A study from Barna Research reveals that only 9% of adults in the U.S. have a biblical worldview. In the study, a biblical worldview was defined as:
…believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today. In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview.
The study, which was also done in 1995, 2000 and 2005 found that the percentage of adults with a biblical worldview has stayed relatively flat over the 13 years of the study. 7% were found to have a biblical worldview in 1995, 10% in 2000, and 11% in 2005.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic is that even among those who identify themselves as “born-again”, only 19% were found to hold a biblical worldview as defined by the study.
Are you curious about which biblical beliefs the respondents did or did not hold? Here is what the study found:
- One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. Slightly less than half of the born again adults (46%) believe in absolute moral truth.
- Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. That proportion includes the four-fifths of born again adults (79%) who concur.
- Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Even a minority of born again adults (40%) adopt that perspective.
- Similarly, only one-quarter of adults (28%) believe that it is impossible for someone to earn their way into Heaven through good behavior. Not quite half of all born again Christians (47%) strongly reject the notion of earning salvation through their deeds.
- A minority of American adults (40%) are persuaded that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life while He was on earth. Slightly less than two-thirds of the born again segment (62%) strongly believes that He was sinless.
- Seven out of ten adults (70%) say that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today. That includes the 93% of born again adults who hold that conviction.
Are you surprised? I am somewhat surprised by the number who identify themselves as “born-again” who do not hold these basic Christian beliefs, but I am not surprised that only 9% of all adults were found to have a true biblical worldview. It only strengthens my doubts when I hear reports that suggest that 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. It is obvious that the title means many things to many people. I am not sure we really know much about a person just because he or she may say, “I am a Christian.” It also tells us that even among Christians, there can be a wide variety of views concerning just about every topic.