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30% 'evangelicals' in US believe Jesus was merely a great teacher

by Cara Bentley

With a third of evangelicals in America saying they just think Jesus was a teacher and not the Messiah, there's a call for better church teaching on the theology of Christ. 

Every two years a survey is done to assess the theology of the nation by LifeWay Research and Ligonier ministries. This year, 52 per cent of American adults said they believed that Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more, which may not be surprising among the general public, but 30 per cent of evangelicals agreed with the same sentiment. 

Evangelicals were defined as people who held the Bible as their highest authority, were keen to evangelise and believed in Jesus as the only way to salvation. 

The 'State of Theology' survey found 65 per cent also agreed with the statement, 'Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God' - suggesting they believe Jesus was created and not creator and God himself. 

Ligonier said: "The confusion illustrated in these results suggests a dire need for Christians to be taught Christology, the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ."

Dr Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries and president of Reformation Bible College, said: "Statistics like these from the State of Theology survey can give us quite a shock, but they also shed light on the concerns that many American Christians and churches have expressed for decades. As the culture around us increasingly abandons its moral compass, professing evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God's absolute standard in Scripture. It's clear that the church does not have the luxury of idly standing by.

"This is a time for Christians to study Scripture diligently, engage confidently with people in our culture, and witness fearlessly to the identity and saving work of Jesus Christ in the gospel."

The full survey results will be released on Tuesday. 

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