Saturday, December 08, 2007

Some numbers and stuff

This is really interesting: SharperIron posted a survey of young fundamentalists to try to gauge the direction of the movement (at least, I think that's why). I don't think it was exceptionally well defined, but maybe that's because I don't fully understand what it is trying to discover. Some of the more surprising things to me come from what choices were given or not given in questions. For example, Number 26, Which statement best describes your view of sanctification? the responses are
  • Once a believer is saved, he is not sanctified until he totally surrenders at which time he can then achieve a state of Christian perfectionism with the perfect love toward God and man.
  • Once a believer is saved, he lives a defeated life until he lets go and lets God. This consecration leads to the victorious life of inward rest and outward victory.
  • Once a believer is saved, his process of sanctification is a gradual growth in holiness through spiritual disciplines. There is no second decision.
  • Once a believer is saved, he is carnal until he accepts Christ as Lord. He then becomes a spiritual man and begins to slowly grow to become more like Christ.
  • I don't know.
Ok, I recognize Weslyanism, Keswick theology, Evangelicalism (maybe?), and I don't know what the penultimate one is. But what about "Once a believer is saved the Holy Spirit sanctifies him and produces fruit." Or something like that? I mean, that's a common view, isn't it? Isn't it?

Also of note:
  • Over 100 respondents (about 10%) believe in gap theory of creation. Really? I didn't realize that one was still around.
  • On Question 31: Which view most closely resembles your belief about the millennium? Amillennialism is not an option. At all. Neither was "none of the above." Nevermind that it is the predominant belief in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, and Reformed churches, among others. I mean, I expected it to be in the minority, given the survey selection, but I figured it would at least be given as an option. It didn't occur to them that at least one of the 1000+ respondents might pick it?
  • Over 72% believe the Lord will return during their lifetime.
  • 133 respondents agreed with the statement "Women are equal with men but cannot be in leadership over men in the church, home, or society." Society? Really? Well, there goes Hillary... I guess that one's not that surprising, now that I think about it.
  • 14% strongly disagreed with the statement "The preaching of most fundamental evangelists is healthy for believers."
  • More respondents were members of the Green Party than the Democratic Party.
  • More respondents believe smoking marijuana is always morally wrong than extramarital sex. Smoking is close.
The survey is fascinating and, I confess, a little depressing.

Upon looking more closely at the survey, I see now that I mistook some of the items.
  1. There WAS a choice for amillennialism. It garnered 8% of the vote. I had overlooked it.
  2. I reread the choices for views on Creation. Over 10% chose day-age theory, not gap theory. There's a difference. I guess. But still.


Becca said...

Ooh. And "money quote" from the write in portion of how you would improve Christian schools:

"I would provide more of a 'liberal arts' cirriculum."

Me too, my friend. Me too.

Becca said...

Also, in the "what do you regret most section," in the middle of a bunch of really sad answers:

"1) that I wasn't a Humanities major 2) that I didn't audition for the University Chorale while in grad school so I could have Warren Cook as a choir director"

Amen! Heh. I know where that one went to school.

QueenKnitter said...

Yeah, Wesleyan, Keswick, Reformed, and Lordship salvation (which I think the Zondervan survey on _The Five Views of Sanctification_ would call dispensationalist). The majority of evangelicals would fit under a dispensationalist/keswick. There's really no difference between the machinations of the two. It's just different wording.

And I don't know that the Wesleyans would describe themselves that way either. Hmmm. . . . That may be more of a Holiness/Pentecostal wording.

Becca said...

Dispensationalist? I didn't know dispensationalism had a sanctification component to it. But I guess it would have to, wouldn't it? None of these views can really work in isolation. I mean, you can't really coherently be Reformed in your views on baptism and Keswick in your views on salvation, can you? They just don't work together.

Although, as someone pointed out to me, the survey seems to report a lot of people being Calvinistic in their view of depravity and election, but Arminian in their views on salvation and unlimited grace, yes? Does that work? My Catholic friends tell me it does (they try), opting for the both/and approach. I'm not sure. Do you have to go all in? Is there such a thing as a coherent 4- or 4.5-point Calvinist?