Biblical Worldview Among U.S. Adults Has Declined by 33% Since Start of Pandemic

New research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University indicates that the 6% benchmark measure of American adults with a biblical worldview, recorded in January 2020, may prove to be the high-water mark for the foreseeable future. In the first annual study of Americans’ worldview in the post-lockdown era, the national incidence, the CRC says, has declined to a mere 4%.

According to the CRC, a worldview is the intellectual, emotional and spiritual filter used to experience, interpret and respond to reality—i.e, the basis upon which an individual makes all decisions. While there are numerous worldviews that exist, the biblical worldview (also known as biblical theism) is defined specifically by the CRC as a means of experiencing, interpreting, and responding to reality in light of biblical perspectives; a personal understanding of every idea, opportunity and experience based on the identification and application of relevant biblical principles so that each choice made may be consistent with God’s principles and commands.

The number of adults who don’t fall wholly into the biblical worldview category, but still lean that direction, possessing “a substantial number of beliefs and behaviors consistent with biblical principles,” has fallen dramatically, as well. The latest research places one of every seven adults (14%) into the category of what the CRC calls an “Emergent Follower.” Only three years ago, that number stood at 25%.

The bulk of the population (82%) falls into the “World Citizen” category. These are people, the CRC notes, “who may embrace a few biblical principles but generally believe and behave in ways that are distinct from biblical teaching.” This group has grown substantially from the 69% registered in 2020.

The results are frightening for biblical Christians, according to the creator of the American Worldview Inventory and CRC Director of the Research, Dr. George Barna.

“When you put the data in perspective, the biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff,” Barna commented. “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.”

George Barna
George Barna

George Barna is a professor at Arizona Christian University and the director of research at the Cultural Research Center at ACU. He also founded the Barna Group and has written more than 50 books, including numerous award-winners and New York Times bestsellers. He is also a senior research fellow at the Family Research Council, has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, and has pastored two churches.