Christianity in the World Today
Three out of every four Protestant ministers classify themselves as “conservative” or “fundamentalist,” while the fourth says he is “liberal” or “neo-orthodox.”
So indicates a representative nation-wide survey of American ministers. The poll was conducted for CHRISTIANITY TODAY by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey, using scientific random-sampling methods last October and November.
This question highlighted each survey interview:
Just how would you generally classify your theological position—fundamentalist, conservative, neo-orthodox, liberal, or some other category?
This is a breakdown of replies:
The classifications of theological position were left to the clergymen to define for themselves in their own understanding of the terms.
All were asked whether they felt it was essential to preach and teach the doctrines of: (1) God as creator of man, (2) the literal resurrection of Christ, (3) Christ as Saviour and Lord, (4) One sovereign God, (5) the Bible as the authoritative rule, (6) Christ as the Son of God, (7) the Bible as having been verbally inspired by God in original writings, (8) the virgin birth of Christ, (9) the vicarious substitutionary atonement of Christ, (10) the literal return or “second coming” of Christ, (11) the unity of all believers in Christ.
Virtually every minister said it is essential to preach and teach that God is creator of man, and that Christ is Saviour and Lord. An overwhelming majority said it is essential to preach and teach the Bible as the authoritative rule of life and death, the unique deity of Christ as the Son of God, and the unity of all believers in Christ.
However, 33 per cent said it is not essential to preach and teach that the ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more