Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. adults hold to a mixture of worldviews, otherwise known as syncretism, and only a small percentage have a biblical worldview, a new study by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University shows.
The research was the first release in the center's American Worldview Inventory 2021 survey.
It examines a biblical worldview and six prominent competing worldviews, showing confusing beliefs from Americans.
The worldviews are Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, Nihilism, Marxism (including Critical Theory), and Eastern Mysticism, also known as "New Age," according to new research from George Barna and the center.
"Rather than developing an internally consistent and philosophically coherent perspective, Americans embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable or most convenient," Barna noted.
"Those beliefs and behaviors are often inconsistent, or even contradictory, but few Americans seemed troubled by that."
The American Worldview Inventory 2021 is the first survey of its kind to measure biblical worldviews and the six prominent competing worldviews.
The inventory found that the overwhelming majority of American adults lack a cohesive, coherent worldview and instead substitute a patchwork of conflicting, often irreconcilable beliefs and values as they navigate life.
Specifically, there was no single worldview embraced by American adults from among the seven worldviews.
Barna said that the big winner from among the worldviews measured was "none of the above."
The new study found that nearly nine out of 10 American adults (88percent) embrace an impure, unrecognizable worldview that blends ideas from these multiple perspectives—a worldview that Barna labels "syncretism."
• One of the shocking outcomes from the research is that the biblical worldview, at a 6 percent nationwide incidence, was the most prolific of the seven worldviews tested.
The other worldviews' incidence ranged from 2 percent of the public embracing Secular Humanism to 1 percent of adults embodying each of Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, and Nihilism. Less than one-half of 1 percent embrace either Marxism or Eastern Mysticism/New Age as worldviews.
• The most predominant worldviews in American culture in terms of the embrace of beliefs and behaviors are Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (39 percent of U.S adults either lean strongly or moderately toward its specific beliefs and behaviors) and the biblical worldview (31 percent lean strongly or somewhat toward its beliefs and behaviors).
Among the other worldviews, the percentage of adults who lean strongly or moderately toward specific beliefs and behaviors: Secular Humanism (16 percent); Postmodernism (16 percent); Nihilism (10 percent); Eastern Mysticism (10 percent); and Marxism (10 percent).
The American Worldview Inventory 2021 is the Cultural Research Center's second national survey of American worldview and specifically measure seven worldviews (Biblical Theism, Secular Humanism, Postmodernism,
The findings are based on half-hour-long personal interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults.
The American Worldview Inventory 2021 (AWVI) is an annual survey that evaluates the worldview of the adult U.S. population.
Begun as an annual tracking study in 2020, the assessment is based on several dozen worldview-related questions drawn from eight categories of worldview application, measuring both beliefs and behavior.