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Re: Spiritual Indicators (fwd)

Sep 27, 1996 05:42 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Gregory Goode:
> Here are some questions:
> 1. How/where/when was the sampling done?  Was anything done to make it
> representative of the U.S. at large?  Personal interviews, snail-mail,
> e-mail, malls, house-to-house, urban, rural, Bible-belt?

28 different nationwide telephone surveys, sample size varying
from 417 to 2410, the smaller ones being special populations
like Protestant pastors.  Method was random-digit dial.
> 2. How many believe in reincarnation?
I searched in vain for that before you asked.  But only 31%
believe in hell as a physical place of torment, while 40%
believe in Satan's existence.

> 3. How many would associate themselves with new age philosophies or an
> esoteric interpretation of Christianity?
The conclusion establishes 7 categories: Biblical Christianity,
which claims 7-10% in surveys from 1991 to 19965, which
involves full acceptance of the Bible's authority, total trust
in Christ for salvation, involvement in evangelism, active
church participation, belief in moral absolutes, etc.
Conventional Christianity, ranging from 25 to 33 percent in
these years, is defined as acceptance of basic Christian
doctrine but "life only vaguely influenced by faith views" and
belief that morality is relative.  Cultural Christianity ,
ranging from 21 to 33 percent, is universalism and works-based
theology, nominal church involvement, Christian in name and
heritage only.  New Age practitioner, to answer your question,
claims 19 to 22 percent, defined as "faith as a private matter,
religious principles from variety of sources, no centralized
religious authority, deity intermingled with self, more focused
upon religious consciousness than religious practice."  Jews
are 1-2 percent, atheist/agnostic 4-10, (most surveys from
8-10) and other 5-9.
> --Greg Goode

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