Barna offers roadmap to help more Americans embrace a biblical worldview

Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

A prominent researcher has unveiled a roadmap illustrating how the United States can restore its biblical worldview, which has significantly eroded.

After highlighting that only 6% of U.S. adults possess a biblical worldview, George Barna, director of research at Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center,  concluded that “the only viable way to transform America is by restoring its collective worldview to reflect biblical principles.”

He stressed the need to “grow the percentage of Americans who hold a biblical worldview as quickly as possible,” a task described as “a long-term process that identifies the content and process for worldview development, facilitated through competent and consistent implementation.” According to Barna, “Our nation is steadily moving toward the elimination of the biblical worldview as the cornerstone of our society.”

Barna cited data collected from the American Worldview Inventory 2020, conducted in January by the CRC and released in several installments throughout the year, when laying out the roadmap for “Restoring America by Reframing Its Worldview.” He offered “a data-driven plan for reforming the hearts and minds of Americans.”

The AWVI 2020 identified a group of Americans classified as “Emergent Followers,” who accept “many biblical guidelines as crucial guidelines for life” as their worldview maintains “an unhealthy blend of the biblical and the secular.” According to the research, 19% of adults fit into this category, seen as “most able and likely to adopt an even greater degree of biblical thinking and behavior.”

Data collected by the AWVI 2020 reveal that a majority of emergent followers subscribe to the biblical point-of-view regarding the issues of sin, salvation and the relationship with God, lifestyle, behavior, relationships, and faith practices.

The issues of human nature and human character, the Bible, truth and morality, God, creation and history, family, the value of life as well as purpose and calling were identified as areas where a majority of emergent followers fail to embrace a biblical worldview.

According to the AWVI 2020, “Among Emergent Followers only 16% have consistent biblical perspectives related to human nature and character.”

“If we can understand our essential nature as well as our place in relation to our loving and redemptive eternal Father, then we can make things right with each other during our time on earth,” Barna said.

He contended that “resources that help people of all ages to recognize their depraved nature, along with their desperate need for the presence and intervention of the God who created them and desires their best outcome, would eliminate some of the most serious, fundamental challenges facing the world today.”

Failure to understand the biblical teachings about human nature and character have led people to believe that “others must earn respect; they do not deserve it simply because they were made by God, in His image, He cares about them, and He calls upon people to respect each other.”

The results from the AWVI 2020 found that 17% of emergent followers subscribe to biblical principles about truth and morality, 27% embrace a biblical point-of-view about God, creation and history, 36% have a biblical worldview toward family and the value of life while 41% of emergent followers have a biblical point-of-view about their purpose or calling.

Reacting to these statistics, Barna explained that “improving the state of America’s worldview will require God’s spiritual remnant to adopt this campaign as their highest priority for the foreseeable future. Because peoples’ worldview determines their beliefs and behaviors, transforming the United States into a God-honoring, kingdom-focused nation will require that we increase the incidence of citizens whose lives are driven by the biblical worldview.”

He described the task of convincing emergent followers to embrace a biblical worldview as a “monumental but doable challenge” that can be accomplished if churches “help parents to understand that their highest priority in life is to raise devoted, integrated disciples of Christ.” He called on adults to “recognize their ability to influence others by modeling what Jesus called for in His disciples: constantly obeying His teaching, loving each other, and producing spiritual fruit in every way possible.”

“Any effective transformational strategy regarding the prevailing national worldview will include dramatic changes in media usage, political engagement, and educational content,” he specified. “Arts and entertainment media, through the power of attractive imagery, memorable sound, and captivating storytelling, transmit ideas about what to believe and how to behave.

“If the moral and behavioral standards and expectations conveyed by media, government and schools stray from biblical principles, it is difficult to counteract that exposure through other experiences and relationships. That burden will fall on the shoulders of parents and churches, who are responsible for crafting those standards in the first place.” 

The American Worldview Inventory 2020 asked 2,000 participants to respond to “51 worldview-related questions drawn from eight categories of worldview application, measuring both beliefs and behavior.”

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