Barna: Only 4% of Americans now hold biblical worldview
· Mar 8, 2023 ·

A true and faithful biblical worldview among Americans appears to be teetering on the edge of extinction in our post-Covid world.

To be fair, it looked bad before Covid, but the first post-Covid study shows that the numbers have gotten much worse.

From The Christian Post:

The vast majority of Americans — 96 percent — do not hold to a biblical worldview following the COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a new survey.

Calling it a "significant change" in Americans' worldview, the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University led by researcher George Barna found in its survey that the lockdowns impacted the already-dwindling number of people who claim to hold a biblical worldview.

In what Barna called the first national study of its kind, the incidence of biblical worldview declined to a mere 4%, down one-third from the 6% recorded just months before the pandemic lockdowns started in March 2020.

The Barna survey does not paint a very hopeful picture for the future of American Christianity.

Here's a little bit of the introduction:

The COVID-19 lockdowns and lifestyle changes that began in early 2020 provided Americans with an opportunity to spend more time doing things their hectic, on-the-go lives precluded, such as reading the Bible. But it appears that as people's lives were substantially altered by the virus and government policies, Americans were not spending the extra time devoting energy to spiritual matters and worldview enhancement.

In fact, the first national study of Americans' worldview in the post-lockdown era found that the incidence of biblical worldview declined to a mere 4% — down one-third from the 6% recorded just months before the pandemic started in 2020. New research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University shows that the benchmark worldview measure of American adults taken in January 2020 may prove to be the high-water mark for the foreseeable future. Americans tinkered with many things during the three lockdown years — from home-improvement projects to baking sourdough bread — but improving their worldview apparently was not one of them.

The research shows declines in biblical understanding throughout American society since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compared to 2020, almost every demographic subgroup experienced a small decline in the proportion of those possessing a biblical worldview, according to the American Worldview Inventory 2023. The most noteworthy declines across the three years were recorded among born-again Christians (down six percentage points) and people from households earning $60,000 to $100,000 (down five points)

So everyone became less biblical in their understanding of a biblical worldview, but the population MOST damaged were the "born again Christians."

(I wonder if that had anything to do with churches being shut down and many signaling that they were non-essential throughout the entirety of 2020.)

This graph from the study shows the dramatic shift in the three years since the two weeks to slow the spread:

More significant than the drop from 6% to 4% in people who truly hold to a biblical worldview in all areas is the middle group, which would be those who believe in Christianity but don't always hold a biblical worldview. This dropped from 25% of Americans to 14%.

There are now 82% of Americans who in no way hold to a Christian biblical worldview.

This is how societies collapse.

We need revival.

Here's what George Barna said in the study:

"When you put the data in perspective, the biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff," Barna said. "As things stand today, biblical theism is much closer to extinction in America than it is to influencing the soul of the nation. The current incidence of adults with the biblical worldview is the lowest since I began measuring it in the early 1990s."

The veteran researcher cautioned, "Young people, in particular, are largely isolated from biblical thought in our society and are the most aggressive at rejecting biblical principles in our culture."

Facilitating a return to biblical thinking and living in America will take an intentional, strategic, and consistent effort by the remaining population that represents this biblical approach to life," Barna explained.

Barna was especially disappointed that more Christian churches and schools are not emphasizing biblical worldview development. "People do not develop a biblical worldview randomly or by default," he continued. "The impact of arts and entertainment, government, and public schools is clearly apparent in the shift away from biblical perspectives to a more experiential and emotional form of decision-making."

A biblical worldview is never stumbled into by accident. It has to be taught, explained, and inculcated from as young an age as possible.

That's discipleship and catechism. It's missing in today's America.

Ready to join the conversation? Subscribe today.

Access comments and our fully-featured social platform.

Sign up Now
App screenshot

You must signup or login to view or post comments on this article.