Christian Denomination Selector

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  • My #1 result for the SelectSmart.com selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Reformed Baptist

    For analysis and further results, continue reading.

  • I had to lie in the interest of accuracy, but when people ask dumb questions you sometimes have to play along. (They ask if "God has predestined some to salvation and passes over others based only on His will". No Calvinist believes that God has done this, even if they think they do. God has reasons for electing and passing over different people. Some of those reasons include selecting Paul, for instance, to use him for particular purposes in spreading the gospel in the first century. It's not a pure act of the will without reasons. God isn't arbitrary the way the question assumes Calvinists believe. So I said yes, because they wanted to gauge whether someone believes God selects people not of their own desert.)

    Since I very firmly believe in credobaptism but don't believe it's an issue worth dividing over, my second and third in the list are Reformed paedobaptist denominations.

  • My #2 result for the SelectSmart.com selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Presbyterian Church in America/Orthodox Presbyterian Church

  • My #3 result for the SelectSmart.com selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Reformed Churches

    Then it reverts to credobaptism with less emphasis on Reformed doctrines.

  • My #4 result for the SelectSmart.com selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Southern Baptist

    From there it starts to degenerate. Somehow Assemblies of God came up next, even though my denial of cessationism was low priority. PC-USA followed, probably because of the historical association with Reformed thought, though little doctrine remains in this denomination. I'm not sure how both of them beat Free Will Baptists, which would probably be higher than either on my own subjective scale. It's really inaccurate from there, but for posterity's sake here's the list: Mennonite, Methodist/Wesleyan, Orthodox Quakerism, Church of Christ, Lutheran-Missouri, Seventh Day Adventist, Evangelical Lutheran, International Church of Christ, Episcopal/Anglican, United Pentecostal Church, Eastern Orthodox, Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Liberal Quakerism, Unity Church, Unitarian Universalism

    I'm not sure why some I consider well within the realm of orthodoxy are below some that I consider flat-out heretical, and some that I really admire in some ways are below some that I'd have a fair amount of resistance to considering without having tried many other congregations in the area first.

    (I've done this before, but Nicene Theology most recently brought it to my attention.)

  • 8 Comments

    It's not a pure act of the will without reasons.

    I'm going to quibble with this just a bit. God's will always has reasons, and so saying that God's choice is only based upon his will doesn't mean he has NO reasons for the choice. Scripture uses God's purpose (which really just means God's reasons) synonymously with God's will.

    So when I see that statement (God has predestined some to salvation and passes over others based only on His will), I take that to mean that God predestined some to salvation based only on His will, and not based on the will of the person chosen. In other words, the choice originated within God, and is made for reasons privy only to him, and it is not based on a foreseen choice (or even foreseen choices) made by the person chosen. Perhaps that's not how the person writing the quiz meant it, but that's how I'd take it, because I see the two things as synonomous --God's will and God's purpose.

    In the classic discussions of the Euthyphro problem, those who talk of something being purely God's will are talking about a decision with no external reasons. God's choice of certain things as wrong can't be based on any morality external to God's will, according to the first horm of the Euthyphro dilemma. The opposite horn (which I think is equally false) is that morality comes purely from things independent of God. The right path is to go between the horns and say morality is based in God's nature, not God's pure and arbitrary will. When I hear the phrase 'based only on God's will', it sounds to me like the first horn of the Euthyphro dilemma. That's not what Calvinists mean.

    Aha...so when you read that statement (based only on God's will) you see it through the lense of classic discussions of the Euthyphro problem, whereas I (and I bet most other Calvinists) see it a simplified restatement of this: according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will....out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance.... or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto.

    So, while you might have been lying in the interests of accuracy when you checked that statement, I wasn't. I was being inaccurate in the interests of truthfulness....or something.

    Maybe you were being imprecise in the interests of conciseness. That's actually what I think the test-writers were doing, and I was being inaccurate in the interests of playing along for the right results.

    I was a bit surprised when I took it that Anglicanism came up first, but not surprised that Methodism came up #2. Since I don't know as much of the details as to how the questions will pick out which denominations, I was often in the dark about why they came up the way they did. What really surprised me was that 7th Day Adventists and Assemblies of God came up pretty high in the list. I checked out some data on these and they seemed hugely heretical to me, so I question the test. Also, like you, denominations which seemed within the fold came up much lower on the list then folk who think the end times already happened in 1844! I checked out a website on Ellen White, one of the cofounders of SDA, and I'm amazed anyone is a member of that group after what is available in the public sphere (just as I am amazed that anyone is a Mormon).

    Well, Mark Steen has a point about SDA and such. I took the test and I came up Methodist, which was a surprise for me. Pretty close to the top, however, was PCUSA. (Grew up in a Presbyterian church, went to a non-denominational, a Northern Baptist, and now a Conservative Congregational... and I tested Methodist!! Must be that girl I dated back years ago who went to a Methodist church. Bad, very bad...) I don't understand how Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, and Unitarian Universalist got included. If they are as "Christian" as this survey makes them out to be, we are in bigger trouble than we thought.

    The survey wasn't written by an orthodox Christian who would consider those distinctions to be important. It was simply a matter of sociological differences in their minds, I'm sure. I don't think the issues they selected are actually all very crucial in determining the main differences between some of these groups. That's part of the problem.

    I got:
    1. Reformed Baptist
    2. PC-USA
    3. PCA, OPC
    4. Reformed Churches
    5. Southern Baptist
    6. Free Will Baptist

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