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12/18/06

eat my theological shorts...

There might be a few of you interested in this silly quiz. If you take it, I'd be interested to hear how it pegged you and what you think of it.

You scored as Karl Barth. The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.

Karl Barth


80%

John Calvin


73%

J├╝rgen Moltmann


67%

Anselm


67%

Jonathan Edwards


67%

Martin Luther


60%

Charles Finney


53%

Augustine


47%

Friedrich Schleiermacher


40%

Paul Tillich


27%

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com


I guess it could have been worse! At least I scored 73% with Calvin! The summary paragraph at the beginning seems to be rather overblown. The questions in the poll were so vague that I could have answered nearly all of them drastically differently, depending on what interpretation I made of them.

Seriously though, these days there are probably some people who would question my fitness for Christian leadership based upon my answers to this poll. You may know that in my denomination (PCA) there is a heated debate about certain doctrinal issues that is threatening to permanently fracture the unity of our churches at a denominational level. I was going to post a link to a summary of this debate, but I couldn't find one on short notice that wasn't either too vague to be useful or too partisan. I'll probably write more on it in the future, because it is an issue on which leaders in my denomination are going to have to consider their position. That said, while I think the issue is one that is worth studying and even debating, I do not think it is one that warrants division. If folks would keep in mind the following tips on good theological discussion--and I do mean "good," as in, "morally excellent"--the discussions would be far more productive.

  • Don't assume the worst about your opponents' motives or goals
  • Don't insist on attributing ideas to your opponents that they don't claim--especially when they explicitly deny those ideas (that seems obvious, doesn't it? but this tip is ignored consistently in these "discussions")
  • Avoid logical fallacies, when presenting your position and also (especially) when summarizing your opponents' positions
  • Hold off on using the "h" word as long as possible
  • Speak to and with your opponents; don't just talk to your supporters about your opponents
  • Be more willing to express humility than attempt to humiliate your opponents
  • Ask questions, lots of questions
  • Seek to be caring, not clever

I'm sure there are more that could be suggested (anybody?), but those came to mind. I pray that as our leaders seek doctrinal truth (which is a valuable pursuit) they will not allow our churches to lose focus on the work of Christ's kingdom to seek, serve, and love the lost.

3 comments:

W Sofield said...

Great post, nickg. Thanks. We all need to learn from each other. Good work.

Anonymous said...

I am 93% Anselm, about 80% Calvin and Luther.

But who am I?

nickg said...

You are Chucky C.

You are identified not only by your theology, but also by my StatCounter service.

Ha!

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."