28 December 2007

Theologian Quiz

Via Exploring Our Matrix, I came across this quiz. Results below the fold.

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich sought to express Christian truth in an existentialist way. Our primary problem is alienation from the ground of our being, so that our life is meaningless. Great for psychotherapy, but no longer very influential.

Paul Tillich


John Calvin


Friedrich Schleiermacher




Charles Finney


Jürgen Moltmann


Martin Luther


Jonathan Edwards


Karl Barth




I wasn't sure who Tillich was, so I looked him up at Wikipedia. I rather like this quote from him: "God does not exist. He is being itself beyond essence and existence. Therefore to argue that God exists is to deny him."


John said...

Interesting, but pretty meaningless from my point of view.

Most of those questions assumed an anthropomorphic God. So I certainly couldn't agree, and, given the phrasing, even disagreeing wasn't a good answer.

The one or two that didn't still assumed the existence of some kind of Divine, which I won't argue, but again, the phrasing left a lot to be desired.

Plus there's the fact that I think most theology is a waste of time. It isn't even good philosophy. The most perfect logic will lead to wrong, or at least meaningless, conclusions if based on bad premises, and a lot of the logic used in theology is somewhat less than perfect.

Qalmlea said...

^/^ I pretty much disagreed entirely with all but 4 statements. Two of those I agreed weakly, only because disagreeing would have been worse. One I agreed moderately, and the other strongly (something about the ground of being). I think that pretty much guarantees getting Tillich.

As for theology, eh, what generally gets called theology, I don't care much for. I like the philosophical end of things. But this post from James McGrath is well worth reading.

I like adopting ridiculous premises and seeing what conclusions they lead to. I like adopting more reasonable premises and finding a way to use them to support ridiculous conclusions, too. ^/^

John said...

I had some disagreements with that article. It's going to take me some time to articulate them, though.

I will say that it seems that he was trying to defend the field of theology against increasing irrelevance. He only made it worse, though. Once you take God's existence out of the argument, it really isn't theology anymore. It's general philosophy.

Qalmlea said...

I disagree. I would say that it makes theology a branch of philosophy, but one with a specific focus: "the study of how people think about God in particular traditions".

Rather than assuming that there is a God (or gods), it assumes that people exist who believe in god(s), and goes from there. That is a more useful and honest starting point, imo. *shrugs*

John said...

I can see that.

"[T]he study of how people think about God in particular traditions" should include sociology, anthropology and probably archeology.

If that's what theology really is,though, there shouldn't be so many professional theologists getting so irate about Dawikns, Harris, and Hitchens.

Theology as it currently stands (looking at prominent professional theologists) is basically apologetic sophistry, describing (as PZ Myers has said) the Emperor's clothes.