Earlier this week, two theologically conservative Christian organizations, LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries, released the results of a biannual survey of American and evangelical theological views. The results are fascinating—and revealing. American evangelicals, it turns out, have a Jesus problem.

Before I explain why, let me first add a caveat. It’s hard to poll evangelicals. The term has become so laced with politics that millions of Christians identify themselves as “evangelicals” simply because they’re Republican and they’re Christian. The word has become such a tribal signifier that, in many households, evangelical Christianity is little more than a God-and-country lifestyle brand.

For example, surveys now indicate that most American evangelicals now go to church once a month or less, with 40 percent attending yearly or less. Infrequent church attendance is most assuredly not a part of traditional evangelical theology. Moreover, those evangelicals who rarely attend church disproportionately identify as Republican.

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