Month: November 2012

results from the farm

Just for a little fun at the end of a long day, I decided to take a few theological quizzes over at QuizFarm. Granted, many of the questions (and the premises within them) are a tad generalized and the coverage of the quizzes could have been more exhaustive; but seriously: they’re just for fun.

What is your eschatology?

You Scored as Amillennialist. Amillennialism believes that the 1000 year reign is not literal but figurative, and that Christ began to reign at his ascension. People take some prophetic scripture far too literally in your view.

95%  Amillennialist
75%  Moltmann Eschatology
60%  Postmillennialist
50%  Preterist
30%  Premillennialist
15%  Dispensationalist
10%  Left Behind

*NB: Looks like I need to try harder to reduce the last three, especially the final two.

Which theologian are you?

You Scored as Anselm. Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read ‘Cur Deus Homo?’

80%  Anselm
73%  Jonathan Edwards
67%  Friederich Schleiermacher
60%  John Calvin
53%  Karl Barth
47%  Jürgen Moltmann
40%  Charles Finney
33%  Paul Tillich
27%  Augustine
13%  Martin Luther

*NB: That’s not bad company to keep. Could be much, much worse.

What is your theological perspective (or worldview)?

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.

86%  Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
61%  Neo-orthodox
57%  Emergent/Postmodern
39%  Charismatic/Pentecostal
36%  Classical Liberal
32%  Fundamentalist
29%  Reformed Evangelical
25%  Roman Catholic
18%  Modern Liberal

*NB: This outcome was a bit of a surprise, especially the second and third.

(And just for good measure) Are you a heretic?

You Scored as Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you’re not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

92%  Chalcedon compliant
83%  Pelagianism
42%  Monophysitism
33%  Nestorianism
25%  Monarchianism
8%  Socinianism
8%  Gnosticism
8%  Adoptionist
0%  Albigensianism
0%  Donatism
0%  Modalism
0%  Arianism
0%  Docetism

*NB: Good grief. I knew I had some semi-Pelagian tendencies, but I didn’t think they were that pervasive. The triad of 8%, yeah that’s just crap; I know for a fact that I reject all three of those.

Now your turn.  How do you fare?

ice on Mercury “keeping up foreign relations” with the sun

Found this story just a few minutes ago: “There’s enough ice on Mercury to encase Washington DC“. (The slightly more technical version of the story can be found here). Specifically, the said encasement would be 2.5 miles deep. In many ways, this type of finding completely baffles me: ice, which has this strange tendency of disappearing at room temperature, remains intact while constantly hanging out next to a massive nuclear-powered furnace.

My favorite part of the story, however, was found in the comments.  One person (rightly) said: “On the other hand, Washington DC has enough hot air to melt that ice.” Awesome. There are a few other good ones in the comments, but I’ll let you read them for yourself.

undergraduate theft?

To get the mental juices flowing this morning, I decided to skim Marsh-Moyise’s, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction (1999),¹ partly because I’ve never read it and partly because it was the first book I noticed on the shelf. It’s (so far) clear, concise, and useful in its basic summary of the key issues in Gospels scholarship. For those wanting to meander around the field, Marsh-Moyise’s book is a decent place to start.

The only hiccup (so far) is that some details are mentioned as though they are common-coin and therefore unnecessary to footnote. In other words: there is a bit of “assumed knowledge” in what Marsh-Moyise present. This is fine for those familiar with coinage but not entirely helpful for those unfamiliar the currency, the latter being the intended audience of the book.

For example: in the chapter on Mark’s Gospel, Marsh-Moyise point out that “[f]or much of church history, it [i.e. Mark's Gospel] was thought to be an abbreviation of Matthew” (p.14) but say nothing about who historically held that thought. Again, this is well and good if you know the history but potentially frustrating (or at least unsatisfying) if you don’t.

I could remember from when I took a Gospels course in College (eons ago) that St Augustine maintained the “abbreviated” view of Mark’s Gospel (see De consensu evangelistarum 1.2), but I did not recall anyone else. So, after reading Marsh-Moyise’s chapter on Mark, I decided to dig around (quickly) to see what I could find. This cursory search revealed no other proponents of the “abbreviated” view; Augustine’s name was the only one that continued to emerge.

However, I did discover something that troubled me quite deeply, and that something became the reason for this post. Before stating what that “something” is, let me quote the opening paragraph of Marsh-Moyise’s chapter on Mark (p.14):

Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, beginning at Jesus’ baptism (nothing about his birth) and ending at the empty tomb (no resurrection appearances). For much of church history, it was thought to be an abbreviation of Matthew and hence less important. Over 600 of its 661 verses find a parallel in Matthew, and although early tradition suggests that Mark drew on the memories of Peter (see Appendix), the fact remains that it was not written by an apostle. This probably explains why so few commentaries were written on Mark in the early church and the book fell into neglect.

Now, having read that, have a look at this. Look familiar? My only hope is that the website is unable to show documentation and that this person “mitch106″ gave Marsh-Moyise due respect. However, the cynic in me thinks “mitch106″ simply lifted the material, changed a couple of words, slightly altered the punctuation, and reordered some of the sentences hoping that the teacher/professor wouldn’t notice.


¹ Yeah, yeah, yeah; I know the link is to the 2nd edition and my reference is to the 1st.