Friday, February 29, 2008

Hermeneutics quiz

This was an interesting hermeneutics quiz (how we read our Bibles) designed by Scot McKnight (HT: Lim Kar Yong - who is such a liberal! How can we let such ppl teach in seminaries one... :-p)

"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."

This quiz "is designed to clarify how you understand the Bible and how you apply it. Some people will quibble with the categories in the quiz or insist on more than one answer. That’s okay. No test like this can reveal all the nuances needed, but broad answers are sufficient to benefit from taking the quiz."

I scored 57, which apparently means I'm a moderate (53-65). The other categories are "conservative" and "progressive". According to McKnight, moderates "are conservative on some issues and progressive on others. It intrigues me 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 [makes me sound wishy-washy! -BK]. 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."

There were some answers I found very hard to pick actually, and some where I was not entirely happy with the language used, but McKnight did acknowledge as much. I still think my answers actually make me a conservative, and that those who hold to literalistic readings of the Bible be better called "fundamentalists".

The question on tattoos reminded me that I was at quite a different place eons ago. When I was 15 or 16 I remembered being at a youth camp where I was a small group leader for the first time. Somehow we ended up having a conversation on whether it was Christian to have tattoos or not and I remember trying to push my group, asking them if it was okay to have a "John 3:16" tattoo. Then I read out Leviticus 19:28. We all then agreed that it was settled, no tattoos, whatever the tattoo proclaims! I feel sheepish thinking about it now...

So what are you?

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Blogger Kar Yong said...

Me a liberal?

Well, technically, I am on probation in the seminary for 2 years, and I will not be confirmed until the end of this year - so plenty of time for you submit your objection to have me removed :-)


7:32 am  
Blogger Tim said...

i must admit to being abit surprised at having scored 67 on the beloved hermeneutics scale.. making me somewhat of a progressive..

but it was a whole lot of fun, actually :)

8:01 am  
Blogger BK said...

Dr. Lim,

Hahahaha - kalau bagi duit kopi (atau beli buku sebagai 'hadiah' daripada Eerdmans) kamu pun boleh tiba-tiba berubah menjadi seorang konservatif dan naik pangkat...


Yeah, it was fun wasn't it? Interestingly I think I answered fairly conservatively on the more "doctrinal" questions but more "progressively" on some of the questions on particulars - I guess I see a conservative doctrine of scripture not necessarily being at odds with the recognition of the historical and cultural location of Scripture!

Now how about the rest of you - Botak Lawyer, mad scientist...

4:56 pm  
Blogger Kar Yong said...

Haha...however I do not belong to a certain political party where I can be easily persuaded to change my conviction - but then again, instead of Eerdmans, perhaps some books from T & T Clark or Brill might just change my mind too!...Haha

5:18 am  

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