A new report by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in the US and LifeWay Research has identified four main statements that constitute normative evangelical belief:
1. The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
2. It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
3. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
4. Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Saviour receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
Apparently, the sociologists, theologians and leaders consulted came up originally with a set of 17 statements. Since three out of the four that survived the cut seem to be making basically the same point, you can’t help wondering whether something important was missed out. The resurrection? The reign of Jesus as Lord at the right hand of the Father? The church? Right behaviour?