Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

A press release from Christianity Today International:
CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS, November 6, 2007 – A leading Christian publisher launches a new polling initiative to gauge the opinion of a broad range of Christians on theology, politics, and cultural issues in the United States. It is called NationalChristianPoll.com, and polling participants are being recruited now.
The project follows national research commissioned by Christianity Today International and Zondervan Publishers that shows diverse approaches to faith among American adults who identify themselves as Christian. The research indicates that traditional nomenclature—including “evangelical” and “mainline”—is less accurate today as Christians take an eclectic approach to theology, politics, and culture.
Up to 80 percent of Americans call themselves Christian, but their definition of the term varies widely. This research shows that self-identified Christians can be almost evenly divided into five categories based on their views of God and Jesus, the Bible, the church as a center for personal spiritual development, their involvement in church leadership, and community life.
While evangelical, mainline, and Catholic adherents were more prevalent in some categories, the diversity of denominations represented in the categories demanded that new names be developed to identify both the beliefs and behaviors of respondents. Unlike other studies, this survey did not categorize respondents based on their association with a particular denomination, but on their beliefs and resulting behaviors.
These categories are Active Christians, Professing Christians, Liturgical Christians, Private Christians, and Cultural Christians. They represent a broad range of opinion on key elements of Christian faith and practice. A detailed report appears in Leadership journal, a professional magazine for church leaders published by Christianity Today International, and is available online.
This research prompts a new polling initiative, NationalChristianPoll.com. The views of Christians are often reported as a bloc, but NationalChristianPoll.com seeks to survey the range of Christians on many issues, and to report diverse opinions held by people of common faith. The polling will provide quick assessments of current events and breaking news. Christians who wish to join the polling database can sign up at (www.NationalChristianPoll.com).

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