Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Religion Quiz I Can't Take

Well, another week another religious quiz that I have issues with. I'm going to go through each question and explain why there are some I cannot, in good conscience, answer in any way. There are some that have options that are 'good enough' and a few I can honestly answer. But it is interesting to reflect upon those I cannot answer, in particular.

Question #1: I answered 'a mix of everything' but that really made me uncomfortable. It was good enough, I guess. In reality, my beliefs come from scripture, religious experience, reason, and tradition. That reason and experience were not even options in any way bothered me. Experience gets you started down the path to God. There is no faith without experience. Scripture helps shape your experience into genuine revelation. Reason and tradition ensure that your faith can fit into a total worldview, by checking the human tendency to 'go it alone' and rely only on oneself.

Question #2: This is the one I have the biggest problem with. If you asked me how someone is saved, I'm going to say 'grace'. The problem with works and faith both is that they ground salvation in some human action, rather than in God's activity. I'd also be comfortable with saying that we are saved by Christ alone. The truth is God can put us into contact with Christ, with His Grace, by faith, works, church, or whatever God chooses to use. But salvation remains in His hands alone.

Question #3: "War is permissible in certain circumstances" is close enough to my own position, but it is important to say that I see war as a necessary evil. Without that qualification, my answer is incomplete.

Question #4: The problem with this one is I equally could answer 3,4 & 5. Beautiful ritual, within the context of a simple service focused on scripture, is what I think the ideal church service is. If I could I'd use the Book of Common Prayer in a simplified service.

Question #5: This one was easy, as I'm mostly a traditional Trinitarian, at least as a matter of primary doctrine. Of course, my own Trinitarianism is a modified or qualified modalism.

Question #6: This one was easy..."Midnight Mass" was my answer.

Question #7: I chose 'Feminist Icon', since I believe that Mary is rightly an important part of any feminist theological reflection. But if I could write in an answer it would be "Mary is the final step on a long journey from the Big Bang to God's final entry into the history of the physical universe, she is the veil through which God walked to be one with humanity."

Question #8: This one I had a VERY Big problem with. There are many options that are standard theology that weren't listed. In particular, there was not mention of the Eucharist being the 'real presence' of Christ, or Christ being 'in through and under' a sacrament. These would be closer to my position than any of the options listed. Personally, I think the Eucharist mediates the PHYSICAL rather than the SPIRITUAL presence of Jesus Christ. I think Jesus is always equally present with all believers, but Christians can travel back to the time when God was physically incarnate in and through Eucharist.

Question #9: This had a 'good enough' option, which was the second option. But I think the Institutional Church is a sacrament, a physical and outward sign of the invisible and hidden church, which is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of various human beings.

Question #10: This one had a perfect answer (for me), which is 'it's complicated'.

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