Half of Protestants Agree With Catholics That Good Deeds and Faith Are Needed for Salvation: Pew

[Canonizing Luther is getting tougher. And worse, the sola fide holdouts are white Evangelicals, you know, Trump supporters.]


By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter, Sep 1, 2017

About half of Protestants in the U.S. now agree with the “historically Catholic belief” that both faith and good deeds are needed for salvation, rather than faith alone, a Pew Research Center survey shows.

White Evangelicals stood out as the strongest believers in faith alone, however.

Pew, which released the survey to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, explored different questions, though one of the main focuses was on the requirements for salvation.

Fifty-two percent of U.S. Protestants said both good deeds and faith in God are needed to get into heaven; 46 percent said faith alone (sola fide) is needed. Among Catholics, 81 percent agreed that both good deeds and faith are necessary. Meanwhile, two-thirds of white evangelicals said they believe faith alone is needed for salvation.

(Catholics argue that “faith and works” is a misleading oversimplification of their beliefs.)

Protestants were similarly split on the Reformation principle of sola scriptura (which means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian), with 46 percent saying the Bible provides all the religious guidance Christians need and 52 percent saying Christians need guidance from church teachings and traditions in addition to the Bible. Among white evangelicals, nearly 60 percent agreed with the principle of sola sciptura.

Overall, only 30 percent of Protestants, 7 percent of Catholics and 44 percent of white evangelicals believe in both sola fide and sola scriptura.

The data for the poll was collected between May 30 and August 9, sampling 5,198 respondents, with the questions split in two forms. Pew noted that the margin of sampling error for both halves of respondents was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Some respondents were asked to answer the question of what is needed to get into heaven in their own words. Common responses to this open-ended question included belief in Jesus and being born again (32 percent); being a good person, moral values and doing good works (19 percent of all Christians); repentance and asking forgiveness for sins (12 percent); and belief in God (11 percent).

In other findings, Christians were largely split on the topic of purgatory, which some believe to be a place where souls go to be cleansed of their sins before they can enter Heaven.

[more at the link]

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