There isn’t a lot of change except something of a drop in the Roman Catholic score and a significant increase in the Charismatic/Pentecostal score. I think the test is useful for one’s positioning relative to others, but there are several of the questions that seem to present false choices. My differing scores could as easily be related to the ambiguity I feel about some of the questions as to any real change in my theology.
For example, question 10, which states “Liberalism was a disaster for theology because it leads to atheism” can be considered either too leading or incomplete. It might be too leading by prejudicing someone against liberalism simply because they oppose atheism, as I certainly do. With respect to incompleteness of the question, a person could believe that liberalism is a disaster for theology without believing it leads to atheism. They could simply think that such theology is insufficiently dedicated to evangelism, leads to dry worship, proclaims cheap grace, or is insufficiently confessional. There are a lot of people who disdain liberal theology but don’t go so far as to proclaim liberal Christians as non-believers. I don’t believe that Jerry Falwell has been a particularly positive influence for the church, but neither do I consider him an atheist.
Question 12 seems rather vague to me in saying, “we cannot understand God without first looking at humanity.” One could assume that the question is calling for some type of secular humanist outlook, or they could approach it, as I did, with the idea that because we are entirely human we must view even the divine through the lens of human understanding and knowledge, which powered by God’s grace, is nevertheless limited in scope. (”We see in as in a mirror dimly.”)
Question 13 reads, “We are called to pure holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” On the one hand,we can’t ignore the call to pure holiness. However, if pure holiness is regarded as “perfection” then John Wesley, while regarding that as the goal, wasn’t sure that he had been by God’s grace perfected in love. If the question means that we are in grave peril if we ignore God’s call to pure holiness, I would agree. Being satisfied with one’s relationship with God is different than “assurance” in that satisfaction can lead to pride which in turn can lead to disbelief and the consequent falling from grace. If the question is meant to state that pure holiness is required for salvation (justification), then I’d disagree. I effectively answered the question that I neither agree nor disagree. What camp would that put me in?
On Question 46, I would have agreed if it had simply read, “God said it, that settles it and now we must respond, individually and in community through faith, study, worship and prayer to discern what God settled.” I believe that God’s word is authoritative but not inerrant. Others, of course, believe those terms are mutually exclusive.
Regarding Question 50, “Social action is important, but not as important as saving souls,” I think the question presents an entirely false choice. Not even my answer that I neither agree nor disagree was an adequate response because such wouldn’t necessarily imply that the two are inseparable, which is what I in fact believe. Social action simply can’t be regarded apart from saving souls any more than evangelism can be separated from mission.
Nevertheless, here are my scores, before (June 19, 2005) and after (April 19, 2006):
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 75-79
Roman Catholic 68-57
Reformed Evangelical 61-61
Classical Liberal 50-50
Modern Liberal 43-36