Half of American atheists believe in Hell?


Clayton Cramer calls attention to a remarkable survey by Barna Research, which reveals a lot of theological confusion in America -- born-again Christians who believe that you can earn a place in heaven by good works, and atheists who believe in heaven, hell, and that Jesus is the way to eternal life. From the report:

Many of those who describe themselves as either atheistic or agnostic also harbor contradictions in their thinking. “Half of all atheists and agnostics say that every person has a soul, that Heaven and Hell exist, and that there is life after death. One out of every eight atheists and agnostics even believe that accepting Jesus Christ as savior probably makes life after death possible. These contradictions are further evidence that many Americans adopt simplistic views of life and the afterlife based upon ideas drawn from disparate sources, such as movies, music and novels, without carefully considering those beliefs. Consequently, the labels attached to people – whether it be ‘born again’ or ‘atheist’ may not give us as much insight into the person’s beliefs as we might assume.”

On the one hand, this is encouraging news for Christians, because these contradictory beliefs held by atheists represent a point of contact between the atheist and the Biblical world view, and thus an avenue for the Gospel. On the other hand, the idea that one's worldview should hang together logically no longer seems to be accepted by the American public -- that's bad news for the spiritual realm and the civic realm.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 24, 2003 10:55 PM.

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