Latest Barna Survey

worldview

The Barna Group has just recently released (03/09) their latest research report surveying the religious pulse of America.  The study explored how many Americans hold to a “biblical worldview.”  What does Barna consider a biblical worldview?

For the purposes of the survey, 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.

Their research reveals a startling fact:  only 9% of Americans adhere to the stated biblical worldview above.  The survey reflects a consistent trend for the last fifteen years.  In 1995 7% shared held such a worldview, compared to 10% in 2000, compared to 11% in 2005.

For those in the Mosaic demographic Barna reports that, “The current study found that less than one-half of one percent of adults in the Mosaic generation – i.e., those aged 18 to 23 – have a biblical worldview, compared to about one out of every nine older adults.”

A Closer Look

  • 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.

Implications

Barna concludes his study by noting several implications for the Church and society.  Here’s a link to the article Barna Article.  What are your thoughts on the implications of Barna’s research?  How does this research ring true with Bonhoeffer’s words of man becoming “radically religionless?”  What are some suggestions on how we can respond to Barna’s data?

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment