The results of the recent Pew research survey (2010) came with the following headline in many newspapers and online sources:
Atheists Know More About Religion Than Christians.
I thought I would provide a little context on understanding these findings.
First, the results are not as bad as they first appear. The survey was about more than just what a Christian knows about the Scriptures or the Christian faith. Rather is was about what Christians (as well as others) know about other faiths, cultures, and history. To a degree I would expect an atheist, thoroughly entrenched in pluralism, to know more about other faiths than Christians would.
Second, the survey can be misleading because of how they classify someone as Christian. The term Christian is bantered around so much today that at times it has little to no meaning. All the survey required was for the people to self-identify as Christian. This could mean the person who never attends any type of religious gathering, does not believe in any of the historical truths of Christianity, or does not live a life in line with Jesus and His teaching, is labeled as a Christian as part of the survey.
Third, I do not dispute the underlying narrative this survey is points out. That narrative being that Christians do not know their faith, their Scriptures, or their history. It is sad, but it isn’t new. I listen to sermons often and wonder if the preacher even knows the Christian faith or the text from which he is presenting, so why would I expect the ones listening to know more? I also see Christians flock to the next best self-help guru disguised as a preacher. They are convinced that his sweet speech of nothingness is the true gospel. Or the preacher who keeps their attention through great story telling, but nothing more.
On top of this I see the trend of viewing serious Scripture study as irrelevant for today’s world. Instead its been replaced with an idolatry of “I need to get something out of the text that helps me”. The arrogance in this idea is often not seen. But it is truly arrogant to say that you know what you need more than God. In this type of culture I’m not surprised that individuals know less than they should about their faith.
These facts in fact were the impetus for this site. I was tired of seeing what is commonly called “Christian” masqueraded before the world. I want to help Christians know their faith and the Scriptures which is foundational to it. I want a forum where Scripture is studies in a systematic way. Where good bible study is modeled and solid discussions and applications come from what the Scripture teach, not from whatever someones “pet” truth is. I want to help people realize that the historical Christian face is defensible and truth. I want to change the narrative. I know most will keep loving and following the smooth talker with no substance, but I also believe there are people who still want a “word from the Lord.”