For starters, we should define a worldview. A worldview is the filter through which we see everything. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or formal. Everyone has one whether they know it or not from the most sophisticated people in a big city to the most uncultured people who do nothing but live for the weekend. A worldview is what sets our priorities. Someone who has a worldview that wealth and power are the most important things in life are going to spend most of their time attempting to possess these things. Someone who holds that drinking beer and having a good time is most important will spend most of their time attempting to do this.
Having a Biblical worldview is not the same as being a Christian. Ideally all Christians would have a Biblical worldview but the numbers don’t reflect that. Many people in America consider themselves a Christian. Depending on the survey anywhere from 75-90% of Americans consider themselves Christian when asked. When asked about details of their faith, less than half meet the standard of evangelical Christianity however.
For our purposes a Christian is someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and believes that they will go to heaven on the basis that they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior. Even among this very generic and simple definition of a Christian, few Christians have a Biblical worldview.
So what is a Biblical worldview then? Researcher George Barna (www.barna.org) has done a lot of research in this area and I will use his definition and research findings. A Biblical worldview is defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists, believing that the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings, believing that Satan is a real being or force and not just symbolic, believing that a person can’t earn their way into heaven through a good life or good deeds, believing that Jesus lived a sinless life, and believing that God is the all knowing, all powerful creator who still rules the universe.
When those standards are applied, only 9% of America has a Biblical worldview – that’s Christian and non-Christian combined. This is pretty lousy when we consider that so many consider themselves a Christian but not completely shocking because we shouldn’t expect non-Christians to have a Biblical worldview. What is more shocking is how few have a Biblical worldview who meet the evangelical definition of Christianity. The numbers only double to 19% of Christians who have a biblical worldview. While this is certainly troubling, there may be more problems in the future. Young adults aged 18-23 had an extremely poor showing of a Biblical worldview. Only 0.5% of this age group can be classified as having a Biblical world view.
So what does the Bible really say and why should we hold to these beliefs? Here are posts addressing each of these parts of a Christian worldview: