Sunday, June 30, 2013

Just for Fun: My Worldview Is Delightfully, Hilariously Unbiblical!

Back in 2011, Jack Heller blogged about two online "Christian worldview" tests, the Nehemiah Institute test and the Worldview Weekend test. Heller, an assistant professor at a Christian college, noted with some amusement that he failed the Christian worldview tests. He noted the shortcomings of the tests, including important spheres of life that they neglected, false dichotomies, lack of nuance on controversial issues, and their homogeneous view of Christianity.
"Both the Nehemiah Institute and Worldview Weekend categorize their questions into areas of thinking. The Nehemiah Institute’s categories are Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social Issues. Worldview Weekend has more categories—Civil Government, Economics, Education, Family, Law, Religion, Science, and Social Issues. But while Worldview Weekend has more categories than the Nehemiah Institute, neither test is comprehensive enough to cover all the important areas of one’s thinking. Neither test, for example, considers what a person might think about ecology. Neither test broaches the subject of aesthetics. Neither test asks anything about how a person chooses entertainment. Neither has anything about labor, leisure, sexuality (other than the sinfulness of homosexuality), health, poverty, race and ethnicity, natural resources, urban life, rural life, and the human body. Yet these subjects have significant influences on people’s lives, perhaps for many people even more influence than the subjects included in the tests. Furthermore, Christian thinking about these subjects often contrasts with the thinking of those from Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic faiths. What is especially curious about the narrow categories of these tests is that the writers who most popularized worldview thinking within modern evangelicalism—such as Francis Schaeffer, James Sire, and Arthur Holmes—did write about ecology (Pollution and the Death of Man), aesthetics (Art and the Bible, How to Read Slowly), poverty, and race.

My contrast of the Christian faith to some of the world’s other major faiths reveals another shortcoming of these tests: They represent all worldviews as a contrast between theism and secularism. For the authors of the Worldview Weekend test, what is a Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Secular Humanist Worldview if not simply an exponential intensification of the test’s Secular Humanist Worldview? Where would there be an accurate assessment of the worldview of a Hindu, an Orthodox Jew, a Sikh, a Buddhist, a Muslim, an animist? Nor do these tests distinguish between Christian faiths (Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox) and between those faiths commonly regarded as Christian sects (Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example)."
Curious, I took the World Weekend worldview test, and immediately noticed its loaded questions. Such questions left little room for nuance or alternate positions on many different social and moral issues. Soon, it became clear that the tests conflated a "Biblical worldview" with a right-wing, small-government, dominionist Religious Right view. As Heller wrote, "Another problem with both worldview tests is that their makers confuse having a Christian worldview with their own ideologically biased interpretations of American history or political science."

Questions intended to gauge someone's liberal leanings were ridiculous caricatures of leftists, rather than realistic snapshots of how progressives and moderates think. Consider some of the questions on economics and the state:

Physically and mentally healthy adults that do not work should not be protected from suffering the consequences of their actions.

Individual freedoms would be advanced and protected under a one-world government under United Nations authority.

When you study the Bible as a whole, it becomes clear that God is very supportive of an economic system that is based on private property, the work ethic, and personal responsibility.
Also, take a gander at some of the questions on morality. The questions correlate unbelief with freewheeling morality, and tolerance with relativism. The fact that non-Christians and non-conservatives can have robust, sophisticated moral systems is not considered.
If God does not exist, all things are permissible.

If it "works" for you then it must be true.

Immoral ideas that are put into practice have consequences.

Biblically minded Christians should look at the issues of the world as falling into one of two categories, the secular and the sacred.

The Bible says, judge not lest you be judged, which means we are not to judge the choices or behavior of a person as right or wrong. We all make mistakes, and thus we should not judge someone's actions or behavior according to any particular standard.

One of the greatest virtues one can posses is the virtue of tolerance as defined by our postmodern world; namely, we accept everyone's lifestyles as equal.
Don't get me started on the questionnaire's gauge of social issues.
Pastors and Christians that speak out publicly against homosexuality should be prosecuted for hate speech and a hate crime.

The federal government should fund school-based health clinics which would include safe-sex counseling.

The federal government should be directly involved in determining which students go to college and which students go into the work place and what jobs they hold.
I seriously doubt that the creators of this "worldview" test did research on the moral reasoning and values of groups outside their bubble, or else their questionnaire would have been more nuanced.

After I took the test, I earned a -33 score out of 162 possible points, earning me the totally unbiased, non-buzzword-laden label of ...

Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker!

To take the Worldview Weekend test, click here. 


  1. That is hilarious! And, you're right, talk about loaded questions! I would be afraid of the person who sincerely gets them all right.

    1. Wise Fool -- Yeah, talk about a biased instrument. The sad thing is, I can think of several people who would pass this with flying colors.

  2. My score was in the -50s, and those were indeed some very biased questions. One of their ideologues from my part if the country says that GLBT folk won't engage in "thoughtful dialogue" with people like him...the problem is, they don't want dialogue, they want total submission to their worldview and ONLY their worldview....

    1. Anonymous -- Precisely. Dialogue involves respect and mutual openness, which the Religious Right is incapable of. As far as I can tell (and this questionnaire suggests), they have no interest in listening to anyone else.

  3. I didn't take the test, because I couldn't bear to give them an email address, but I suspect my score would have been along the lines of yours!!!

    1. Knatolee -- And that would be a sign that we're both sane!


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