April 24, 2014
Loading
   
   
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nearly eight in 10 Protestant pastors strongly disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

The survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors asked respondents for their reaction to the statement, "If a person is sincerely seeking God, he/she can obtain eternal life through religions other than Christianity." A full 77 percent of pastors strongly disagreed while 7 percent somewhat disagreed. Another 7 percent somewhat agreed, 5 percent strongly agreed and 3 percent were not sure.

"Rob Bell's book Love Wins kicked off a discussion about the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. "But most pastors are more in line with historic Christian beliefs than Bell, who suggested that other faiths lead to heaven."

"A few heads nodding or an occasional 'Amen' does not indicate everyone believes Christianity is the only way. Church leaders will never know where their congregation stands unless they ask." -- Ed Stetzer
Pastors' beliefs regarding the exclusivity of Christianity differ from those of their parishioners, according to a new study conducted for the upcoming book "Transformational Discipleship" by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelly and Philip Nation. When presented with the same statement, just 48 percent of adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more disagreed strongly and 9 percent disagreed somewhat. A total of 26 percent agreed, including 13 percent who agreed strongly and 13 percent who agreed somewhat. Sixteen percent indicated that they neither agreed nor disagreed.

"One fact is clear: pastors are less universalistic than their church members," Stetzer said. "A few heads nodding or an occasional 'Amen' does not indicate everyone believes Christianity is the only way. Church leaders will never know where their congregation stands unless they ask."

According to the survey of pastors, those in large cities are more likely to believe that other religions lead to eternal life than their counterparts in other settings. Eleven percent of pastors in large cities strongly agreed. In comparison, 4 percent of pastors in small cities, 4 percent in the suburbs and 3 percent in rural areas feel the same. Read More
Richard Land issues open letter of apology for controversial Trayvon Martin comments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Richard Land has written an open letter of apology for comments he voiced about the infusion of politics into the Trayvon Martin killing. Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, made the apology in a letter to SBC President Bryant Wright on April 16. In response, a prominent African American pastor, Fred Luter Jr. of New Orleans, issued a statement accepting Land's apology. Luter is the SBC's first vice president who will be nominated for SBC president during the convention's June 19-20 annual meeting in New Orleans.
Read More
NAMB addressing tensions regarding strategy
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell has explained the board's initiatives in church planting and evangelism in April 9 and March 6 video conferences with directors of missions and church planting catalysts. Read More
Land, Wallis agree: Election could get ugly
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Richard Land and Jim Wallis don't see eye to eye on a variety of issues, but they agree this year's election campaign could get really ugly. Land said he is "very fearful that this election will go down as the ugliest and most vicious election since 1800." Read More
Nathan Lino to be nominated for SBC 1st VP
HUMBLE, Texas (BP) -- Texas pastor Nathan Lino will be nominated to the office of first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the annual meeting in New Orleans this summer. Read More
First Person
Richard Land
FIRST-PERSON: Trayvon Martin & our justice system
Richard Land criticizes "a handful of activists" and a "complicit" national media for "a rush to judgment," ready to convict George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin before the facts have been adjudicated in a court of law.

Story Collections
2014: SBC Annual Meeting Preview
Crisis in Ukraine
The Persecuted Church
SBC Call to Prayer
   
   


 © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.


Southern Baptist Convention