Internet quizzes. I avoid them at all costs and happily delete forward emails from well-meaning friends urging me to take them. However, I was sucked into one on Theological Worldview. Before I discuss it, here are my results:
| 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 heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.
At the risk of making too much of a silly little exercise, allow me to tell you that this innocent quiz annoyed me. Why? Many of the statements made presented false dichotomies (the participant must rate each statement on a five-step scale ranging from “disagree” to “agree”. Note that each time the quiz is pulled up, the questions are in a different order, making it impossible to reference specific questions by number). The first question I encountered was “Social action is important, but not as important as saving lost souls.” I believe a well-informed follower of Jesus will believe that both social action (i.e. defending the cause of the oppressed, see James 1:27) and “saving souls” (leading others into a saving relationship with Jesus) are both very important parts of being a Christian, and that neither should suffer at the expense of the other. Another statement reads, “There is little or no human element in the Bible, it is a divine book.” This statement rules out the possibility of believing that the Bible is both divinely inspired and bears human characteristics, a view to which I and many Christians who hold. The statement presents a false dichotomy. Choosing the middle option between “agree” and “disagree” is not a satisfying response for me, because I take my view to be a view distinct from the two choices given, not some sort of happy medium or an instance of practicing the via media.
Again, at the risk of taking this quiz too seriously, I can’t help but wonder if this little quiz isn’t a small indicator that we really are articulating evangelical beliefs well. After all, aren’t these false dichotomies picked up somewhere? Perhaps the author of the quiz has never met a Christian who is committed to both defending the oppressed and telling others about Christ. If this is the case, evangelicals (and other Christians who believe that telling others about Jesus and defending the oppressed should go hand in hand) have no one to blame but ourselves.