March 03, 2008

The Hermeneutics Quiz

Nope, this isn't a copy of an exam I had in seminary. This is a "quiz" that Scott McKnight has developed and posted at Building Church Leaders. And I figured that I'd take it.

My results: I scored a 41 on a scale of 20 to 100, placing me squarely in the conservative range.

First, the conservative hermeneutic group scores 52 or lower. The strength of this view is its emphasis on the authority, ongoing and normative authority, of all of Scripture. It tends to operate with the line many of us learned in Sunday school: "If the Bible says it, that settles it." Such persons let the Bible challenge them with full force. Literal readings lead to rather literal applications. Most of the time.

The problem, of course, is that very few people are completely consistent here. At times one suspects something other than strict interpretation is going on when the conservative is willing to appeal to history to suspend the commandment to observe a Saturday Sabbath, but does not to appeal to history on other issues (e.g., capital punishment or homosexuality).

from Christianity Today.
I'd say that most people have a hard time being totally consistent -- especially when others are setting the standards of what that consistency is. Many folks also thing that to understand the Bible literally means to understand it as literally as it needs to be understood, and understood in context.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:05 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 >especially when others are setting the standards of what that consistency is<i> That's exactly it! Frame the terms--and definitions--of the debate and you're already halfway to winning the debate. Incidentally, I got a 47. I guess that means I'm a conservative with moderate leanings.

Posted by: Daniel Briggs at March 03, 2008 09:30 PM (48WBF)

2 I scored 37, which is where I would like to be, but I think the test is largely flawed. Maybe, any such test is flawed. First, this test is flawed by interpretation the author embeds in some of the questions. The question of the death penalty as applied to adultery is especially bad. This would put to question any of the old testament laws that Jesus amended including those he strengthened. When it comes to the Old Testament vs. Jesus - Jesus wins. The question on prophesy relied on a narrow definition ignoring that every word from God is prophesy. Of course, that is my interpretation of the question derived from my belief that there are no Jonah's telling Nineveh they will be destroyed. At least, none who have spoken directly to God. Second, it is flawed in that you can see that answering 5 will move you toward liberal and answering 1 will move you toward conservative. Our prior personal assessment will push us toward one or the other. Personally, I do not think God has ever told me to destroy a pagan people, but God was right in ordering Israel to destroy Canaan. Israel was wrong in not completing God's command. Finally, I do not like labels. Once you apply a label you build a wall and promote strife.

Posted by: Greg at March 10, 2008 01:37 PM (7PFJI)

3 Wow, cool man, big thanks!

Posted by: kybsrscuqa at May 16, 2008 11:13 PM (UEVl9)

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