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Thursday, September 30, 2010



14. Would you tell me if Joseph Smith was ...?

A) Catholic

B) Jewish

C) Buddhist

D) Mormon

E) Hindu

F) Don't know

I put D, but the correct answer is probably "all of the above" or, at least, "A through D." It might be hard to find a Hindu Joe Smith but I bet that somewhere at sometime there was one.


"Only about a quarter of Americans know that [most] Indonesians are Muslim,"

So were there 4 choices? Then 25% correct is what you would expect if nobody knows that. It is surprising because there has been some Islamic violence there. I thought quite a few people would remember that.


I too was 32 for 32. The only one that I would not have bet the house on was the one about the Great Awakening. I couldn't have told you who John Finney was, although I thought I recognized the name. I know now based on a Google search: John Finney is, among other things, a currently living composer, a 17th Century pilgrim who lived in New England, and a 20th Century Anglican Bishop (the 8th Suffragan Bishop of Pontefract).

Charles E Flynn


I got only number 4 wrong. I thought that anything involving an expression such as the First Great Awakening would be unlikely to apply to someone who lived as long ago as Jonathan Edwards (forgetting that the expression may have been invented long after his life) and that Billy Graham was too recent. So I picked John Finney.

I might have gotten number 11 wrong if I had been unable to compare it with number 10.

Ed Peters

Yeah, I missed the Great Awakening qq, too, and was quite unimpressed with the quiz AS A QUIZ OF RELIGION. It was meh as a quiz of history and law, but it was next-to-useless as a quiz of religion. C'mon, if you don't really know who Moses or Luther was, you shouldn't be taking a quiz on religion in the first place. There's some impious about such dabbling.

Sue Sims

I got all 32, though I admit that the US-specific ones had this English woman resorting to common sense, based on an extremely superficial knowledge (all derived from reading blogs) of your Constitution. But really, almost all of this quiz comes under the heading of 'General Knowledge'; very little has anything to do with practising a faith. General knowledge, though not completely correlated with intelligence, is closely related to it - and, reluctant though I am to admit it, most surveys show that self-identifying atheists do (on average) score more highly on intelligence tests than Christians. (I don't know if anyone's done the same sort of survey on Jews -as a Jewish convert to the Catholic faith, I'd love to know.

David K. Monroe

This questionnaire is actually not really a test of relgious knowledge per se, but a test of one's knowledge of comparative religion. As a Christian with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of apologetics, I easily scored 100%. However, I imagine that there are many Christians and devotees of other religions, likely with more lively faiths than mine, who would score miserably on the test because they have not studied other religions. It also makes perfect sense that atheist and agnostics score well, because they are at least as likely to study comparative religions as any Christian apologist. Therefore the test, and the clear implication of its results, seems somewhat misleading.

Ed Peters

Some years back, in the early 90s, there was a 200-question theology test, marketed to Catholic groups, that I and other staff took. I thought it was quite decently designed, actually. Lots of real theology, from easy to hard, and a little comparative religion. I scored 198 (missing two qq on Hinduism). We should track that test down. Maybe Brumley remembers what it was, he scored a 200, as I recall.

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