My last post included a slide that mentions “most Christians.” And so I thought I should offer a follow-up post, acknowledging that it is almost impossible to figure out what with precision what “most Christians” think, believe, and practice, without actually asking most Christians – and even then, we would still be unable to answer the question about what most Christians have thought historically. Throughout most of history, including today, the vast majority of people have not written or recorded their viewpoint. We can read what theologians say, but how typical are their views among “most Christians” – since most Christians have not studied theology? We can take surveys, but do “most Christians” respond to surveys?
I honestly think that most Christians down the ages did not share the insistence on rejecting data from the natural world and observation that typifies the modern phenomenon of young-earth creationism. Even the original “Fundamentalists” did not regard opposition to evolution and other scientific conclusions as one of their fundamentals. To the extent that there has been a growth of anti-scientific forms of creationism around the world, it is a direct result of the exporting of those teachings from English-speaking countries.
It can be hard to tell what “most people” think, and not just “most Christians.” I think the important thing to take to heart is that most people who have shared or currently share the label with which you self-identify, whatever label that might be, may well have viewed many matters in a different way than you do.
Here are two posters from Facebook which seem relevant to this topic:
Any thoughts on these? Any way we can tell whether most Christians were those who promoted or engaged in crusades and inquisitions, those who vocally or silently opposed them, or those who fell victim to them? Maybe only one thing is sure: whatever “most Christians” think and have thought, throughout history, as today, “most Christians” have actually been quite diverse in their views on “most” subjects…