Are Christians Worldviewless?

PMT 2014-006b by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A tragic fact of the evangelical Christian experience in America is that Hosea 4:6 well applies today: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We see this in the problem that too few Christians really understand what a worldview is and why a specifically Christian worldview is so vitally important. Consequently, as concerned evangelicals must lament: “If the foundations are destroyed, / What can the righteous do?” (Psa 11:3).

According to the American Religious Identity Survey 2008 report, 76% of Americans — more than three-quarters of the population — identify themselves as Christians. Even more significantly, 34% of Americans even profess themselves to be “Born Again or Evangelical Christians.” The real numbers behind these percentages show that 173,402,000 Americans claim to be Christians (p. 3), with 77,747,000 proclaiming themselves to be “born again” evangelicals. These are large numbers.

Despite these large numbers, though, the impact of Christians on our society and culture is far less than we should expect. Why? Though we may discover several answers, I believe we can trace the problem to its root source: the superficial character of the modern Christian mind. Or as Mark Noll has called: The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans, 1995). Sadly, Christians today lack a basic understanding of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 KJV); and therefore they quite naturally fail to engage a consistent reasoning process governed by God’s counsel.

“The Great Commission and the Christian Worldview” (9 CDs)
by Ken Gentry
In these nine lectures Dr. Gentry demonstrates the world altering consequences of the Great Commission. An important and encouraging study on the biblical foundations of the Christian worldview.

As evidence of this problem, we can simply note some polling data from the Barna Group, a leading research organization that focuses primarily on Christian ministries. Their polling well explains the failure of current American Christian culture to more greatly impacting our social environment, cultural direction, and political order.

In March, 2009 the Barna Group published a poll showing that “overall, the current research revealed that only 9% of all American adults have a biblical worldview.” This probably is not surprising in itself, but this poll also notes the startling fact regarding the biblical worldview that “even among born again adults, the statistics have remained flat: 18% in 1995, 22% in 2000, 21% in 2005, and 19% today.” Ouch! Only 19% of born again Christians have a biblical worldview? That means 81% have defaulted to a non-biblical worldview.

Two further revelations from the Barna poll reflect the depth of this worldview deficiency. Shockingly, only 46% of “born again adults believe in absolute moral truth” and only 79% of born again Christians “believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches.” Clearly, God’s people are being destroyed within by a debilitating “lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6). American Christians should look in a mirror and lament at their shallow reflection: “O, you of little faith” (Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8).

To make matters worse for the long-term, the problem is even deeper among young people as a category: “The research data showed that one pattern emerged loud and clear: young adults rarely possess a biblical worldview. The current study found that less than one-half of one percent of adults in the current generation – i.e., those aged 18 to 23 – have a biblical worldview.” Not surprisingly, adult evangelicals lacking a Christian worldview are producing young evangelicals having even less a commitment to worldview thinking.

Of course, this should be expected in light of the biblical principle — which can operate as a two-edged sword: “Train up a child in the way he should go, / Even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). Apparently deficiently faithful parents are producing even less faithful children. We are operating as fallen Adam: “he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image” (Gen 5:3b).

The famed atheist philosopher and social critic Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) once perceptively stated: “Most Christians would die rather than think; in fact, they do.” This is quite the opposite of the way things should be. Indeed, though Christians claim to hold the truth, rather than merely holding it, it should hold us.

The Greatness of the Great Commission (by Ken Gentry)
An insightful analysis of the full worldview implications of the great commission.

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One thought on “Are Christians Worldviewless?

  1. Harold January 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Unfortunately this is all too accurate of too may churches today.

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