Atheists are picking up on the difference between ‘real’ Christians and those who profess to be, research has found.
A study conducted by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason revealed what true believers have always known: that not all UK Christians are really Christian.
The study found that only 28 per cent of those people who called themselves Christian in the 2011 census said they are so, ‘because they believe in the teachings of Christianity’.
However, in a blog post by Nick Spencer, reprinted on the Theos web site from the Huffington Post, Mr Spencer said, ‘The research itself is massive and fascinating, for which we owe Professor Dawkins much thanks, but it is far from clear-cut.
‘For example, many people might be surprised to hear that 44 per cent of “census Christians” believe that Jesus was “the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind.” A third believes he was physically resurrected, and four in ten have read the Bible in the past year’.
He added the business of pronouncing who is and who is not a ‘real’ Christian is hazardous.
Mr Spencer also said, ‘The fact Jesus redrew the lines to include those left out in the cold, and cast out those who judged themselves safely pious and incensed the Pharisees, serves as a salutary warning. We should be careful before we pronounce on who is, and who isn’t, the real thing’.