Thursday, July 19, 2007

They joy of education today . . .

Here is the exhilarating yield from an examination I gave this summer in a senior-level course in religious studies:
  • Who was the Roman emperor who ended imperial persecution of Christians by converting to Christianity? Answer: Henry IV.

  • Who viewed Christ as a human creature, neither eternal nor uncreated like God the Father, prompting the framing of the Nicene Creed? Answer: Anglicans.

  • What was the location of the synod that published a list of the canonical Christian Scriptures? Answer: Ontological argument.

  • What was the earliest Christological heresy, to which the Apostles Creed contained a response? Answer: Extreme unction.

  • What was the name of the Reformation movement that re-baptized those who had been baptized as infants because they insisted on an adult "believer's church"? Answer: Carthage.

  • Who was the 16th century Swiss reformer who made Geneva a theocratic center for training protestant reformers? Answer: St. Augustine.

  • Who stood barefoot in the snow for three days before obtaining absolution from the pope at Canossa? Answer: Gregory I.

  • What name is generally given to arguments for God's existence from the idea of a first cause? Answer: Pantheism.

  • The Wesley brothers founded the Methodist movement as a reform movement within the branch of the Reformation called ... Answer: Gnosticism.

  • The traditional Catholic sacrament reserved for the sick and dying is called ... Answer: Special revelation.

  • Under which pope was the papacy understood as the "servant of the servants of God"? Answer: Constantine.

  • Explain the nature of the arguments from general revelation (natural theology) for the existence of God. Offer two examples. Answer: General revelation is being able to believe in something. Putting your faith into something besides yourself. Even if you don't believe in God you still believe in something.

  • Name a Protestant Reformer and identify one of his distinctive teachings. Answer: St. Augustine made Geneva a theocratic center for training many protestant reformers.

  • Describe how one of the twelve Apostles died. Answer: Judis [sic.] hung [sic.] himself.

  • What is Gnosticism? Explain. Answer: Reform of Methodism. Branching off and opening the mind to a new beliefe [sic.] that was not sterotypical [sic.].

  • Distinguish between general and special revelation. Answer: General revelation is that which all have a bliefe [sic.] and faith in. Special revelation is that which those believe and have faith in God.

  • Distinguish between mortal and venial sin. Answer: Mortal sin [is] knowing right from wrong. Venial sin [is] knowing what is wrong but not caring.

  • What are the three basic divisions of the Old Testament? Answer: (1) Creation, (2) exile, (3) sin.

  • Enumerate the four basic divisions of the New Testament: Answer: (1) Birth of Jesus, (2) Reserection [sic.], (3) Hope of an after life with God, (4) Crusitication [sic.] of Jesus.

  • Analyze the logic of the 'ontological' argument for the existence of God. Answer: The 'ontological' argument for the existence of God would be that since there is a universe and it must keep going and things happen good and bad there has to be a higher power than just us.

  • Name the seven sacraments distinguished by the Church from medieval times. Answer: (1) Baptism, (2) confession, (3) confirmation, (4) Lord's supper, (5) oil (anointment) [sic.], [and wait ... it just keeps getting better] (6) Carthage, and (7) Special revelation.
All of this, mind you, from a single, well-heeled student from a good family, regarded as having every prospect of success in life. Incidentally, this course is costing the student around one thousand dollars in tuition at this institution, whose tuition now ranks seventh highest in the state after the likes of Duke University, Wake Forest University, and Davidson College. O Domine, miserere nobis.

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