Barna Study Info
According to Barna at www.barna.org "Born again Christians" are defined as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents are not asked to describe themselves as "born again."
In addition to the "Born Again" category, Barna has what they call "Evangelicals". Evangelicals are those in their Born Again category that must also meet 7 more criteria including belief in salvation through grace and not works, need to share faiith, belief in satan, Jesus was sinless, the Bible is accurate, and God is all knowing and all powerful still today. People in Barna's Evangelical group were not asked to identifiy themselves as such.
Barna's definition of "Born Again" is such that many socially liberal interviewed by Barna fall into that category. To see this clearly, note that Barna finds a significant number of "Born Agains" (as they define them) to take a liberal stance on social issues such as abortion.
In summary, I believe Barna's use of the term "Born Again" is not consistent with the popular definition used in culture. It results in some misinterpretation of his findings since many people define "Born Again" in the same way Barna defines "Evangelical". As a result, many times Barna statistics on "Born Again Christians" (as Barna defines them) are confused with the popular cultural definition. Also, in some cases, news outlets like USNews, will report the Barna-defined Born Again statistics and leave out the Barna-defined Evangelical statistics - this can further add to the confusion. Barna does good statistics, no doubt. It is their group labels that concerns me.