54% of practicing Christians—those who attend church at least monthly and consider their faith very important in their life—have non-biblical perspectives that come from postmodernism, and 29% take some key beliefs from secularism, according to a new study by Barna Group and Summit Ministries.
Summit Ministries recently partnered with Barna Group in research designed to gauge how ideas from other worldviews have infected Christians’ beliefs about God and the world around us. Barna has shown that only 17% of practicing Christians have a Christian worldview on key questions they surveyed. This new research found many nonbiblical ideas infecting Christianity.
Ideas from Postmodernism:
- 23% strongly agree that “What is morally right and wrong depends on what an individual believes”
- 19% strongly agree that “No one can know for certain what meaning and purpose there is to life”
Ideas from Secularism:
- 20% strongly agree that “Meaning and purpose comes from working hard to earn as much as possible so you can make the most of life”
- 13% strongly agree that “A person’s life is only valuable if society see it as valuable”
In addition to these two worldviews, the study also found that among practicing Christians,
- 61% agree with ideas rooted in new spirituality,
- 38% with Islam,
- and 36% with Marxism.
The research was conducted in support of the development of Jeff Myers’ new book, releasing in August: The Secret Battle of Ideas about God—Overcoming the Outbreak of Five Fatal Worldviews. This book and supporting church resources explores the dangerous way nonbiblical perspectives infect Christians. Like all people, Christians seek answers to difficult questions that life presents. The problem is, too often they look in the wrong places—to ideas that seep in from nonbiblical worldviews—and find less than fulfilling answers to questions about love, pain, meaning, peace and hope.
“The call for the Church, and its teachers and thinkers, is to help Christians dissect popular beliefs before allowing them to settle in their own ideology,” says Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna. “Informed thinking is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy biblical worldview and faith as well as being able to have productive dialogue with those who espouse other beliefs.”
Evaluation of the research is ongoing and will be reported on Summit’s and Barna’s websites. You can explore more of Barna’s initial findings from this research here: https://www.barna.com/research/competing-worldviews-influence-todays-christians/
Part 1 of this story can be found here: https://www.summit.org/resources/articles/research-barna-summit-competing-worldviews-influence-todays-christians/
Secret Battle of Ideas about God
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