The summary data from a fascinating research project conducted by George Barna were recently published by Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center. The findings are worthy of consideration and discussion. Therefore, I will be devoting the next few posts to reflections on this study. Some topics will include:
1. Biblical beliefs are unusual in American culture.
2. The biblical worldview doesn’t stay biblical without the Bible.
3. Self-identification is often an exercise in self-deception.
4. Taking away from the teachings of the Bible is dangerous.
5. Adding to the teachings of the Bible is dangerous.
Let’s start by looking at #1 this week. Only 6% of American adults belong to a group that uniformly believes that the Bible is the true, accurate Word of God. Only 6% belong to a group that is uniformly confident that God is the perfect, just, all-powerful, ruling Creator. Only 6% percent belong to a group that almost unanimously holds that salvation is not contingent on people doing enough good things to earn eternal life.
What do these facts say about you and your school?
If you believe the Bible is true, you are in the minority. If you believe in the biblical view of God’s nature and character, please know that many, even some who call themselves “Christians,” disagree with you. Works-based false gospels have been prevalent since the birth of the church. Paul battled them in Galatia. We battle them in the USA.
Biblical beliefs are unusual in American culture. In ACU’s summary, Barna notes, “‘Christian’ has become somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ.” Generic Christian-ish ideals and sentiments are common. But specific, concrete commitments stemming from the Bible are not not.
How does your Christian school communicate what it believes about God, Bible, and salvation? How well do your students understand those things? Is your school “Christian” or is it Christian? What about your specific classroom? How can you tell?
Next time, we will take a look at the role of the Bible in shaping the biblical worldview.