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Monday, May 07, 2007

A strange brew

Theologically, I've always thought of myself as some sort of an odd mixture of Calvinist theology and Postmodern theory. I recently took two quizes that confirmed my suspicions...


You scored as John Calvin. Much of what is now called Calvinism had more to do with his followers than Calvin himself, and so you may or may not be committed to TULIP, though God's sovereignty is all important.

John Calvin

100%

Paul Tillich

67%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

67%

Anselm

67%

Charles Finney

67%

Martin Luther

33%

Jonathan Edwards

33%

Jürgen Moltmann

33%

Karl Barth

0%

Augustine

0%

Which theologian are you?
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You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to postmodern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Emergent/Postmodern

86%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

86%

Fundamentalist

57%

Classical Liberal

57%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

43%

Neo orthodox

29%

Modern Liberal

21%

Reformed Evangelical

14%

Roman Catholic

14%

What's your theological worldview?
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22 comments:

Melody said...

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

[whisper]The only time I've been to a Methodist church was for 4-H meetings.[/whisper]

Jonathan Erdman said...

I'm not entirely sure how I scored high on Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.....These tests are usually put together by bloggers (read: amateur hacks!), so I'm not sure how reliable they are. But they are fun. I think I may have scored high on the EH/W b/c I refuse to privilege knowledge/doctrine over and above experience....

Jonathan Erdman said...

By the way, does anyone know why Calvin had to wear a neck brace? Car accident?

Melody said...

I wasn't sure how to answer alot of the questions because there were all kinds of different ways the person could have been coming at it.

I didn't know Calvin wore a neck brace.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I'm thinking that perhaps his rigid bone structure contributed to his rather tight and rigid theological system!

Melody said...

Harsh.

But it seems like back in the day a rigid system was pretty typical.

samlcarr said...

Sounds as though his bones were'nt set rigidly enough to suit him so he gave himself a stiff(ened) neck

Jonathan Erdman said...

Indeed....it was a very different day and age back then....

ktismatics said...

You scored as Friedrich Schleiermacher. You seek to make inner feeling and awareness of God the centre of your theology, which is the foundation of liberalism. Unfortunately, atheists are quick to accuse you of simply projecting humanity onto 'God' and liberalism never really recovers.

Friedrich Schleiermacher 33%
Paul Tillich 27%
Karl Barth 27%
John Calvin 20%
Martin Luther 20%
Jürgen Moltmann 20%
Augustine 13%
Charles Finney 13%
Jonathan Edwards 0%
Anselm 0%

ktismatics said...

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern.
Emergent/Postmodern 61%
Classical Liberal 61%
Modern Liberal 43%
Reformed Evangelical 39%
Roman Catholic 29%
Neo orthodox 29%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 25%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 25%
Fundamentalist 11%

Jonathan Erdman said...

Weeeeelllll......I see there is still a bit of Reformed Evangelical left in you, John! And a bit of Karisma!!!

Dawn said...

I got Anselm and Neo Orthodox.

samlcarr said...

just wondering folks, each one seems to be an odd mixture of theologies and philosophies - is this a sign of the times? There are no longer any 'pure' theological positions, everything has gone into the blender...

Jonathan Erdman said...

Sam,

I definitely think that this is the case for doctrine and theology. The theological purist is a rare bird (to borrow a metaphor you might appreciate!).....but then I think it is interesting to expand the question to a worldview scale: Is there anyone who holds to a consistent and coherent worldview, anymore? Or do most people just kind of pick and choose, kind of like a long dinner buffet line?

"I'll take a little of the love of Jesus...some meditative practices of Zen Buddhism...a bit the name-it-and-claim-it properity preachin'...a bit of that old fashioned religion of my parents to help me feel grounded and connected to the past...and I'll wash it all down with a tall glass of Dr. Phil in the afternoons..."

samlcarr said...

Hmm, La Buffet Universale.

Reminds me a bit of an eatery in Cinti where one big wall was for erasable grafitti. Every day one could find the strangest things sitting side by side, it was hysterical, thought provoking, and sometimes a bit unsettling too.

samlcarr said...

A bit of an unrelated thought but what happens to the 'generation gap' in these times? The smorgasbord vs ? It's almost an i'm ok, you're ok sort of situation.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I'm not sure I follow....

samlcarr said...

Youth have generally rebelled against the culture-philosophy of their parents, most markedly from the 1960s on. it used to be that if parents were A, the kids would be B each in it's own way a self consitent and discernible way of thought/life.

Now, with a pick and choose approach, the generational change may be more of trend analysis of mixtures of varieties from the smorgasbord, with not much concern for how or whether everything does 'hang together'.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Good point.

And the rebellion culture is interesting too b/c kids seem to have less and less to rebel against b/c parents seem more and more leniant. From my perspective rebellion is almost completely contrived in our culture. (Probably not so in the eyes of the adolescent youth, however!) Ah, rebellion just ain't what it used to be...

But all of this discussion goes to the difficulty of presenting the Christian faith, which is why many prefer to present the faith and the Gospel as a narrative or a story to live through and in, rather than just another set of "beliefs", which probably won't seem like a very big deal.

samlcarr said...

One would wonder how we are confident that a narrative approach is better, but the bigger concern, which narrative?

Jonathan Erdman said...

To present the Gospel as a narrative to live through/in is not to suggest that we "choose" or "pick" a narrative. This would then open up your question of which narrative to pick, which essentially brings us back to the previous (one might say "Modern") dilemma of which meta-narrative to choose. But a narrative approach would be significantly different than a meta-narrative approach, at least as far as I can see. I'm not entirely clear on how this develops, but there is a difference.

I think that meta-narrative is more worldview focussed, an all-encompassing perpective on all of human history. (Crf. Marxism) Lose the "meta" and I suppose one reduces this down to a more personal level and loses the worldview baggage, which presumably would mean some of the "timeless" doctrines or propositions of the faith....Perhaps a narrative approach would be less about me participating in the meta-narrative of a Christian worldview and more about Christ coming to me in my context and living out my story with Jesus at my side. Admittedly, this sounds a bit narcissistic at first, so I'm sure that I'm not doing it justice here.

samlcarr said...

Subjective, narcisistic, relativist, temporal, introverted, contentless...should we go on?

The narrative approach perhaps would be like a methodology but the selection of actual method is left to the individual, but then, methodology does have some effect on method, so it does do some narrowing down too