“Evangelicals love to believe bad things about themselves,” says Kevin DeYoung . “And often what they believe about themselves is not true.”

Everyone seems to love stats about bad Christians. Non-Christians like to see that we really are fakes. Christians like to think the sky is falling.

The journalistic approach to such studies is troublesome in itself. When our first instinct is always to play up the “scandal” we not only contribute to the secular impression that Christians are all fakes, we also contribute to our own impression that the Christian life is bound to end in failure. We need to find better ways to motivate toward holiness than utter, shocking shame.

Just as important, we need to examine whether our alarming conclusions can hold up under close scrutiny. We need to ask: are these stats about bad Christians themselves bad stats?

Or to ask the question more clearly: what should we think about the claim that “Christians are having premarital sex and abortions as much (or more) than non-Christians”?


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