Biblical Worldview Crisis?

Biblical Worldview Crisis? June 4, 2021

A worldview is the set of assumptions and beliefs according to which you see the world.  The concept derives from Kant, who coined the term Weltanschauung (in English, worldview) for the mind’s preconceptions by which it organizes the data it receives from the outside world.  You don’t have to be a Kantian to find the notion useful, as it is applicable in many different fields.

A number of Reformed theologians, notably Abraham Kuyper as popularized by Francis Schaeffer, have shown its importance for Christians.  If you believe in the Bible, its teachings should affect the way you view the world.  A Christian will therefore think differently than non-Christians, and this will affect every area of life.

I have found this concept extremely useful in my study of literature, art, and culture.  And it can help Christians see the implications of their faith, apply Biblical truth to their vocations, and recognize the alternative worldviews of the surrounding non-Christian culture so as to avoid succumbing to them.

So, yes, I am a worldview critic.  And yet, as a Lutheran, I look at some aspects of Biblical worldview in a somewhat different way than my Reformed friends and colleagues.  This will be a matter for more than one post. . .

First comes the news that only 6% of Americans–and only 9% of Christians (!)–actually have a Biblical worldview.

This was the finding of research sponsored by the Family Research Council, which has launched a Center for Biblical Worldview.  The findings were published in the report Perceptions about Biblical Worldview and Its Application.

Now around two-thirds of Americans identify as Christians, and the study found that 51% of American adults claim to have a Biblical worldview.  But then those supposed Bible believers were asked specific questions.

The study found that a minority of those Christians who thought they did have a Biblical worldview actually held to teachings the researchers considered to be benchmarks of a Biblical worldview.  Only 9% got all of the answers right.  From the study:

  • [Only] 26% believe the personal accumulation of money and other forms of wealth have been entrusted to them by God to manage for His purposes
  • [Only] 29% believe that the best indicator of success in life is consistent obedience to God
  • [Only] 33% believe that human beings are born with a sinful nature and can only be saved from the consequences of sin by Jesus Christ
  • [Only] 47% believe that when they die they will go to Heaven only because they have confessed their sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior
  • [Only] 48% believe that it is very important for their religious faith to influence every dimension of life
  • [Only] 49% say that their most likely source of moral guidance in any given situation would be the Bible
  • [A whopping] 49% accept reincarnation as a possibility after they die

The researchers had asked 1,000 Americans to pick from a survey which position best reflected their beliefs.  Christian journalist Tyler O’Neil, writing about the findings, asked the Center for Biblical Worldview what the other choices were.  That is, what beliefs they held to instead of a Biblical worldview.  Here are a couple of them, from the article:

Researchers also asked, “Which of these statements best describes your view of the human condition?” The options included (biblical answer in bold):

-People were originally good but have become corrupted by society

-There is no such thing as a person being good or bad; people are who they are

-People are born into sin and can only be saved from its consequences by Jesus Christ

-People are neither good or bad when they are born, but everyone becomes one or the other according to their life choices

-Everyone is a divine creature engaged in the eternal pursuit of unity and a perfected consciousness.

Only 33 percent of respondents chose the biblical answer on the human condition.

. . . . .

Researchers also asked, “Which one of these statements best describes what you believe will happen to you after you die?

Photo by form PxHere, Creative Commons 0, Public domain


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