I was reading the Pew Research Centers Religious Report and in the report is a quiz. I have included the link below. It is fifteen questions. Take the quiz and compare your score to the tested demographic that Pew used. You might be surprised which demographic did the best. Would be interested in your thoughts as to why these groups scored 20 to 25% better that evangelicals.
I don’t know, but if I had to venture a guess, maybe level of urbanization? I tend to think of the religious groups that performed best as generally being affluent and urbanized (at least in America), with ready access to education and relatively small numbers, which would tend to result in greater interaction with people of other religious persuasions.
Fun to take. Got 14 of 15. Missed Kabbalah, darn it! Results tended to show I would best match up with an atheist or agnostic.
In thinking about it, I believe Christians tend to self-select their peer groups like other faith groups do and are often circular in their exposure - whether from a desire to stay “unstained by the world” or affinity built on shared experience and belief. I believe Christians can also be afraid/anxious to interact with those that don’t share their faith, as it may be heartfelt and sincere but not be grounded in much knowledge by which to answer challenges.
What do you think?
I was reassured to see that I managed 15/15. I think participation in RZIM Connect and in the “Ask Your Question” Sunday community that I lead at church are enormously helpful in keeping these topics fresh and up-to-date in my mind.
We can too easily get into a comfortable routine where we are increasingly unprepared to demonstrate the goodness of God. I feel this myself. I think one key habit is to make a commitment to an activity or an environment that regularly connects me to people of different ideas and approaches.
I think this quiz could be used as a prompt to encourage members of churches to become more active in studying and engaging with their neighbors?
Thanks for the replies. My takeaway was that these 3 groups at least did their homework. I have always said that there is an apologetic for every worldview. I like what David deSilva says about apologetics.
“The purpose of apologetics is often assumed to be to convince outsiders of the value of the beliefs and practices of a religion or way of life. This may be an occasional side effect, but it cannot be the primary function. Rather, works of apologetics are really written for insiders. The arguments in such books may find their way into discussions between adherents and outsiders, but the primary audience is the believing audience . Apologetic writings sustain the insider’s commitment in the face of critique, ridicule or contradiction from outside (and from questions and doubts inside).”
deSilva, D. A. (2004). An introduction to the New Testament: contexts, methods and ministry formation (p. 103). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
If I use deSilva’s definition as a spring board I think that I am safe in saying that the three groups that out preformed all other demographic groups in the survey, atheists, agnostics and Jews all have a form of an apologetic and like believers they want confirmation that they are right but the survey suggests they looked outside their comfort zone for confirmation something that we as believers need to do more of.