How do you write a logical, coherent news report about a survey that offers evidence that Americans are not the most consistent pack of people in the world when it comes to matters of absolute truth and eternal life?
That's the challenge facing journalists who face the challenge of writing about a new LifeWay Research survey probing the current status of several ancient Christian doctrines in postmodern America.
Based on two early reports, it appears that the crucial question is whether the survey is newsworthy because it shows that lots of Americans are out of step when it comes to holding on to core beliefs in traditional Christianity or because it shows that evangelical Protestants are out of step with ordinary Americans.
First, here is the top of a Religion News Service piece -- "On God and heaven, Americans are all over the map" -- on this subject. Spot the approach.
(RNS) Two-thirds of Americans believe God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The exception: Americans with evangelical Christian beliefs, according to LifeWay Research’s 2016 State of American Theology Study. Only 48 percent of evangelicals share the belief God accepts all worship.