Study: only 4% of US adults possess biblical worldview after pandemic

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

Late last month, Dr. George Barna and the research team at Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center released a report revealing that the number of American adults who profess a Christian worldview has dropped since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, the number of citizens who profess a biblical worldview, which the pollsters call “Integrated Disciples,” was already shockingly low, at only 6%. After the pandemic, that minuscule number decreased even further to 4%.

The research states,

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.

The authors continue, explaining that the trend in modern America appears only to worsen in regards to a professing biblical worldview:

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 poll also shows the numbers of individuals who profess certain aspects of the biblical worldview but not all, which the poll titles “Emergent Followers.” Before the pandemic, that number sat at 25%, decreasing to 14% post-pandemic.

The last category, “World Citizens,” describes those who possess an entirely different worldview than the one of the Bible. This number increased during the pandemic, going from 69% in 2020 to 82% in 2023.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

First of all, whenever we discuss the question of worldview, it is always important to define our terms. There are many in America today who, for example, will claim to be Christians but do not truly possess a biblical worldview (Matthew 7:21). Therefore, what is a biblical worldview?

To put it simply, it is a system of beliefs based entirely and exclusively on the truths and claims of the Bible. It is difficult in the limited space and time we have here to describe an exhaustive framework of every aspect of the biblical worldview, but there are some of the essentials of the biblical worldview.

A biblical worldview affirms the following: The existence and character of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), His holiness and goodness and power; the nature of Man’s existence as both the bearer of the image of God and a creature that is utterly depraved in sin; the life, death, resurrection, and reign of Jesus Christ, as well as His deity and humanity; the nature of salvation by grace alone; the complete and total purity and truthfulness of the entire Bible and its commandments for all life and godliness; and the eschatological promise of eternal salvation for all who call on the name of the Lord.

What we see from this report is shockingly few people believe these essential truths of the Christian faith. There is a dual lesson for us as Christians.

The first: Get your theology right. I recently heard Pastor Steve Lawson, head of OnePassion Ministries in Texas, say, “Strong theology produces strong believers, and weak theology produces weak believers.” He is spot on. If your belief in God is weak or faulty, this will poison your faith. Make sure that your theology matches up with the sound theology of scripture. Like the Word of God itself, the theology of scripture does not and will not change.

The second: There are likely more unbelievers around you than you may know. Just because a person professes faith in Christ does not mean they possess faith in Christ. This means, believer, you must be ready to share the truth of the gospel with everyone around you, even those who profess faith in Christ.

To do this effectively, you must know the gospel. You must preach it to yourself often if you are going to be effective in sharing it with others.

You must also know the people around you, especially those who claim to know Christ. This is not meant to induce fear-mongering or doubts of salvation in yourself or those around you. Rather, it is simply to keep your professing brothers and sisters in Christ accountable.

Talk about your faith in Christ often. Read the Bible and wrestle through the difficult passages together. And if in conversation with a professing believer, a questionable belief arises to the surface that makes you pause, engage in that conversation with this person, in a mutually beneficial effort to strengthen both their faith and yours.

Let all of this be done in love, as iron sharpens iron. Share the truth of the gospel boldly and often, knowing it is the only hope of salvation for sinners.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.  – 1 Peter 3:15