Theological Worldview Revisited

by Joel on April 15, 2011

I haven’t had much time recently to post anything, but I thought I would at least re-take Theological Worldview Quiz from Quizfarm. There are holes in the test that could probably park a thousand cars or more, but possibly where the quiz has been taken a few years apart it might indicate at least some shifts in theological understandings. It could also merely indicate that in taking it other times I may have on one occasion really pondered on a question, where in another year I clicked answers “boom, boom, boom.” It could also be that my mom grew up as a Southern Baptist while my dad came from a family influenced a good bit by Lutheran thought, but later as he moved around, sometimes attended a Presbyterian church and later a Baptist church with my mom, before my mom and dad joined a Methodist church around the year 1950. However, as is so often the case with others, they brought along some faith and theological views from prior affiliations, which is why I was baptized at the age of 12. I think my quiz scores may keep reflecting some of the faith views I was exposed to, even as for years there was a United Methodist Book of Discipline kept in our living room. And yes, I really did read it and was fascinated in reading the Articles as well as some newer understandings in theology. Finally, it appears that some of my views may be the same day-in and day-out.

Here are my scores for 2005-2006-2011:

Emergent/Postmodern 79-79-71
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 75-79-71
Neo-orthodox 71-68-61
Roman Catholic 68-57-64
Charismatic/Pentecostal 43-64-57
Reformed Evangelical 61-61-61
Classical Liberal 50-50-50
Modern Liberal 43-36-43
Fundamentalist 18-14-18

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }


PamBG 04.15.11 at 7:26 pm


You Scored as Emergent/Postmodern
As a friend of mine would say: “See, I don’t even know what that means.”

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well.
I feel alienated from a lot of thinking that seems to put human-made forms of institutional church and its doctrine above the teachings of Jesus. I’m not at all concerned with the church “connecting to modern culture”. I’m concerned with following Jesus faithfully and if people today don’t think Jesus’ teaching connects with them, it’s fine with me.

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.
Yes to all of that.

Emergent/Postmodern 82%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 71%
Neo orthodox 68%
Roman Catholic 57%
Modern Liberal 46%
Reformed Evangelical 39%
Classical Liberal 39%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 36%
Fundamentalist 0%


Kim 04.15.11 at 8:05 pm

Hey, PamBG, you and I are, in fact, very close, except that my Neo-orthodox is 93% (it was 100% three years ago!), my Emergent/Postmodern 71% (up 10%), and my Charismatic/Pentecostal 18% (up 11%). Only my Fundamentalist score has remained exactly the same: 0%. Praise the Lord!


doug 04.15.11 at 10:33 pm

Why would you praise the Lord about something that has some level of truth to it?


Joel 04.15.11 at 11:07 pm

Don’t even think of going there on Kim’s score of “0″ on fundamentalist. It would be like petting a rabid dog. I’m not sure Kim even recognizes that there is such a thing as “Wesleyan theology.” ;-)

It is downright scary to me that anyone would score above 90% in the Neo-orthodox category. I think that must be something like being invited to dine with the Queen and asking for a fourth helping of mashed potatoes.


Kim 04.15.11 at 11:15 pm

75% on Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan - higher than both you and Pam! ;)
I’m quite an eclectic mix, Joel. Though some might say just confused!
I hope you are well, my brother.

And Doug - even a broken clock is right twice a day.


PamBG 04.15.11 at 11:33 pm

@Kim, Ref “neo-orthodoxy” I must have been too generous about Karl Barth somewhere along the line. ;-)

@Doug: There is no truth whatsoever in fundamentalism. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Truth is the opposite of fundamentalism. :D


PamBG 04.15.11 at 11:34 pm

I know someone who was such a fan of Karl Barth that he inadvertently once wrote me an email where he referenced “Barth Simpson”


Earl 04.16.11 at 3:05 am

Hum… scored Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. Cool. :)


Angela Shier-Jones 04.16.11 at 7:35 am

Oops.. my Wesleyan Holiness has slipped in favour of Neo-orthodox - wonder why..

Emergent/Postmodern 75%
Neo orthodox 71%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 61%
Modern Liberal 61%
Roman Catholic 57%
Classical Liberal 46%
Reformed Evangelical 29%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 21%
Fundamentalist 0%


Richard 04.16.11 at 8:04 am

Here are my scores, with my 2005 scores in brackets.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 82% (75%)
Neo orthodox 71% (64%)
Roman Catholic 68% (57%)
Emergent/Postmodern 57% (68%)
Modern Liberal 39% (46%)
Reformed Evangelical 39% (32%)
Classical Liberal 32% (50%)
Charismatic/Pentecostal 32% (29%)
Fundamentalist 4% (11%)

Thanks for revisiting this Joel.


David Bunce 04.16.11 at 8:25 am

You are neo-orthodox. You reject the human-centredness and scepticism of liberal theology, but neither do you go to the other extreme and make the Bible the central issue for faith. You believe that Christ is God’s most important revelation to humanity, and the Trinity is hugely important in your theology. The Bible is also important because it points us to the revelation of Christ. You are influenced by Karl Barth and P T Forsyth.

Neo orthodox 93%
Emergent/Postmodern 79%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 71%
Roman Catholic 57%
Reformed Evangelical 39%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 36%
Classical Liberal 32%
Modern Liberal 21%
Fundamentalist 11%

I’m surprised I didn’t score more on Charismatic than I did, and surprised I scored so high on some of the other categories (Fundamentalist, Reformed Evangelical and Classical Liberal for example)


tortoise 04.16.11 at 10:25 am

89% Neo orthodox (2008: 93%)
82% Emergent/Postmodern (2008: 75%)
82% Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan (2008: 71%)
57% Roman Catholic (2008: 57%)
46% Charismatic/Pentecostal (2008: 46%)
39% Reformed Evangelical (2008: 36%)
32% Classical Liberal (2008: 43%)
32% Modern Liberal (2008: 32%)
14% Fundamentalist (2008: 14%)


Joel 04.16.11 at 11:20 pm

I am well indeed! One thing I’ve learned is that clicking the center circle on the test doesn’t really allow one to be a fence sitter, that instead of kind of saying I’m neither “this” nor “that” the test may score you as both this and that.

I guess that means that if there is a political world view test and Sarah Palin is on one end and Dennis Kucinich on the other end, I better not risk filling in even one circle short of Kucinich, or the test will show me as 20% Palinite.


Joel 04.16.11 at 11:27 pm

How low my Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan score drops may depend partly on how recently I’ve read something written by Bishop Willimon.


Bob Gilston 04.17.11 at 12:30 am

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 93%
That could be me!
Does that mean Earl and I agree the same doctrine?
There’s a flaw in there somewhere.


Bob Gilston 04.17.11 at 12:31 am

Earl - It’ll be me that’s flawed!!!


Joel 04.17.11 at 1:49 pm

I’ll start out by using this definition of theology:
The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions. (Theology as defined by The Free Dictionary by Farlex.)

As theology in its most commun use refers to and relies on the human mind and “heart” to systematize, in the context of Creator and Creation, as well as the reltionship between the two, the teaching, living, transfoming, rebuking, promising, revealing, and saving love (to name but a few) of God as found in Scripture and in the context of reason, experience and tradition. Scripture as brought to life in the context of these things is not accepted by some, and others that do accept it apply it in other ways.

By the time I’m through I may wish to have placed this as a post rather than a comment. But nevertheless:

Theological viewpoint differs by more variable than I could possibly share before time for church today. Among the variables:

1) Some people don’t believe there are variables.
2) People differ by both time and place.
3) People vary by ethnic makeup
4) People differ by culture.
5) Theology may vary by upbringing.
6) Theology may vary between those new to the faith and those earleier to the faith.
7) Theplogy may vary as a result of sermons we have heard. Some listeners might be so inspired to be meditative types. Others more evangelistic, still others centered more in mission undertakings (Note: There is so much overlap or parallel, bymy understanding, that evangelism, spirituality, witness, service, mission, etc. should not, and cannot be carved out as separate spheres of Christianity.)ome of the avaryingsby
8) Theology almost certainly will vary as to whether we accept the Bible as inerrant. That there is great theological overlap among Richard, Kim, Bene, myself and others, would tend to reflect a shared perspective that the Bible isn’t innerant.
9) Theology will differ greatly by life experience. Thus, those who lived under apartheid in South Africa, particularly those who were oppressed by it, but not excluding those doing the oppressing almost certainly had a varying theology.
10) Theology varies by the hold corruption/sin have on us. All of us are sinners, but some have accepted liberation by God more thanothers have, though it is not up to me as to who is liberated and who is not.
11) Theology varies by season of life. While there is no exactness in this, I often notice ways, sometimes very subtle, that the younger may be possessed of more zest in the faith, while the younger may be more posessed of the contemplative and the reflecting. Both are needed, and there are those older who lean more to the zest category and more young wo lean toward contemplation and reflection.
12) Theology may vary by the extent to which the wealthy may be centered very much in making a connection of their abudant wealth to God’s blessing. I don’t see it, but it exists. Others of the wealth may be drawn in faith by grace to center much of their lives in giving to others, sometimes just as to money, but at other times just involunteering in missions and ministry.
13) Life outlook. Because of President Kennedy’s eforts with respect to PT-109, his observance of the sexual straying ways of his father, being the child of an exacting mother, his ongoing back pain, his Addison’s disease, as well as childhood or early youth problems such a diptheria, appendicitis, whooping cough, and jaundice left him with, in my opinion, both streaks of cynicism/fatalism and streaks of faith and hopes. Robert Kennedy, however, despite his character flaws had, in keeping with his mother, a more devout Roman Catholic faith.
14) Birth order. Some people would say either that writing on birth order only have to do with psychology, family stems, or philosophy. However, there have been studies that show a greater proportion of first borns out of family becoming pastors/priests/rabbis and such. However, apart from that a lot of studies have shown that last borns tend to be more rebellious, the importance of faith to each of these groups was very similar. To my surprise, the study showed that middleborns tended to find the least meaning in faith or religion. Considering that in the United States only about 20% of the population regularly attends church, there can be people interested in faith and religion among the 80% of those who don’t attend church or other religious institution.
15) Social Status. There are a great many exceptions, but in general I have come to believe that those enslaved, such as African-Americans once were, frame their theology more in freedom and hope, while many of the wealthy and privileged base their theology in “blessings.” Many of the poor also frame their theology in blessings, and I think the more so as the heretical prosperity gospel (I won’t use a capital “g”) has gained followers, although I think a backlash is likely to develop against that viewpoint whether sooner or later.

Other things — I am out of time — can include education, field of study andtype and place of work.


John Cooper 04.17.11 at 10:40 pm

So then - here is what I have come out with. Overall I didn’t think the questions fully summed up my faith and alot of it was prejudicial. I would certainly think that I would be classed as a liberal wesleyan if such a thing existed because central to my faith is the idea that all can, will and should be offered the unending love of christ. Without that belief in many respects I wouldn’t have my faith… well that and a large amount of social action….

Seriously though - can someone spell out a classic wesleyan faith that would get me to the 75%ish area cause that’s where I thought I would/should sit!


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 modern 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 82%
Modern Liberal 75%
Classical Liberal 61%
Roman Catholic 46%
Neo orthodox 46%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 46%
Reformed Evangelical 29%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 25%
Fundamentalist 18%

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