Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


The Hermeneutics Quiz

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.)
I didn’t get home early enough to post our usual Friday is for Friends, so instead…
You may have heard about the hermeneutics quiz I drafted up for Leadership magazine; of course, our hermeneutic can’t be reduced to a series of questions. So, what we are really doing is seeing if we can generate a conversation about how it is that we read the Bible. So, here’s the quiz … and we can have a conversation about it here if you’d like. The focus of many on which label they are assigned is not at all an interest of mine; instead, my interest is how we make the decisions we do make on issues like these. The labels were added later and not integral to what I think this kind of quiz can expose.
SmileyCentral.com



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:02 am


Hermeneutics Quiz « rustinS myth

[…] Hermeneutics Quiz Posted on February 29, 2008 by Rustin Scot McKnight has posted his much talked about hermeneutics quiz. […]



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Luke

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:03 am


I got a “66” which barely got me in the “progressive” category. I’m pleased with the result, because I would hate to be at both ends of the spectrum. I would assume most people around me and others I grew up with would have scored between a 20-35. Neat little quiz Scot, thanks a lot!



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Jennifer

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:18 am


I got a 77, which I guess seems about right. I think I would have grown up as a 25 – 35.



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Luke

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:26 am


Dang Jennifer, you’re more liberal than I am! I didn’t see that one coming!



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Ranchero

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:49 am


68, and I’m a Southern Baptist minister…stupid me trying to be consistent with my ethic and the text.



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Jennifer

posted February 29, 2008 at 2:20 am


Luke…LOL! I am the middle of my second hermeneutics class in seminary, so I am feeling hyper aware of the issues involved in each question. I might have got a different score if I had different classes right now. But, then again, it feels pretty accurate for where I am right now, so I dont know…:-)



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Ted M. Gossard

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:39 am


I scored a 64 which put me on the high end of the moderate, close to progressive. I guess that’s where I see myself, thinking I have a high view of Scripture, but also thinking that it all has to be taken in contexts to understand what it is saying as God’s word for us today. Something like that.
But good questions, Scot, and a good little article.



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Scott M

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:09 am


I took it a couple of days ago. I scored seventy-something. (I forget exactly what.) As I recall, though, there were several questions where none of the answers felt like something I would actually think or a lens I ever use.



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Scot McKnight

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:17 am


When Skye Jethani (editor at Leadership) and I sat down, I knew there was no way to get nuance into this quiz — so we sought for a conversation starter. There’s an issue involved here at a level much deeper than most of us care to think … namely, what we think we are doing when we read the Bible in order to bring it into our world. Most of us mix various strategies.
One of my deepest convictions is that the strategy of returning to the Bible in order to restore it in our world is not in fact what we are doing. Sometimes yes; othertimes, no. And my own work is about what we are actually doing.



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Rob

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:27 am


81. I had some trouble answering a few, but I think the score reflects my current thinking on the matter.



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Damian M. Romano

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:42 am


After taking the test and learning my score (42), I was intrigued to find out that I was rendered conservative. I think that one of the reasons people might score a high number (being more progressive) might be the failure to learn (and implement) the historical-grammatical method of interpretation. In today’s culture all to often we find a more subjective, existential manner of interpretation, that is, “to me it means…” While I grant a sensus plenior, and realize there are linguistic methods used (allegory, metaphor, figurative, etc.) But when the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, is there really any reason to seek a deeper (or more shallow) sense? For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1st Corinthians 14:33)



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Scott Watson

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:55 am


Conservative, Moderate or Preogrssive in what context–an Evangelical Protestant one? I scored in the low progressive range but in my own ecclesiastical journey I’ve been in church contexts where I was considered a “conservative.”



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RJS

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:57 am


Interesting Scot – as a conversation starter or to provoke thought. Some caveats and criticisms if a “scientific evaluation tool.” The sabbath question is particularly misleading.
I score in the progressive range – low 70’s – honestly.



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fjs

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:08 am


I get the need for categories but am somewhat uncomfortable with the labels… conservative, moderate, progressive.
I think one can in a progressive or moderate sense pay attention to context, highly value the scripture and interpret a passage more literally than a conservative that pays little attention to context.
In that light then, is the progressive the conservative and the conservative the progressive?
In my experience when one opens the scripture without thought to historical context and biblical context, one reads as reader-response–finding meaning in which one is less aware of pre-suppositions and pre-assumptions.
I scored as a moderate once and a progressive once. took it twice. some questions I was ambivelent on.



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Bill Crawford

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:24 am


Gee – am I the only conservative here? I scored 50



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Katharine Moody

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:32 am


Scot,
I’m a 3rd year PhD student from the UK exploring the emerging church through the question of truth, and I’m interested in your choice of language for the “progressive” classification.
I’ve just finished reading Gordon Lynch’s (2007) sociological analysis of the progressive milieu and progressive spirituality, and his criteria for inclusion in those spaces seem to differ from your intended use of the term, so I’d be interested in hearing more about why you refer to this group of readers as “progressive.”
I’ve blogged about Lynch’s book (The New Spirituality) twice regarding how it’s been helpful in my thinking about the emerging church, and in relation to your quiz. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
FYI I scored 85.



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:39 am


How to you understand the Bible? « The Two Tasks…

[…] How to you understand the Bible? Posted on February 29, 2008 by jg75 Scot McKnight has posted a link to a? hermeneutics quiz? he developed for? Leadership Magazine. Take the quiz to give you some feedback on how the ways you interpret the Bible relate to others in the evangelical community. I scored low (67/100) on ? the progressive side (66 was the cut off). I’d encourage you to sit with several of the questions and answer them honestly. For me it was the foot washing one. I get the spiritual significance of foot washing (intellectually) but in reality the way I treat the text doesn’t match. At the installation of The Rev Canon Sam Wells as Dean of Duke Chapel, the service included his washing the feet of members of various constituencies that form the Duke community. I admittedly felt a real internal dissonance at the thought of doing that, which provoked (short lived) reflection. Try it for yourself. […]



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Rob

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:56 am


#11 – I think that one of the reasons people might score a high number (being more progressive) might be the failure to learn (and implement) the historical-grammatical method of interpretation. In today???s culture all to often we find a more subjective, existential manner of interpretation, that is, ???to me it means?????? While I grant a sensus plenior, and realize there are linguistic methods used (allegory, metaphor, figurative, etc.) But when the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, is there really any reason to seek a deeper (or more shallow) sense?
Speaking as a “progressive” based on the test, I have some issues with your characterization. First, the historical-grammatical is one form of interpretive method, not the ONLY one. I would ask, did the NT authors employ this method when interpreting the OT? I would offer, no they didn’t. Check out Peter Enns on this topic. Also, I don’t fall to the side of “to me it means…”. As a “progressive”, I pay close attention to the historical and cultural situation that the Scriptures grew out of, and I take into account what the Church (historic and Global) views those Scriptures to mean. The “plain sense” often equates to “the plain sense for ME”, and ME is a product of cultural conditioning, and all the biases and presuppositions that come with it.



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Matthew

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:58 am


Coming from the churches of Christ, we consider ourselves to be conservative in the faith, but this quiz allows us to see maybe we are not giving the proper power to the scriptures.
http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org



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Andie

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:02 am


I scored a 65,which didn’t surprise me much, I didn’t grow up much of anything, but when I became a Christian at 30, I would have probably been about a 20-25 if that would be a fundamental literalist view. WOW has college and blogs been a wonderful eye-opening, heart-softening experience.
Interesting quiz, Scot.
Andie



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Scot McKnight

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:07 am


RJS,
How would you frame the Sabbath questions? I think one’s view of why we do or don’t practice Sabbath shapes how we frame the questions.
fjs,
We did not originally intend to label the scores, but thought it might be a great incentive for the conversation. It’s a spectrum; that’s the big conclusion.
Katherine,
Not read Lynch on “progressive”; we are using it more or less with some kind of redemptive movement.



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fjs

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:09 am


I’ve been reading a book on servant leadership and the author raises a very pertainent question that I think the post-moderan philosophers have sought to address. “Who pays the price of your interpretation?” (Servant Leadership, Volume One, page 117) The post moderan gang is sensitive to how scripture and the authority of the Bible has been used by unscrupulous leaders to power over others. Without the commununal study of the Bible, the church can fall into using the Bible to weild power for one’s particular agenda be it slavery or the roles of men and women. That community needs to include those without social power so that the church might begin to overcome it’s biasis and bring about true reconciliation between people.
I would like to see a critique of methods based on the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ and the character of God as revealed in Jesus.
The question, who pays the price of your biblical interpretation is one to be pondered–be we conservative, moderate or progressive. If something doesn’t jive with redemption… maybe we should question it.



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tscott

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:12 am


It is the hermeneutical experience-
revising our fore meanings
the encounter with the other
that people today mean when they say you are open minded. But it is also true that many feel you are more “correct” if you are progressive or conservative on this scale.
Closer to the hermeneutical experience is the call to us all-
the new creation
“the fusion of horizons allows us to escape the prison house of language”



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Katharine Moody

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:17 am


Thanks for your comments, Scot. So is it progressive because it hopes to progress creation towards redemption? Is that the only sense in which it’s being used?
Progress towards a definite goal or telos (even if it’s the kingdom of God – which is defined within perimeters) seems to repeat a modernist assumption in progression to me.
I’d rather be cautious about what I’m praying for when (if!) I pray, “Your Kingdom come.” The kingdom of God will blow these horizons of expectation apart! And THAT’S what I pray for – not a concept with definitive content. I pray to be changed, but I don’t know how. I pray, but I don’t know to whom.
What do I love when I love my God? God, rid me of God. God, why have you forsaken me?
Progress might happen in relation to these questions, but it won’t be on my agenda!



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:50 am


Hermeneutical Ranking « a quaker’s flourishing faith

[…] Hermeneutical Ranking Posted February 29, 2008 Scot McKnight created a hermeneutics quiz that you, yes you, can take here. Scot correctly mentions that it is not an encompassing quiz, and that there are issues with the scope and in some cases, the applicability of such a quiz. But, it is fun to take. To my surprise, I am a moderate (64 is my score), which matches well with my political leanings. Perhaps hermeneutics and politics are (insert sarcasm) interchangeable! […]



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Doug Jones

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:55 am


intriguing and definitely whets the appetite for “The Blue Parakeet” (well maybe that is a bad choice of words.)
scored a 68… just barely crossed the line to progressive – I have coined a new phrase for my border living…
a mod-prog!



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Sam Andress

posted February 29, 2008 at 11:22 am


72 here. Seems about right. I am a recent Fuller Seminary grad. As for the categories of “conservative” and “progressive” I’d much prefer stating four to five different hermeneutical methodologies and then contending that some are better than others. I consider myself to have a narrative hermeneutic and thus things can always be re-worked in light of new aspects of the narrative. Some have called this a “trajectory” or “arc” hermeneutic…
So, I am not sure what a 72 means but I take the Scriptural narrative seriously as authoritative and fruitful for guiding God’s people towards faithfulness when interpreted in a community seeking to follow Jesus.



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mike

posted February 29, 2008 at 11:30 am


You scored between 66 and 100, meaning you’re a progressive on The Hermeneutics Scale.
interesting, i had the feeling i would be a bit more on the progressive so i’m not surprised by the result. great quiz!



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Steve

posted February 29, 2008 at 11:54 am


I thought the quiz was interesting and was glad that it was made available to those of us not subscribing to Leadership. I got a 58. I agree that it is possible that some moderates are picking and chosing their issues, but it is also possible moderates are choosing “3” more often :) On a number of questions I felt like the answers were trying to set up a polarity that I didn’t agree with and felt that my place was really somewhere off that implied line–which made them hard to answer. Still, the basic question of how to think about the application of various directives from scripture is evergreen–and this quiz helps us face some of those issues in a fairly direct and “BS-free” manner. Thanks Scot!
Steve



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fjs

posted February 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm


I took the test from the orientation that I grew up with just to see how my formative years were influanced. The score was 34.
I think in the anxiety over scripture, we do not teach interpretation well. We want folks to value and live by scripture and so lift it up. While it is important and necessary to do this so folks will value the importance of the Bible, we might also provide greater instruction on method and the importance of biblical tensions (where the text seems not to agree).
I know that some (not all) of my current score is related to reacting to the Biblical rigidity and will to power that I grew up with.



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Jennifer

posted February 29, 2008 at 12:13 pm


Damian #11
You said : I think that one of the reasons people might score a high number (being more progressive) might be the failure to learn (and implement) the historical-grammatical method of interpretation.
And, in a sense, I think you’re right…but for different reasons. I scored 77, not because I dont know the historical-grammatical method, but because I dont think its enough. It is helpful and gives us a lot of information, but for me, it doesnt get me any closer to the text, while more “reader based” methods do.



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Luke

posted February 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm


Scot,
I think I speak for all of us when I ask:
What is your score?



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MattR

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:03 pm


Scored a 75.. progressive (though low to mid range), no suprise there.
Thanks Scot, I like what you’re doing here… My hermeneutics professor said sometimes it’s worth looking through a deconstructive lense. In other words, we can tell what our/someone elses real (latent) hermeneutic is by the results… this is often different than the stated method or approach.
Though like some I’m not totally comfortable with the categories, still a great tool for evaluation… Look forward to someone addressing some of the questions hermeneutics is wrestling with (is this your new book?)…
For instance: The ‘plain’ sense(#11) of Scripture is hardly plain (as even the idea itself is a culturally conditioned Baconian philosophy), and… Almost everyone has a redemptive trajectory of some kind (otherwise most conservatives would still believe slavery is permited, which they don’t :) ), it’s just on a sliding scale that is maybe more cultural than anything else.



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ChrisB

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm


I scored a 49. Higher than I would expect, but there are, of course, caveats and yes-buts attached to many of the questions. E.g., #16 – I think a conservative can honestly say that the death penalities under the Mosaic Covenant aren’t binding to the modern world.
Similarly, in #18, when discussing dietary rules, you have to deal with the epistles and gospels that were written after the council. I’m not sure how progressive a position is when it’s been the majority opinion for 1900 years.
Also, I’m curious why concern for historical context (#14) is classified as “progressive.”
Still, it’s an interesting conversation starter, but I think saying that people just don’t follow passages they don’t like is too simple.



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pam w

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:18 pm


Scot – Thanks for this. It is a great tool to begin dialogue on see mental models and frameworks that drive our interpretations and applications of scripture. Though trained in seminary in the historical-grammatical method and know it well (Conservative Baptist seminary), it is not complete in it’s challenging of our own cultural (western, in my case) mental models. We are clueless to the ways our western individualized culture shapes the way we understand the language in scripture. Having grown up in the US, I know I am very handicapped to understand the communal first century Jewish life from which Jesus speaks.
I agree with the challenge of nuancing the quiz, and yet it does what you intend: requires a reflection at a deeper level, and starts important conversations. I scored a 72, but some of those I truly did not agree with any answer but had to choose one. For example, on the Sabbath question, nothing fit because I believe we are called to observe a sabbath in our lives, but it is not day specific.



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:18 pm


The Hermeneutics Quiz « These are words

[…] A month or so ago I came across the hermeneutics quiz put together by Scot McNight, who you can read at Jesus Creed.? (By the way, hermeneutics is just the way you interpret the Bible.)? Anyhow, the idea here is to rate you as conservative, moderate, or progressive in your interpretation.? It’s very interesting to see how you turn out.? Some leaders have taken it and disagreed with their rating, others liked the quiz. […]



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T

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm


Happy to be moderate! For the community or individual? Both. Literal or metaphorical? Depends. With (or through) Tradition or against it? Depends. A couple of times I wanted to be “somewhere between 1 and 5″, FWIW.
Let’s hear it for the radical middle!



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Daryl

posted February 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm


Scored a 62… interesting quiz filled with loaded questions and, I thought, a few categories where I wanted to say “yes, but also that one too…”
And I am curious what Scot scored as well :)



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Fred

posted February 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm


I scored a 63. My Bible college professors would be appalled. :)



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Anthony

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:16 pm


I came up with a score of 65, which puts me in the moderate category, right on the threshold of being progressive. This surprised me a bit, because even though I don’t view myself as a conservative, I would have thought that I would be closer to the the threshold between conservative and moderate.
As I look at it, the critical issue that I was working out in my hermeneutical approach was not so much my conviction about the Bible being God’s word, but rather my posture within the community of faith. As I see it, God does not primarily constitute us as individuals, but rather we are constituted relationally. Salvation is not a ray sent from heaven, but a matter of becoming a part of Christ’s body. From this it follows that working out our faith is not a private matter, and a part of working out our faith is interpretation and application of the Gospel to our lives. Thus, interpretation cannot be the private affair of the empowered individual (whether empowered by the Spirit or empowered by a theological instruction). Being constituted as a part of the whole, which is Christ’s body, all that we do should reflect that reality. I pray, I minister, I read, I interpret, I reach out to the world as a part of Christ’s body. So, though there is a personal dimension to my faith, my faith is by no means a private affair. I think this conviction is what is reflected in the results of my taking this quiz.



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fjs

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:21 pm


#34, Chris, you would not believe it… Even using historical context in the interpretive process is suspect by some. And we pick and choose which passages we will use historical context for interpretations. –especialy the passages refering to roles in marriage and church.



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Barry

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm


I scored a “moderate”. I’m not sure what all that means but this was a great idea. Thanks!



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Jim Miller

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:33 pm


Dr. McKnight,
Just heard you at the National Pastors’ Convention and I wanted you to know how sharp I thought your ideas were. You gracefully introduced the evangelical community to the idea that the diversity within the biblical texts calls us to the humility of self-awareness when we interpret the Bible. The image of the blue parakeet was clever, and I would love to have someone awaken in my congregation an appreciation for the study of the voices throughout church history who interpret Scripture with us. Well done.



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm


How do you read? – Home of Daryl and Sarah

[…] There is a nice little post on Christianity Today via Scot McKnight about this, and there is even a quiz to help us see what kind of assumptions we bring to the biblical text when we read it.? So, I encourage you to check out the quiz and to think about the question, “How do I read?”? I would love to hear about your results via the comments. […]



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Bryan Riley

posted February 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm


Quizzes are very hard to do and difficult to take. Additionally, the end result is a label, a stereotype, a pigeonhole. And it seems with these kids of quizzes one’s score can evolve.
I scored a 59, but I wasn’t sure what I thought about the choices to which I was limited on several.



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Julie Clawson

posted February 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm


I scored an 85, but I had a hard time answering some of the questions. On certain ones (like on the sabbath, tattoos, meat-eating, and even the women question) none of the responses represented what I believe. The categories are fun to an extent, but I do wonder what standard they are relative to?



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Ben

posted February 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm


I got a 77, but I think that if the questions were worded differently and the liberal side was expanded, I probably could get into heretic territory. :)



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Winston

posted February 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm


Man, I scored 48 so I’m really on the conservative side around here. I find that interesting because among the Christians whom I interact with, I’m one of the more liberal. It’s fun to see self-selection at work in that way.



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Bob Brague

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:15 pm


Haven’t taken the quiz yet, but I’m working up the courage. Afraid I might be too conservative. Afraid I might be too progressive. Afraid none of the answers apply at times. When I take it, I probably won’t divulge my score. I believe in the sanctity of the secret ballot. Also won’t tell you my choice in the presidential election. Surprised at how many spill their guts here.
Pray for me.



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JACK

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm


I have to admit that I gave up after a few questions. I consistently couldn’t find anything that articulated my understanding. And when 1 and 3 or 5 were incomprehensible to me, saying that I was somewhere between them at a 2 or a 4 was meaningless.



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MatthewS

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:23 pm


Apparently I am with you T!
I scored an even 60. I understand that it just isn’t possible to fit sufficient nuance in an objective quiz to perfectly match one’s beliefs. I didn’t see the continuum in some cases and would have worded some answers differently. Simple example: Historical context is dangerous to avoid in some cases but not very well known in others.
It is certainly fascinating that it is common practice to see some purity laws as obviously normative and others as obviously not applicable.
An aside: It sounds like a back-handed compliment to say, “What impresses me most about moderates are the struggles they endure to render judgments on hermeneutical issues.” Hey! Sounds like you are insulting T’s camp! :-)



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RJS

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:31 pm


Scot (#21),
I find the Sabbath question somewhat difficult to gauge on the conservative-progressive continuum because Sabbath is dealt with in the NT both directly and indirectly. But perhaps a better wording would be:
The Sabbath day of rest
A. Was never eliminated by New Testament writers and should be strictly observed by Christians (on Saturday or Sunday).
B. In the teachings of Jesus the Sabbath is for man not man for the Sabbath ??? thus the Sabbath turned into Sunday for Christians, who need to worship together and can work when they need to.
C. While valuable in the OT is now an optional discipline. Observance may consist of recreation or leisure and personal devotion rather than corporate worship.
I am not quite satisfied with my (C) though.



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Doug Allen

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:44 pm


I scored an 86, just one higher than Katherine and Julie (whom I almost always agree with). Does that make me a conservative Unitarian (LOL!)? Like others, I had trouble with some of the categories and a few times might well have made an even more progressive (or even heretical choice), had it been available.
Here’s a calculation of gender scores so far (I guessed that Chris was a male and did not include those who failed to indicate a precise score), not including my score.
Some 15 males averaged 61.8 and 6 females averaged 76.8. What does that tell? you?
Doug



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Winston

posted February 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm


#51 Doug – It tells me that posters to a blog may not be a representative sample of the beliefs of Christendom.



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Jennifer

posted February 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm


Doug,
Since only 6 women responded, maybe it tells us that women are less likely to be socialized to think hermeneutics is an important topic



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reJoyce

posted February 29, 2008 at 6:40 pm


I scored a 75 if anyone wants to keep track.



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kent

posted February 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm


I scored a 60 which is the same score I had in bowling. No connection, but I thought there was some deep meaning personally for me.



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Dan Brennan

posted February 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm


I did a 79.



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Luke

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:03 pm


Jennifer,
Where do you attend seminary and who are your hermeneutics teachers? Just curious to know.



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eugene

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm


I scored -7.
You folks are all flaming heretics. :)



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Patrick

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:55 pm


I scored 81, which I was surprised to find was not the most “progressive” score in this group. I found that reassuring, not because I others were farther “out there” than me, but because of my own feeling that despite my liberal positions on a number of issues, I was taking the Bible seriously (although I suppose it’s always “…relative to whom?)
Patrick



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Jennifer

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm


Luke
I go to Mars Hill Graduate School. Dwight Friesen (a name you might know) is one of my hermeneutics professors. Joanne Badley (a name you might not know) is the other one. Both have stretched me so much this year. I seriously wish I could sit in their classes every single day.



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Luke

posted March 1, 2008 at 12:30 am


Thanks Jennifer, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of the school. Where is it located? From what you say, it sounds like a great one though! I’ll have to check on the 2 professors you named. Do they have any published works?



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Jennifer

posted March 1, 2008 at 12:59 am

mariam

posted March 1, 2008 at 1:18 am


83 the first time round and then 77 the 2nd when I thought about the questions a little more. Surprised me actually. I thought I would have one of the highest scores here. I suppose an important question underlying this is who or what do you think God is. That is going to affect how you answer the questions and a universalist might actually come out with a lower score than you might expect. The other important question is in relation to how you view scripture – I don’t view it as inerrant but I do view it seriously, and as something sacred. I have a “high view” of scripture. That term just doesn’t mean the same thing to me as the people who usually use it.
I often didn’t really see the 1-5 as a continuum either. There were times I thought well, it’s either 1 or 5. I can see why Jack had some problems with it. I think liberals and conservatives in liturgical churches would answer these questions differently than liberals and conservatives out of the reformed tradition.
And while I didn’t have a problem ticking 5 on the purity questions, I can see the value those laws had in their time and possibly spiritual truths to be gained from understanding why those laws were in place. Similarly, while I don’t think Paul’s comments on women submitting to their husbands (or slaves to their masters) apply now, I can see some purpose in using and accepting the position you find yourself in to glorify God, rather than spending all your energy fighting against personal injustice. Interestingly, this is a very eastern notion – acceptance – which doesn’t fit that comfortably with western ideas of justice and individual rights.



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Paul D.

posted March 1, 2008 at 9:40 am


OK, Scot, I “scored” 63. However, I found it very difficult to pin down most answers — especially in the first half. I wanted to check 1, 3 and 5. Where does that put me? Conflicted? (BTW, I am an INTP on the MBTI.)
Thanks for almost always making me think.



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Paul D.

posted March 1, 2008 at 9:44 am


OH, and on a few of the questions I was looking for a “none of the above” option.



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pam w

posted March 1, 2008 at 10:49 am


Interesting observation on gender and score Doug. It got me thinking. Especially with the comments by many that they would have scored much lower answering from the frameworks in which they were raised. Most of us who are female and older…not getting specific…have had to explore these frameworks in order to even enter the theology conversations because the mental models we inherited had no room for us. I have a hard time with liberal and conservative labels because people mean such different things by them. Many of the folks I know who would score in the progressive range are as committed to the inerrancy of scripture as those who score low. They are however looking through different frameworks.
It is fascinating for me to watch the gender differences in the emerging church conversations. Many of the women are coming in from the mainline denominations because that was the only place that wanted them, and the majority of the men I meet are from evangelical backgrounds. They are asking the same questions because neither are satisfied with the liberal/conservative modern hermeneutic and manifestation of Church or life in the way of Jesus.



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pam w

posted March 1, 2008 at 11:23 am


I need to amend my statement on the denominational mix in the ‘emerging’ conversations. My experience now is that folks are coming from many streams of protestant, catholic and orthodox Christianity. In the early conversations I saw this pattern of women from mainline churches and men from evangelical churches (though I grew up in an evangelical mainline church…). Now that I have been part of these conversations in other parts of the world, I see an amazing mix from the Body of Christ!



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Julie Clawson

posted March 1, 2008 at 11:38 am


Doug #53 – As Patrick mentioned, it is nice to know that there are others more “out there” than you! :)
The gender division is telling. Women who have experienced the freedom to explore scripture or to even know what hermeneutics is seem rather predisposed to be “progressive” (at least according to this scale). I liked the comment over at the Out of Ur blog – “What is “progressive” about supporting women in ministry, for instance? In my opinion, this is just plain Gospel stuff, not progressive or conservative or moderate.” Treating women as fully human is so basic to some Christians that they can’t even fathom that others exist who don’t. Like I said before the scale is all relative to one’s context.



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Rick C.

posted March 1, 2008 at 1:36 pm


I haven’t posted here much but got a 66. Seems accurate to me. I still don’t quite “get” question 18 though. Here it is for clarification.
The requirement of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:29) not to eat any meat improperly killed (strangled instead of having the blood drained properly):
1. Is a permanent commandment for all Christians today.
2. I fall somewhere between No. 1 and No. 3.
3. Is for Jewish Christians only.
4. I fall somewhere between No. 3 and No. 5.
5. Is a temporary custom for first-century Jewish Christians, and is no longer a concern for Christians.
I chose 4. I suppose the question’s related to what your views about being kosher are(?). But if the answer were to be 3, the Council didn’t have to demand this of themselves; they were Jews and already kosher. This requirement was applicable to the Gentile Christians back then, it seems to me.
Or would 3 be indicative of: Jewish-Christians (of today) must still require non-Jewish Christians who worship with them to follow the requirement?
Another is, and it has nothing to do with my religious beliefs; draining blood out of animals in food preparation or before dressing is simply sanitary (ask any hunter). Afaik, animals aren’t strangled to death any more: Not in Western societies during food production where the blood is always drained, and so on.
Did anyone else get confused on this question?
Cool quiz!



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Chris Ridgeway

posted March 1, 2008 at 4:38 pm


58.
Also found myself on a few of the questions wanting to “float above” the line…



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pam w

posted March 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm


Julie – Well said. It is amazing how the relationships change when women are valued as equals. A completely different field is created for fellowship and community.



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Anonymous

posted March 3, 2008 at 1:46 am


how do you read and interpret what the Bible says? « one degree of glory…

[…] March 2, 2008 by david sugawa Do you believe in the death penalty?? Is having a tattoo a sin?? Can women be elders in the church?… So how do you interpret and apply Scripture?? ? Take this? 20 question? quiz developed by Scot McKnight (professor at? North Park University, author? and blogger extraordinaire).? It’s kinda fun and interesting, so I encourage you to? click here to get to Scot’s blog and take the quiz? , then return with your outcome! […]



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Anonymous

posted March 3, 2008 at 9:42 am


How do we interpret scripture? | Byrnesys Blabberings

[…] Always game for some perspective, I decided to take the CT Hermeneutics quiz. Jason Clark, Maggi Dawn,  were the only bloggers I spotted being brave enough to post their score but there is lots of comments around the blogosphere and specifically on the out of ur (CT) blog.It was created by Scot McKinght over at Jesus Creed.???Ever wonder how two people can look at the same passage of the Bible and come away with such different applications? The ways we interpret the Bible, and what enters into our process of applying the Bible, are important for us to be aware of. Without this self-awareness, we can have blind spots in our Bible reading and not even know it.??? I got 59% which I think is on the conservative side of moderate."The moderate hermeneutic might be seen as the voice of reason and open-mindedness. Moderates generally score between 53 to 65. Many are conservative on some issues and progressive on others. It intrigues that conservatives tend to be progressive on the same issues, while progressives tend to be conservative on the same issues. Nonetheless, moderates have a flexible hermeneutic that gives them the freedom to pick and choose on which issues they will be progressive or conservative. For that reason, moderates are more open to the charge of inconsistency. What impresses me most about moderates are the struggles they endure to render judgments on hermeneutical issues."I can certainly see that what is perceived within this test as the inconsistency of hermeneutics are in fact that a lot of my theologizing is ‘unfinished’, and I have not firmly landed on some of the issues that are used as a litmus test.At some points the quiz seems to turn to satire in it’s responses to some of the questions. Interestingly a conservative friend who I got to take the quiz noticed the trend of 1’s being the most conservative answer and just kept answering 1 when he didn’t know what to say! […]



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Robert

posted March 3, 2008 at 11:04 am


I scored 63 – ‘moderate’. It’s interesting to note that many people wanted to choose ‘none of the above’. I particularly felt this for the capital punishment question. The alternatives were that you either agree with a literal implementation of the text, or that you concede the cultural context of the OT practice and are necessarily led to consider it inappropriate for today. This question is premised upon a(n American) conception of the church/state relation that could be summarised as ‘the state needs to implement biblical commands’. And this is where I would disagree. Its possible to consider capital punishment in the OT culturally conditioned, and still consider it an appropriate action of the state. Likewise, its possible to consider the OT command a true expression of God’s will, without enshrining it in legislation.
As a possible alternative to linear positions, something like a 2-dimensional graph may be helpful. The vertical axis could represent the difference between high and low views of scripture (where high means a high degree of correspondence between god’s actual thoughts, and the words/thoughts that are ascribed to him in scripture, and low being lower correspondence) and the horizontal axis represents the degree of contextualisation that is necessary. This would make space for postliberalism that may simplistically be described as having a (relatively) low view of scripture, and yet resists contextualisation because the biblical story can’t be abstracted to principles. Just a thought.



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John Frye

posted March 3, 2008 at 11:16 am


I scored lower progressive at 71. I had the advantage of hearing you, Scot, at the NPC so I was braced for the quiz. Still, I think it reflects my growing understanding of the Bible as God’s Word authoratively governing the faith but in need of serious cultural, historical and redemptive-hermeneutical study before it is applied. BTW, speaking of the weakness of the term “apply,” I was struck by the wisdom of your term “discern.” I heard that term a lot from both N.T. Wright and John Rucyahana of Rawanda.



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VanSkaamper

posted March 4, 2008 at 12:15 am


Anyone care to score Obama based on his hermeneutical stylings here?
http://tinyurl.com/2m2z9z



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