As someone who holds a biblical world view, it is stunning that only 6% of American adults possess a biblical worldview, but what have the other 94% put in its place?
According to the groundbreaking American Worldview Inventory 2021—the first survey of its kind to measure not only biblical worldview, but six prominent competing worldviews—found that the overwhelming majority of American adults lack a cohesive, coherent worldview, and instead substitute a patchwork of conflicting, often irreconcilable beliefs and values as they navigate life.
Specifically, there was no single worldview embraced by American adults from among the seven worldviews measured—Biblical Theism (or a biblical worldview), Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, Nihilism, Marxism (along with its offshoot, Critical Race Theory) and Eastern Mysticism (also known as “New Age”), according to new research from Dr. George Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.
According to Barna, the big winner from among the worldviews measured was “none of the above.” The new study found that nearly nine out of 10 American adults (88%) embrace an impure, unrecognizable worldview that blends ideas from these multiple perspectives—a worldview that Barna calls “syncretism.”
- One of the shocking outcomes from the research is that the biblical worldview, at a 6% nationwide incidence, was the most prolific of the seven worldviews tested. The incidence of the other worldviews ranged from 2% of the public embracing Secular Humanism, to 1% of adults embodying each of Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, and Nihilism. Less than one-half of 1% embrace either Marxism or Eastern Mysticism/New Age as
- The most predominant worldviews in American culture in terms of embrace of beliefs and behaviors are Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (39% of U.S, adults either lean strongly or moderately toward its specific beliefs and behaviors) and the biblical worldview (31% lean strongly or moderately toward its beliefs and behaviors). Among the other worldviews, the percentage of adults who lean strongly or moderately toward specific beliefs and behaviors: Secular Humanism (16%); Postmodernism (16%); Nihilism (10%); Eastern Mysticism (10%); Marxism (10%).
The American Worldview Inventory 2021 is the Cultural Research Center’s second national survey of American worldview and specifically measure seven worldviews (Biblical Theism, Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, Nihilism, Marxism (along with its offshoot, critical race theory) and Eastern Mysticism (also known as “New Age”). The findings are based on half-hour-long personal interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults. AWVI 2021 builds on findings from CRC’s inaugural American Worldview Inventory 2020. Reports from both studies can be found here: https://www.arizonachristian.edu/ culturalresearchcenter/research/
This is from What is religious syncretism? | GotQuestions.org:
“Syncretism, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is “the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief.” This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. Obviously, this cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity.
“Religious syncretism often takes place when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. This has been seen most clearly in Roman Catholic missionary history. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Church’s proselytizing of animistic South America. Threatened with the fear of death, natives were baptized into the church by the tens of thousands without any preaching of the Gospel whatsoever. Former temples were razed, with Catholic shrines and chapels built on the same spot. Natives were allowed to substitute praying to saints instead of gods of water, earth and air, and replaced their former idols with new images of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the animistic religion the natives had formerly practiced was never fully replaced—it was adapted into Catholic teachings, and this new belief system was allowed to flourish.
“More recently, religious syncretism can be seen in such religious systems as the New Age, Hinduism, Unitarianism, and Christian Science. These religions are a blending of multiple different belief systems, and are continually evolving as the philosophies of mankind rise and fall in popularity.
“Therein lies the problem, for syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture. The Bible makes it very clear what true religion is. Think on just a few things stated in Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37); “Jesus replied, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6); “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31); and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).”
Again, it is worth repeating, the overwhelming majority of American adults lack a cohesive, coherent worldview, and instead substitute a patchwork of conflicting, often irreconcilable beliefs and values as they navigate life.
There is good news! The fields are ripe for harvest. Souls are ready to hear the clear message of salvation and redemption. We must continue to spread the good news of Jesus and His reign (Kingdom).