Salvation Doctrine Quiz

September 8, 2015

by Rick Patrick

Some time back, I was asked to take a crack at an assessment tool that might help those of us engaging in discussions about salvation doctrine to identify our views and the views of others simply and accurately. The need for such a tool in this debate becomes clearer with every conversation. People on all sides are constantly claiming, “You don’t understand what I believe.”

I have heard an Arminian claim that Traditionalists are simply Arminians who do not know it yet. I have heard a Calvinist claim that all Baptists are Calvinists to some degree. I have heard other Calvinists claim that Traditionalists are all a bunch of Semipelagians. It is enough to make your head spin—like when your college football team ranks dead last among FBS schools in total offense after one week. But I digress.

This quiz is not designed to tease out all of the various permutations of doctrine. There are indeed hybrid views and caveats and positions that will fall between these cracks. Rather, it is intended to provide a basic categorical framework from which more meaningful and respectful dialogue can hopefully spring.

Click HERE to take the quiz!

 

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Doyle Riggan

I enjoyed taking this quiz. I am not Calvinistic. I, like Dr. Jerry Vines, believe Christ died for the sins of the whole world. “whosoever” means whosoever.

rhutchin

How about changing the “Calvinist” option under TD “D. TOTAL DEPRAVITY AND INABILITY WITH IRRESISTIBLE GRACE:…so must spiritually dead men be made alive by God’s grace to overcome this incapacitation and exercise saving faith.”

I think the quiz is a good first effort but, with a little work, could be more enlightening and teases out more details for ‘more meaningful and respectful dialogue.” Any interest in a joint collaboration on SBC TODAY?

    Rick Patrick

    Rhutchin,

    You know, in my original draft, I included both UNCONDITION ELECTION and IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, but shortened it. However, I agree that the IRRESISTIBLE grace of the Calvinist better matches the PREVENIENT grace of the Arminian. I am willing to make that edit.

    I did run the quiz by a few respected theologians, who gave the thumbs up. In lieu of a joint collaboration, why don’t we just say that everybody is free to make suggestions and share their opinions—kinda like every other issue. If it’s a change I am willing to make, as in the present case, then I will be happy to do so.

      rhutchin

      Here are suggestions for additional doctrinal issues.

      God and Omniscience
      1. God is omniscient in His essence because He knows everything that He decrees and He decrees all things.
      2. God is not omniscient in His essence but becomes omniscient by his ability to look into the future to discover what will happen and nothing is hidden from His eyes.

      Sin and the sinner
      A. People sin because they are sinners.
      B. People are sinners because they sin.

        Mary

        You spend so much time here lording over anyone who disagrees with Calvinism and yet you are absolutely clueless with regards to Omniscience.

        Maybe you should just make up your salvation quiz and when no one chooses the options you think describe “Arminianism” you’ll believe we’re all just Calvinists but too dumb to know any better.

          rhutchin

          As Pastor Rick writes, “Some time back, I was asked to take a crack at an assessment tool that might help those of us engaging in discussions about salvation doctrine to identify our views and the views of others simply and accurately.”

          I added a couple items to do this. Maybe more comprehensive than you want. However, it is to “help those of us engaging in discussions about salvation doctrine” where “we” often get into nitty gritty issues. The tool is not for those not engaged, is it? So, let’s get engaged and sort out those engagements.

            Scott Shaver

            Fair enough Rutchin.

            How bout I’ve already engaged, sorted out and identified my own views … so let’s not.

        Mary

        This reminds me of the Avengers (I think that’s the one) Hulk is confronting Loki and Loki is losing it declaring himself a god and saying humans are worthless or whatever and Hulk picks up Loki and smashes him a few times into the floor like a rag doll than drops him, walks away muttering “Puny god” What a “puny god” who is limited just as humans are limited by time and space.

        Scott Shaver

        Rutchin:
        In case u didn’t comprehend, this instrument was not designed to provide data for “other doctrinal issues”. It was designed to give readers a personal location on a soteriogical divide. Basic research and design if you’re remotely interested in staying on topic rather than hijacking same;)

Greg Roberts

I would say my view of election is a cooperate one, but over all great quiz. Thanks for speaking out and showing up Rick Patrick.

Dean Stewart

Six people came to SBCTODAY and declared they did not believe in the eternal security of the believer? Rick, you guys are reaching a diversified audience.

    Rick Patrick

    Dean,
    The survey has many other collectors—three other Facebook pages, emails, Twitter links and the like. I know of a few Presbyterians who have taken it along with a few Methodists. I’m not sure SBC TODAY has that diversified an audience—just the survey itself.

Lydia

“Six people came to SBCTODAY and declared they did not believe in the eternal security of the believer? ”

Can you point to this? I am not understanding where you are coming from. That is a pretty blanket statement without giving at least a few examples.

.

    Rick Patrick

    Lydia,

    He’s talking about the END PAGE after taking the survey. It shows the results. As I explained above, not everyone who has taken the survey is Baptist or came across the survey from SBC TODAY.

Lydia

Thanks, Rick. Ok, now I get it. Perhaps the last category needs another option. I really think people struggle with this one…me included. We see too many people who claim salvation, even make a living as a Christian, that do evil or wrong to others as a matter of course. Perhaps a category which includes the fruit of salvation as in living out sanctification?? Most Cals don’t really buy into the same understanding of sancfication as non Cals do– so this might be the problem?

OR,

Maybe I am misunderstanding the last category choices?

    Rick Patrick

    Hi Lydia,
    The last category, broadly speaking, is addressing the issue of whether or not a TRUE Christian can ever lose their salvation. It is sometimes referred to as “Perseverance of the Saints,” “Perseverance of the Savior,” or “Eternal Security.” Most Baptists and Presbyterians will answer that, for the TRUE Christian, their name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and cannot possibly be erased. Some Methodists and Charismatics will answer that a TRUE Christian can indeed fall from grace and lose their salvation.

    What I think you’re addressing as a matter of sanctification are those who CLAIM a salvation experience but whose lives do not match their profession. I would say either that person has not truly been saved or they are seriously backslidden and need to get right with God. When a person shows a CONSISTENT pattern of rejecting God in their life, there is every reason to speculate that they may have never been saved. I have heard this described in this manner: “He whose faith fails at the finish was false from the first.”

    Again, these are two different albeit somewhat related matters. The question of the survey is whether or not a true Christian can lose their salvation. The second question concerns whether or not a person with obvious sin in their life has ever truly been saved in the first place.

Lydia

Thanks for the explanation, Rick. I was getting too analytical. This would be a great way to introduce a discussion in church about what people believe and why.

Scott Shaver

Very interesting. I’m in.

Chris Roberts

I was briefly excited, but excitement quickly turned to disappointment. Not one of the questions had answers remotely close to my views. :(

    Alan House

    LOL, Chris, you are ready for the emergent crowd!

    Rick Patrick

    Chris,

    Are you not an atheist or an agnostic? That is what I understood to be true now. If so, I would not expect any of the answers to represent your position.

      Chris Roberts

      You’re correct, I’m an atheist and none of your answers represent my position regarding salvation. :( Time to start a new movement! SBC leadership needs to be diversified to include representation of the atheists!

        Scott Shaver

        Why would a professed “atheist”waste time at a Christian website unless for 2 reasons.

        1. Antagonism.

        2. Second guessing (perhaps under HS leadership) one’s professed “atheism” in light of exposure to eternal truth at some point during previous period of “Chjristian” profession. Personally, I would prefer this scenario for you.

        Either way, your obsession with Christian blogs, despite your “atheistic” confession, makes you closer to agnostic than atheist.

          Chris Roberts

          Scott,

          Care to explain how the occasional drop-in counts as “obsession”? Whatever the case, I’m afraid to inform you that there are more possible reasons than just the two options on your list, though they may be a bit difficult for you since they do not fit conveniently within a Christian worldview.

            Scott Shaver

            Chris:

            If you prefer the word “curiosity” to “obsession”, I’ll take the hit for overstatement.

            You are correct, by faith, I have no interest in anything other than a Christian “worldview” as I consider Christ to be “the embodiment of both love and truth”. Basic Christian monotheism. However, I’m not afraid to converse with any other religion on the planet working from that context.
            I’m not the kind of Christian who in any way believes we should shy away from the EXCLUSIVITY of Christ’s claim to be THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE. Nothing personal Chris, but there’s just no justification for being more INCLUSIVE of ideas and human philosophies that are inherently anti-Christian.

            If you have found what you believe to be “truth” or “revelation” apart from Christianity, I am not your judge or your antagonist but neither am I your Patsy for entertaining every other vain religious speculation the world has to offer.

            I simply state the only 2 reasons for which I believe a professed “atheist” would linger around Christian debate and dialogue even on “occasion” whether in cyberspace or in real life.

            Jim P

            The term Christian Worldview you use is very broad. Many would find it difficult to even define a “Christian Worldview” without interjecting their preferred sub-views which, in effect, keeps the Church divided, This can be convenient for many but is not The Lord’s goal as He prayer in John 17:21.

              Scott Shaver

              Jim P:

              Have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to say with what you just posted. Consequently, I have no idea what context to consider the Lord’s Prayer of John 17 accordingly. Shake the cobwebs out and try again.

                Scott Shaver

                If by “preferred subviews” you’re mean incorporation of all 5 tenets of Calvin, Forget it. Jim P. At least from this corner.

                Many including myself reject, not Calvinists as folks created in the image of God, but rather their theological template as “anti-Christian” because it does not accurately represent nor honor the character, example and specific words of Christ found in the New Testament.

              Chris Roberts

              I’ll grant that “Christian worldview” can refer to a variety of things, but not all that numerous. Christian theology/doctrine/beliefs – those are diverse. But the overall worldview is mostly uniform among the various groups. The only significant worldview separation I can think of would be from a Christian conservative vs Christian liberal worldview.

              But I’ll also concede that “worldview” wasn’t necessarily the right choice of word. Nonetheless, I have met precious few among conservative Christians who aren’t constrained by some of the same traps caused by imposing on others what one reads in the Bible. Ie, the rather inadequate (to put it mildly) biblical understanding of what motivates people, etc.

                rhutchin

                The Christian worldview is derived from 1 Corinthians 15 – “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.”

                That statement distinguishes Christianity from any other religion/philosophy (atheism included). The person who subscribes to this will be different from those who don’t. We can call that difference the Christian worldview.

                Scott Shaver

                Their responses tend to make me think that Chris, Rutchin and Jim P all three are tripping on mushrooms but I still have a question for Chris,

                Shall we turn to atheism, “to put it mildly” for a more “adequate biblical understanding”?

                Jim P

                Here is a good example of the challenge of understanding ‘worldview’. A ‘worldview’ includes symbols, practices, and stories. A scripture verse may suggest a ‘worldview’ but by itself can not adequately explain it. 1 Corinthians 15 is a beginning to tell the story of God’s ‘worldview.’

                  Jim P

                  There is a ‘worldview’ that says ‘after 5 years old you no longer cute.’ Scott’s worldview wouldn’t understand that.

                  Scott Shaver

                  As a five year old, Jim P, Sunday School bores me. Try another approach :)

                  rhutchin

                  1 Corinthians 15 defines the essence of the Christian worldview. This distinguishes the Christian worldview from all other worldviews. You are correct that there is more to the story in that there are more details that can be discovered. However, this is where it starts and it is here that all other worldviews diverge from the Christian worldview. Chris will not accept 1 Corinthians 15 because he is an atheist – that’s life. Same for the Muslim, the Mormon, etc.

                    Jim P

                    I have no idea how all of you know someone so well to determine what he thinks about these things? And then the hard attitudes. I guess its your worldviews. Anyway, Rhutchin, there is so much unsaid in the passage you bring up that the truth is the ‘essence’ you suggest is not brought out since the writer doesn’t need to because he is writing to believers who already know the essence, i.e., the Gospel. Whoever, you, me or anyone, if the Gospel is proclaimed accurately there are only one of three reaction a person will have toward that Message (it’s in the Bible, which I’m sure you know the three so I don’t need to waste your time). I have not seen any of those three reactions.

            Jim P

            I don’t know that ‘worldview’ is the incorrect word, it is a weighty word that needs clarifying. In Christ’s day the world saw the Jews with their ‘worldview’ but within Judaism there were many subviews and so much infighting it was hard to determine exactly what Judaism was all about. Even Christianity started as a Jewish sect to make matters more confusing.

            Your last point, inadequate biblical understanding, that’s right. Again in Christ’s day, ‘because of your traditions you lay aside (make to no effect) the commandments of God’ Mark 7:8.

            These things were written for our instructions, c.f. 1 Cor.10:11 It was real then it is real today. People become hard when their loyalty is to ‘traditions’ instead of to the Lord.

              Scott Shaver

              Well then allow me to clarify what I wrote Jim P…..”A Christian Worldview”. Make of it what you will/desire/speculate.

      Jim P

      Many 1st and 2nd Century followers of Jesus were martyred under sentence of atheists.

        Scott Shaver

        Good point JIm P.

        And many Christians subsequent to the 1st and 2nd centuries were martyred for not adhering to the prescriptions of “Reform”. Wasn’t Atheists passing sentence, filling stocks and firing stakes during that period :0

    Jim P

    A simple comment, hard responses.

Rick Patrick

UPDATE: After two days, 260 people have taken the quiz. My primary interest thus far has been to see if the individuals who consider themselves Calvinist, Amyraldist, Traditionalist or whatever, would rise up and say, “That’s not what we believe at all, you idiot!” That would have told me that I need to tweak the assessment significantly. It appears most Christians are able to identify their own view with relative ease. I am encouraged that the definitions are fairly clear and thus able to GENERALLY categorize the theological positions of respondents.

One thing I have not done at all, as of yet, is to conduct a scientifically valid poll by taking measures to control variables in the sample size. In other words, as the quiz is currently structured, respondents can take it more than once, Presbyterians and Methodists can take it, only people using computers can take it, etc., such that the overall results cannot be generalized to say anything about a larger population. In other words, it’s not like a political poll in which we are trying to figure out how many Americans are Republicans, Democrats, etc. That’s not really a bad thing to do, eventually, by means of some type of scientifically valid research poll, but it’s simply not what I’m doing here by introducing this Soteriology Quiz for people to review.

Thus far, about a handful of Semipelagians and Amyraldists have taken the quiz, ten percent or so have been Arminians, thirty-five percent or so have been Calvinists, and roughly half have been Traditionalists. I have no idea how many respondents have been Southern Baptists and how many are part of another denomination—although someone did tell me that at least a half dozen of their Presbyterian friends participated. I am certain that the sample size is disproportionately younger and computer savvy. I have no idea how many people have taken the quiz more than one time. I know of at least one who just marked the boxes. Again, nothing about the overall totals thus far can be generalized with regard to any population other than the non-random participants on a few websites, blogs and Facebook groups, along with any friends with whom they have shared the quiz.

To clarify, the point thus far has NOT been to conduct scientifically valid research so we can say a certain number of people fit in each particular category. The point thus far has been to try out the survey questions and find out, through feedback, if people taking the survey basically agree that the terminology used is accurate enough to properly define their salvation doctrine. So far, it seems like an instrument that might very well be helpful if one were ever to conduct such research—a proposition that is frankly quite expensive.

    Andy

    Good points, I can guarantee you that my 89 yr old Mennonite grandmother has NOT taken the quiz, since she doesn’t even know how to check e-mail! :-)

    Andrew Barker

    Rick: I think it might be helpful to have an in-between status for the last question. There are plenty of people who reject the christian faith after having made what seem to be genuine professions of faith. Not sure if forcing these people into option 2 is helpful? I would fall into the ‘once saved always saved’ category, but I honestly think that people backslide and slip away while their salvation is still secured for them. Scripture talks about being born again. Not so sure we can be un-born can we?

      Andy

      So, would you say there are presently “Christians” who do not in any way believe in Christ?

        Andrew Barker

        Andy: Well I know plenty of “Christians” drift away. Then, some come back. Saved, then unsaved, then saved again? I think it’s quite difficult to explain what’s happening if people are dipping in and out of salvation. Following that line you could easily end up saying that being saved depended upon your present relationship. That can soon slip into legalism and ‘having’ to perform to meet the requirements of salvation. It’s not the general tone of what I read in scripture.

        Are you saying that all those who once did believe but no longer do, were deceiving and/or being deceived?

        Les Prouty

        Andrew,

        You said “Scripture talks about being born again. Not so sure we can be un-born can we?”

        If you are affirming that one who has been born again can then become lost, then I agree with you and we both agree with scripture.

        For those who fall away, I think scriptures teach 2 options. 1. They never were born again but only SEEMED to be born again. or 2. Those who have been born again can fall into habitual sin and for a while (we are not able to define how long “while” is) and then repent of their waywardness.

        I can’t think of any other options.

        Blessings brothers.

lydia

“I would fall into the ‘once saved always saved’ category, but I honestly think that people backslide and slip away while their salvation is still secured for them. Scripture talks about being born again. Not so sure we can be un-born can we?”

Andrew, I was thinking of Hebrews 10 and 1 John when I asked my earlier question about the last category.

    Andrew Barker

    Lydia: Some difficult passages which need addressing, but before going into detail I would need specific verses. Too easy to go off on a tangent I think. But vs 37 & 38 very typical. Not a direct quote but a mixture of quotes from the OT. v37 appears to be referring to Jesus, v38 is Jesus ‘The Righteous One’ ? Not sure.

    Earlier verses I think refer to initial acceptance or rejection of the gospel rather than subsequent falling away. If sinning willfully means simply what it says face value, then I think we’re all in for a hiding! Who of us hasn’t sinned, willfully at times?! However, as I said, if you want to discuss specifics I will :)

      Lydia

      Andrew, this is a huge topic but I was thinking of Hebrews 10: 26-31 and the fact the author is addressing” believers”. In 1 John, the pivotal passage is 1 John 3: 4-10 also addressing believers. When it comes to OSAS, these passages have always bothered me.

        Andrew Barker

        Lydia: Totally agree re OSAS being a Hugh topic so not going into detail. Hebrews 10 by itself would present issues but on balance I think it is presenting a comparison between old and new covenants and arguing that we shouldn’t take ‘grace’ for granted. I have fewer issues with the passage from 1 John 3. John writes in a more ‘black and white’ terms but reading 1 John 1:9 first puts chp 3 into better context, I think!

Scott Shaver

From what I can personally tell, Rick, this looks like a reliable instrument. Has me pegged about 2 degrees right of Arminius.

Andy

“Most Cals don’t really buy into the same understanding of sancfication as non Cals do– so this might be the problem?”

I’m curious as to what this means…

    Lydia

    “Most Cals don’t really buy into the same understanding of sancfication as non Cals do– so this might be the problem?”

    I’m curious as to what this means…”

    Have you got a year? :o) Just think “determinism” when thinking of sanctification. YOU can’t, as a wicked vile totally depraved creature, participate in the process of growing in wisdom and maturity— so Jesus does it for you while you remain a sinning wicked worm. God is controlling everything. You stay stuck at the cross.

    Les Prouty

    Andy,

    What Lydia just described…if that actually were the Reformed doctrine of sanctification I surely wouldn’t be Reformed. But of course what she just wrote is a gross distortion of the Reformed doctrine of sanctification. I’m not saying she doesn’t understand our view. I think she does. But she can’t seem to help putting forth caricatures of our views.

    God bless.

      Scott Shaver

      Les:

      I’ve been around the block a few times for a few years and here’s what I perceive.

      Lydia knows more about the history, the background and the theology of your own REFORMED persuasion than you do yourself!

      Your cries of “gross distortion” are evidence.

      I’m increasingly reminded of StarKist’s repeated efforts to convince Charlie that it doesn’t want tunas with good taste, it wants tunas that taste good.

      Les Prouty

      Scott,

      “Lydia knows more about the history, the background and the theology of your own REFORMED persuasion than you do yourself!”

      You have made my day with that little funny.

      Now you have a blessed day.

rhutchin

On God’s grace. A Calvinist take would be:

God’s will is for both Jews and gentiles to be saved. The gospel is preached to all people – both Jews and gentiles – through the common grace of God. That common grace (preaching) results in some repenting and believing the gospel so that common grace is called effectual. The preaching of the gospel can only be effectual if God opens the hearts of people to believe by freeing them from their slavery to sin. All people will not be saved, because God has not chosen to extend His irresistible grace – the opening of hearts – to everyone, but only to His elect who cannot possibly, and would not desire to, say no to His gracious offer of salvation, just as the reprobate cannot possibly say yes as they continue in slavery to sin despising God and the gospel.

rhutchin

A Calvinist view of the atonement-

LIMITED: God chose whom he would save (His elect) before the foundation of the world. He chose His elect from among all the people groups on earth without distinction. Jesus’ purpose in taking human form was to secure the salvation of God’s elect by offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of God’s elect. While the death of Jesus Christ was sufficient to propitiate all the sins ever committed by all people in the world, God’s intent was to save His elect so God accepted the sacrifice of Christ as propitiation for the sins of His elect. Had God accepted the sacrifice of Christ as propitiation for the sins of each and every person in the world, then all people would be saved.

rhutchin

A Calvinist view on Eternal Security.

B. ETERNAL SECURITY: When a person responds to the preaching of gospel by repenting of his sin and trusting in Christ for salvation, God so protects the person that it is impossible for him to reject his faith, depart from his relationship with Christ, and lose his salvation.

rhutchin

A Calvinist take on election.

B. UNCONDITIONAL: Before the foundation of the world, God chose, or elected, for salvation a people to call His own. God’s choice of those He would save was not based on anything about the person, on any work or attribute of any person, but upon nothing but His own good pleasure expressed through the counsel of His will. God elected specific individuals to salvation and eternity in heaven, and passed over all other individuals thereby condemning those individuals to their reprobation and eternity in in hell. By electing some to eternal life and refusing to elect others, God Himself determined whom He would bring to salvation and whom He would leave to judgment. God would save His elect through irresistible means that would make certain the salvation of His elect. By passing over the reprobate, God determined that they would be judged fully for their sin.

Lydia

” Has me pegged about 2 degrees right of Arminius”

Pelagius, not Jonathan Edwards, must be my homeboy. :o)

    Scott Shaver

    It’s all just rock and roll Lydia…only rock and roll.

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