Andrew Vanover recently blogged on the latest report from the Barna Group concerning the contemporary beliefs in various Bible stories. Barna conducted a nationwide telephone survey in August 2007 of 1000 randomly-selected adults.
What surprised me most is that 75% of the participants said they believed that the resurrection of Jesus is literally true. Amazing. What does this say about how we have communicated the truth of the resurrection? It is great that so many believe in the resurrection, but why isn’t this belief causing people to live differently? I am preaching on the resurrection this Sunday, so I find this interesting. How is it that people can believe that a human being came back to life and not believe in his claims. Unbelievable.
Survey respondents were asked if they thought a specific story in the Bible was “literally true, meaning it happened exactly as described in the Bible” or whether they thought the story was “meant to illustrate a principle but is not to be taken literally.”
When asked about “the story of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, after being crucified and buried,” three out of four adults (75%) said they interpreted that narrative literally. Here is the breakdown of the survey on the question about the resurrection.
- One out of five (19%) said they did not take that story literally.
Two-thirds of college graduates (68%) believe the resurrection narrative is literally true.
83% of mainline Protestants take the resurrection literally
95% of non-mainline Protestants accept the resurrection as fact
82% of Catholics embrace the resurrection narrative as being true.
Black adults were much more likely than either whites (74%) or Hispanics (80%) to consider the resurrection to be true.