According to a new study by the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University, nearly nine in 10 U.S. American adults hold to a mixture of worldviews, otherwise known as syncretism.
The research was the first release in CRC's American Worldview Inventory 2021 survey, which observes a biblical worldview and six prominent competing worldviews — Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, Nihilism, Marxism (including Critical Theory) and Eastern Mysticism.
However, when pitted against each other, veteran researcher Dr. George Barna found that 88 percent of U.S. adults hold to a mixture of worldviews instead of adhering to one single worldview. This blend of worldviews is known as syncretism, something Barna says is a "cut-and-paste approach to making sense of life."
"Rather than developing an internally consistent and philosophically coherent perspective, Americans embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable or most convenient," he noted.
"Those beliefs and behaviors are often inconsistent, or even contradictory, but few Americans seemed troubled by that."
One shocking outcome from the CRC survey is that as low as six percent of Americans dominantly hold to a biblical worldview. Still, this was the most commonly held singular belief from the presented list of worldviews. According to the survey, only two percent embrace Secular Humanism, while one percent adhere to Postmodernism, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and Nihilism.
Despite both worldviews receiving increased media coverage, the number was even lower for Marxism (critical race theory included) and Eastern Mysticism with less than one-half of one percent embracing those worldviews.
When applied to beliefs and behaviors, 39 percent of Americans lean either strongly or moderately toward Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, followed by 31 percent who lean strongly or moderately toward a biblical worldview.
Amongst the other worldviews, 16 percent of adults lean strongly or moderately toward specific beliefs and behaviors of Secular Humanism and Postmodernism, while 10 percent lean strongly or moderately toward Nihilism, Eastern Mysticism or Marxism.
The American Worldview Inventory 2021 survey was conducted in February 2021 among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults through half-hour-long personal interviews.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.