Friday, August 12, 2005

School's Back in Session, Part 2

In my last post I mentioned the start of the school year; I will soon administer quizzes to students, so it is only appropriate that I take a few myself. After all, every good teacher models the assignment, right?

I took 3 quizzes in all: "Which theologian are you?," "What's your theological worldview?," and "What is your model of the church?" The results were interesting: I'm Jonathan Edwards, I have an Emergent/Postmodern worldview, and I prefer a sacramental church.

Given an article I'm writing on the Emergent church, it is funny to discover this fact. Though I prefer a sacramental church, I don't attend one. The Jonathan Edwards identification is the most interesting, since I wrote my M.A. thesis on Jonathan Edwards, have researched the man and his times exhaustively, and am featuring Edwards in a large way in my dissertation.

There's a larger connection here, though, and I think Edwards would probably score as Emergent/Postmodern and sacramental as well. He sought to reframe Enlightenment thought for theological ends (i.e., speak the language of his times) and, among other things, Edwards was kicked out of his church in 1750 after narrowing the door for church membership and thereby making Communion a more serious matter (i.e., sacramentalism). The work of Edwards scholar Gerald McDermott wonderfully explains all of this in an eighteenth-century context, as does historian Robert Brown.

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