While the picture of religion in America today is complex, certain underlying themes emerge:
The widespread and continuing appeal of religion. Certain measurements show remarkable stability. For example, the percentage of Americans who believe in God or a universal spirit, the percentage who pray, and the percentage who say they attend church weekly. Other measurements, however, reveal sharp differences between the mid-'50s and nowparticularly in the number of biblical "literalists."
The glaring lack of knowledge about the Bible, basic doctrines, and the traditions of one's church. There has been little improvement on this score over the last half-century, despite growth in the percentage of Americans who have attended college.
Inconsistencies of belief. For example, evangelical Christians occasionally express belief in New Age practices.
The superficiality of faith. Many people don't know exactly what they believe, or why.
Belief in God, but lack ...1