Claiming something is evangelicalism’s biggest challenge is sport for some. I’ve heard a number of items, including complementarianism, the Second Coming, and socialism. I want to register my suggestion, and I believe this idea erodes the very core of evangelicalism. It’s universalism.

Evangelicalism is marked by four features: the centrality of the Bible, the cross as atoning, the necessity of personal conversion and the personal active faith of the Christian. Universalism is an assault on three of these: universalism suggests personal conversion is not finally necessary, it calls into question the importance and even necessity of evangelism as a form of Christian activism, and it weakens the atoning significance of the death of Jesus if it is understood as that which separates the believer from the non-believer. 
And I want to point to the facts that indicate universalism is on the rise. The facts come from Rodney Stark, What Americans Really Believe
, and they say this:
1. Since 1957, somewhere between 70 and 80% of the American public has believed in life after death/heaven with some level of confidence.
2. The Baylor study shows that about 66% of Americans are somewhat certain to certain that they will go to heaven.
Now here’s the indicator of growing universalism:
3. In 1964 52% said that one had to receive Christ to go to heaven.
4. In the Baylor study … we get the following, and I’m wondering how you read this chart?

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“If you believe in heaven, how many of the following people do you think will get into heaven?”
Here it goes: Of Americans who believe in heaven, % below think half or more of them think the following will enter into heaven. That is, 29% think half or more of nonreligious people will enter heaven.
Average Americans  54%
Christians  72%
Jews  46%
Buddhists 37%
Muslims 34%
Nonreligious people 29%
Only 21% of Americans who believe in heaven think no irreligious people will enter into heaven. In other words, one could say 21% of Americans who believe in heaven are exclusivists — believe only Christians will enter into heaven.

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