when you're ready to join me in dissecting Frame's book.

8:25 AM  

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