It’s 2022, but Arianism and Pelagianism are steadily making a comeback, according to the State of Theology report.
American evangelicals’ grasp on theology is slipping, and more than half affirmed heretical views of God in this year’s State of Theology survey, released Monday by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research.
The report references Ligonier founder R. C. Sproul’s teaching that everyone’s a theologian. “However, Dr. Sproul would be quick to add that not everyone is a good theologian,” it read. That caveat applies to Americans in general and evangelicals too.
Overall, adults in the US are moving away from orthodox understandings of God and his Word year after year. More than half of the country (53%) now believes Scripture “is not literally true,” up from 41 percent when the biannual survey began in 2014.
Researchers called the rejection of the divine authorship of the Bible the “clearest and most consistent trend” over the eight years of data.
“This view makes it easy for individuals to accept biblical teaching that they resonate with while simultaneously rejecting any biblical teaching that is out of step with their own personal views or broader cultural values,” the researchers wrote.
It’s clear that US evangelicals (defined by belief and church affiliation) share some core faith convictions. Well over 90 percent agree that God is perfect, God exists in three persons, Jesus’ bodily resurrection is real, and people are made righteous not through works but through faith in him.
But in some areas, even evangelicals responded with significant misunderstandings and were not far off from the trends in society overall.
In the 2022 survey, around a quarter of evangelicals (26%) said the Bible is not literally true, up from 15 percent in 2020. They also became more likely to consider religious belief “a matter …