Our ideas determine how we behave. Our ideas also have consequences. They prescribe how we act and react. Also, how we define and describe reality. They don’t just reflect what we think the world is like, but they direct what we think the world should be like. They become habits. This is your worldview.
What is a Worldview?
A worldview is a pattern of ideas, but also a pattern of beliefs, convictions, and habits that help us make sense of God, the world, and our relationship to God and the world.Understanding the Times Summit Ministry, YouVersion Bible app study
America’s Dominant Worldview
A recent survey (February 2021) conducted by Dr. George Barna for the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University revealed a startling fact…
Only 6% of U.S. adults have a biblical worldview!
Considering that in 2019, 65% of Americans polled identify themselves as Christians, this new finding explains a lot. People’s beliefs lead to certain actions. As C.S. Lewis wrote…
We are now getting to the point at which different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior. Religion involves a series of statements about facts, which must be either true or false. If they are true, one set of conclusions will follow about the right sailing of the human fleet, if they are false, quite another set.C.S. Lewis
The Apostle Paul wrote…
Related Content: How Ideas Spread Like Viruses
The study showed that the rest of the folks — the 94% — have a worldview called “syncretism”. Syncretism is a mishmash of different worldviews, religious beliefs, ideologies, and a blending of various schools of thought.
Look at it like taking what you like from a huge buffet of various cuisines. People grab and take what they like. What sounds good or makes sense to them. A little of this and a little of that. So, the fusion can include:
- Secular Humanism
- Eastern Mysticism
- Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
- With a little Christian, Biblical Worldview thrown in for good measure. Like salt.
Unique for Each Person
It’s a personalized worldview centered on me, me, me. It’s about who “I” am and what’s important to me. I don’t care what other people think. I’m living my life the way that I see fit. Here’s a quote from the study…
Why Americans don’t have a more Cohesive Worldview
“Worldview in America develops by default,” Dr. George Barna explained. “Very few schools have teaching that focuses directly on a person’s worldview. Very few adults know what a worldview is, much less what the worldview alternatives are, how they differ, and which one they possess. We have been shocked at how few Christian schools, as well as religious congregations, directly address worldview issues.”
Barna noted that in his more than 25 years of studying worldview in America he has discovered that people generally adopt worldview beliefs and behaviors that they encounter in arts and entertainment vehicles, in news reports, in political statements made by public leaders, and through conversations and experiences with people they trust.
“Worldview seems to be caught more than it is taught in the United States,” he shared. “A school like Arizona Christian University, where every class is intentionally and strategically taught through a biblical worldview lens, is a real aberration. It takes years of holistic teaching, integration of thought and behavior, and reinforcement of appropriate choices before someone is likely to develop a biblical worldview.”
Barna continued, “Knowing a few Bible verses, attending church services, and praying won’t get the job done. Attending a Christian school that offers a chapel service and a Bible class won’t accomplish the task. Going to church services that feature sermons drawn from biblical content is not sufficient to build a biblical worldview. Parents expecting their children to follow the Ten Commandments is not enough to developing a full-scale biblical worldview. All of those are token efforts that have proven inadequate toward developing an integrated body of beliefs and behaviors that enable someone to think like Jesus so they can then live like Jesus.”
Barna suggested that the recent concern about worldview as the foundation of people’s decision-making process is a hopeful sign that Americans—and especially conservative Christians—may be waking up to the importance of worldview development, especially among our youngest people. He cautioned, however, that it will be an uphill battle to get Americans to take worldview development seriously.
“Our studies show that Americans are neither deep nor sophisticated thinkers,” the veteran researcher noted. “Americans have become selfish and emotion-driven, leaving logic behind. To promote a way of life that pushes us to think more clearly, consistently, and purposefully will take time and effort, and will be uncomfortable. Most people seem more interested in living a life of comfort and convenience than one of logical consistency and wisdom. Our children will continue to suffer the consequences of following in the unfortunate footsteps of their parents and elders. People who are willing to fight for a more reasonable way of thinking and acting can make a difference but it will be slow progress.”American Worldview Inventory 2021
Wow! We’re in trouble!
So, what do we do? Is all hope lost? Are we doomed? How can we change our worldview to be more aligned with Jesus Christ and the Word of God? Tomorrow, we’ll discover that the answer is at our fingertips.