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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Groundbreaking Survey Reveals How Many Adults Have a Biblical Worldview

by George Barna: More than 100 million adults in America claim to have a biblical worldview! Are they right? Does it matter?

A series of nationwide surveys conducted by the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) addressed the question of how many Americans have a biblical worldview. Interviewing 6,000 people from three distinct populations – the general public, theologically conservative Protestant pastors, and SAGE Cons – the surveys produced some startling results. But does it matter?

“It’s very important to know how many people have a biblical worldview because peoples’ behavior is driven by their beliefs – we do what we believe. In other words, our worldview determines the choices we make and the resulting actions we take,” explained research veteran George Barna, who directed the studies for ACFI. “Everyone has a worldview. The critical question is which one people have embraced. If we want to transform our culture then we will need to change the choices people make that produce that culture. And in order to change those choices we must identify the beliefs that led to those choices.”

While it may sound complex or even impractical, understanding the concept of a worldview is not complicated. A worldview is the mental framework that helps people to make sense of their world. It serves as a filter to help us understand and respond to reality. Because a worldview determines what is considered to be good or bad, valuable or worthless, righteous or evil, right or wrong, and so forth, a person’s worldview is an indispensible mechanism for each of us to cope with life. Similarly, it is critical to understand if we are seeking to comprehend who we are and where we are going as a nation.

Surprisingly few studies have been conducted to measure the proportion of people who have a biblical worldview – or other widely recognized worldviews, such as secular humanism, postmodernism, existentialism, pantheism, or nihilism. The ACFI study is designed to serve as a benchmark for annual updates on the proportion of Americans who have a biblical worldview.

Benchmark Data
The ACFI survey evaluated people’s worldview using 20 questions about core spiritual beliefs and 20 questions assessing behavior. The 40 data points were then evaluated in relation to biblical content and the number of biblically consistent answers was tallied for each respondent. Those who answered 80% or more of the questions in accordance with biblical principles were included in the category of “Integrated Disciples” – that is, people who are designated as having a biblical worldview based on integrating their beliefs and behavior into a lifestyle that reflects foundational biblical principles.

The survey of the general public revealed that 10% of American adults currently have a biblical worldview. That pales in comparison to the 46% of adults who claim to have such a worldview. How big, numerically, is that difference? With the adult population presently at an estimated 244 million, the 10% of the general public with a biblical worldview represents about 24 million who are Integrated Disciples, compared to roughly 112 million who would classify themselves as such – a gap of 88 million people!

Barna shared the 40 questions used in the assessment, noting that the survey was measuring basic biblical principles, not complex theological theories. “Our research collected information about attitudes and behaviors related to practical matters like lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, the nature of God, and the consequences of unresolved sin. It’s what some might describe as ‘Christianity 101’ substance. That’s what makes the discrepancy between the percentage of people who consider themselves to be Christian – more than seven out of every ten – and those who have a biblical worldview – just one out of every ten – so alarming.”

Pastors and SAGE Cons
A survey among theologically conservative Protestant pastors used the same measurement criteria as included in the general public survey. The outcome, however, was massively different: almost nine out of ten of those pastors (88%) qualified as Integrated Disciples.

A third survey was conducted by ACFI using the same measurement indicators among SAGE Cons – the Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservative Christians that ACFI has been tracking since 2013. An astounding 90% of SAGE Cons qualified as Integrated Disciples – an even higher proportion than was found among theologically conservative pastors!

Patterns in Worldview Measurement
The three surveys produced several intriguing patterns worth noting. Those included the following:
  • The younger an adult is, the less likely they are to have a biblical worldview. Among adults 18 to 29 years old – commonly referred to as Millennials – just 4% were Integrated Disciples. The number rose to 7% among those in the 30-to-49 age bracket; doubled to 15% among the 50-to-64 year olds; and peaked at 17% among those 65 or older.
  • Three out of ten adults (30%) can be considered to be born again Christians based on their decision to confess their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their savior. However, among that segment of Americans less than one-third (31%) emerged as being Integrated Disciples.
  • Overall, one-third of adults (32%) described themselves as theologically conservative. Among that group, just 25% qualified as Integrated Disciples.
  • Although some social analysts have equated being pro-life with having a biblical worldview, the ACFI survey shows otherwise. While about half of the nation considers itself to be “pro-life advocates,” the survey discovered that just 19% of them are Integrated Disciples.
  • Theoretically one might assume that reading the Bible every day would result in developing a biblical worldview. However, the survey found that while about one out of every ten adults (11%) claims to read the Bible on a daily basis, less than half of them (45%) fit the framework of an Integrated Disciple.
  • The historic divide between Protestants and Catholics was evident in the worldview measures. In total, one out of every five Protestant adults (19%) was an Integrated Disciple, compared to one out of every 50 Catholics (2%).
  • Among the people who voted for Donald Trump in November’s election, 16% qualified as Integrated Disciples. Among voters who cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton, less than half as many – 6% – were included among the nation’s Integrated Disciples.
For Background and More information on the research vist the link below.
----------------
George Barna, Executive Director of the American Culture & Faith Institute provided the ARRA News Service the above research summary.

Tags: Groundbreaking Survey, Adults, Biblical Worldview, American Culture & Faith Institute, George Barna To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:36 AM - Post Link

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