If ever there was doubt that an awful lot of evangelical preaching and teaching has been hopelessly ineffective, the Christian Post dispels it:

The majority of Protestants and evangelicals believe that good people and people of other religions can go to heaven, according to author David Campbell.

Campbell, who co-wrote American Grace, How Religion Divides and Unites Us, contends that surveys of 3,000 Americans, used to write the book, show that American people of faith, though devout, are very tolerant. So much so that most believers also believe that good people, despite their religious affiliation, can go to heaven.

Among the faiths, 83 percent of evangelical Protestants agreed that good people of other religions can go to heaven. Ninety percent of black Protestants also believe good people can go to heaven.

When prodded further, more than half – 54 percent – of evangelical Protestants said yes, people of religions other than Christianity can go to heaven. Sixty-two percent of black Protestants agreed with the statement.

I haven’t read the book in question, so I don’t know what the questions were that were asked of those surveyed (what does “when prodded further” mean?). But those numbers are so high that it’s fair to believe that even if the actual figures are half of what the article presents, there are millions–maybe tens of millions–of “evangelicals” who have no clue what Scripture and their faith actually teach. What’s more, because they think that “good people” can be saved, it means that they have no incentive (other than obedience to Christ’s command, which probably won’t impress folks who have such a deficient understanding of Scripture) to witness for Christ. Is it any wonder that the evangelism efforts of so many evangelical churches is so anemic?

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