Monday, July 03, 2006

The correct diagnosis

Here are my results from an interesting survey about religious/spiritual orientations. The survey presents you with 63 statements and a five-point "agree-disagree" scale. If you have time I hope you'll take the survey yourself!

I am happy with my diagnosis, especially the two at the top and the one at the very bottom. If you don't know much about the "emergent" movement, see

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox




Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal




What's your theological worldview?
created with


Blogger Andrew Harnack said...

Well. Well. Well. I find it most interesting that after taking the survey I find out that as a Lutheran I am described as follows:

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

It’s quite obvious that the person who designed the survey has no notion that a Christian may theologically be PROTESTANT IN PRINCIPLE and CATHOLIC IN SUBSTANCE.

As a Lutheran I am protestant in principle; that is, I affirm the sixteenth-century witness of the Reformation of the church so that I know

--that Holy Scripture reveals the covenant history of God’s judgment and grace for all peoples

--I am saved only by the grace of God

--by faith and trust in Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension, and continuing rule I know that my life fully belongs to God

--that by Holy Baptism I have been presented to the people of God as someone whom God saves

--that by frequent participation in the Meal (by whatever name is bears—-Eucharist, Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper, the Liturgy, and so on), I am nourished by the resurrected Christ as he presents himself to us as bread and wine

--that within prayer, the Holy Spirit joins my intersessions, petitions, confessions, worries, anxieties, meditations, and spiritual songs as I present them to the Holy Father through the Jesus Christ who intercedes for me as my High Priest

--that within the Body of Christ, God gives me the worshipping support of his church with the preaching of the Good News, the breaking open of the Scriptures, the counsel and support of Christian friends, and frequent participation in the Holy Communion.

Thus I am an heir of the sixteenth-century Reformation and can loosely be called a “protestant,” along with others who (some more, some less) believe as I do: Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Episcopalians, and so on).

But I am also “catholic” and believe, as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds say, in the “holy catholic” church. For Lutherans this means God has always been with His beloved church both everywhere and at all times. For over two thousand years God has blessed the church with the witness of martyrs (e.g., Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr of Carthage, 258; the Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942), social reformers (e.g., Florence Nightengale, 1910), thoughtful theologians (e.g., Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 430; Benedict of Nursia, 540), great preachers (Lancelot Andrewes, 1626), skilled Bible translators (Jerome, priest and monk of Bethlehem, 420), pious political leaders (Louis, King of France, 1270); wonderful and wonder-working monks (e.g., Francis of Assisi, 1226) and nuns (Clare, Abbess at Assisi, 1253), skilled musicians (e.g., Johann Sebastion Bach, 1750, great poets (George Herbert, 1633), impressive missionaries (e.g., Cyril and Methodius, 865 and 885), renewers of the Church (e.g., John and Charles Wesley, 1791 and 1788), contemplatives (e.g., Dame Julian of Norwich, ca. 1417), hymnists (e.g., Catherine Winkworth, 1878), peacemakers (e.g., Dag Hammarskjold, 1961), teachers (e.g., John Bunyan, 1688, Clive Staples Lewis, 1963), and others who have been skilled artists, makers of liturgies, sculptors, painters, influential parents, tribal leaders, and ordinary laypeople whose lives have enriched the Church.

As Lutherans we honor their memories and do our best to keep alive their witness, the shape of the Spirit-filled lives, and the hard-won gifts they have given to the Church. Thus we keep and celebrate our lives before God with historic and ecumenical liturgies that go back centuries. We keep a calendar to remember important people and events in the Church’s long history. We do not let the memory of the Church's God-given history fade away forgotten. Whatever has been good, beautiful, and spiritually-powerful, given by God, we have kept! We are catholic in substance!

And we honor the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord. On August 15, we will remember her part in the salvation history of the world. We do not usually pray to the saints, but we pray with them; after all, we are all members of the “company of heaven” with Christ as our shared and mutual Lord. Nothing separates us, not even death, from Jesus Christ, whom we all worship with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. The saints are with us (see the Letter to the Hebrews).

Thus I’m “catholic” but not “Roman” catholic. I’m a Christian who is a Lutheran/Catholic, protestant in principle, catholic in substance. It’s the way I like to be, even though the survey doesn’t recognize me.

Wednesday, 05 July, 2006  

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