September 29, 2010
More Evidence of Religious and Biblical Illiteracy
New survey finds atheists know more about religion and the Bible than evangelicals.
The results of a Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life survey have been widely reported this week. Pew asked 3,400 Americans 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity, and other world religions. The results were surprising. It turns out that on average atheists answered more questions correctly than evangelicals.
Average number of questions answered correctly, out of 32:
White evangelical: 17.6
White Catholic: 16.0
White mainline Protestant: 15.8
Black Protestant: 13.4
Hispanic Catholic: 11.6
Pew has posted an online version of the survey. Take the quiz and see if you average better than other Americans.
There has been an outcry for years about Biblical ignorance in the church, and this latest survey only adds fuel to that fire. But how do we reconcile the continuing decline in biblical knowledge with the fact that we have access to more Bible teaching than any Christians in history. According to figures in 2005, Americans spent nearly $7 billion on Christians books and merchandise. There are also more Christian radio stations, websites, podcasts, conferences, events, (and 24-hour sermon webcasts) than ever. With this flood of resources why aren’t more evangelicals actually learning the Bible?
If there was a bright spot in the research, it did uncover that those who attended worship services weekly performed better on the survey. It appears something is sticking.