Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Red Dwarf - Backwards

If you feel like wasting some time this New Year's Eve (or New Years Day, for you Aussies and Kiwis), here's a brilliant episode from the classic British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. I was reminded of it today, and it's just as funny as I remember:

Quote - McGrath on Reading the New Testament

James McGrath, in his published dissertation, John's Apologetic Christology (which just happens to be directly relevant to my thesis), makes a point that should be obvious but is too easily forgotten:

[A] century was just as long in the ancient world as it is today, and for this reason it is simply unjustified to assume that what was controversial in the third and subsequent centuries was controversial in the first century. Thus, in much the same way that one would be cautious in reading the Synoptics in light of John, much less in light of the council of Nicaea, so one must be cautious of reading first-century sources in light of the views held by rabbis of the third and subsequent centuries. (pg. 73)
And of course, the same applies to the New Testament itself: the time between the 30s (when Jesus taught), the 50s (when Paul wrote) and the 90s (when John's Gospel reached its final form) was just as long in the first century as it was in the twentieth.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And you say you don't have time to read...

If Karl Rove is to be believed (eh hem), the popular caricature of President Bush as a near-illiterate rube is actually the opposite of the truth. Supposedly, the two have been competing against each other to see who could read the most books. Rove has won each year, but not for lack of effort on the President's part: In 2006, Bush finished 95 books, in 2007, he finished 51, and in 2008 he finished 40 books, mostly history, biography and current events (from the Wall Street Journal, HT Between Two Worlds):

His reading this year included a heavy dose of history -- including David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter," Rick Atkinson's "Day of Battle," Hugh Thomas's "Spanish Civil War," Stephen W. Sears's "Gettysburg" and David King's "Vienna 1814." There's also plenty of biography -- including U.S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs"; Jon Meacham's "American Lion"; James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief" and Jacobo Timerman's "Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number."

Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional.

The reading competition reveals Mr. Bush's focus on goals. It's not about winning. A good-natured competition helps keep him centered and makes possible a clear mind and a high level of energy. He reads instead of watching TV. He reads on Air Force One and to relax and because he's curious. He reads about the tasks at hand, often picking volumes because of the relevance to his challenges. And he's right: I've won because he has a real job with enormous responsibilities.

Well, there goes my last excuse not to read more! Then again, I'm sure my job as manager of a self-storage facility is much more time consuming than being President of the United States...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all enjoy a relaxing week with your families. I suppose it might be appropriate to include here something about the stories of Jesus' birth, but right now I feel like this is something I need to hear more:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quote - Religion in the Ancient World

A nice summary by John Kloppenborg, in his interesting little book on Q: The Earliest Gospel:

In the twenty-first century we usually think of religion as a discrete and identifiable aspect of culture and distinguish it from economics, politics, education, and other cultural domains. Yet in the ancient Mediterranean languages there is no word at all that is equivalent to our abstract term "religion." There are words for altars, sacrifices, prayers, and temples and words for attitudes towards gods (piety, impiety, fear). But there was no collective word that gathers all of these into a single domain, distinguishable from the city, the empire, the army, trade and professional associations, and other social institutions. Religion in the ancient world was embedded in these institutions. (pg. 85)

Buried Alive

In real life, I pay for graduate school by working as the on-site manager of a self-storage facility. It's not a terribly exciting job, but it allows me to work from home and it's generally only busy one week a month (when rent comes due). But the last few days have been livelier than normal, as I've had to spend quite a bit of my time shoveling snow. This isn't an area that gets it very often so hardly anyone has snow tires or chains, and customer after customer has tried to get to their storage unit only to get stuck in a snow drift. Most are here to get Christmas presents out of their units; I suspect many will be back next week with cars full of everything they just replaced. In truth, most of these people were stuck before they even got here.

A couple years back, I spent a week helping build a mission school in southern Mexico and one of our hosts asked what I do for a living. When I told him I manage a mini storage, he had no idea what I was talking about, so I tried to explain: "It's a place where people can keep the stuff that doesn't fit in their house." He gave me a blank look, then asked "Why would anyone need to keep stuff that they can't fit in their house?" I had no answer for him.

Most of the people who rent from us start out while moving. Some need to clear out space while the house is on the market or before they can move into a new one; others need to store their belongings while on a trip or deployment; most figure they will only need the unit for a few months at the most. The trouble is, a substantial number of people who move in for such reasons, never move out. They get into their new house, decide they want to update the furniture, and never empty the storage unit. They buy new clothes, toys and electronics, and shove the old stuff in storage--too valuable to throw or give away, but too old to keep using.

Half of them will end up keeping the unit for years, filled with stuff they have long since replaced with something newer and better. Others dutifully pay rent for units they never even visit. A few stop paying altogether, leaving us with a garage full of old stuff that no one wants or cares about. Sometimes it's junk--cat-scratched furniture and broken-down appliances--but often enough it's just out of date. By law, we have to auction such units off, and we're usually lucky to get $50 for a whole house worth of stuff. No one, it seems, wants old clothes and used furniture. Inevitably, most of it ends up in a landfill.

Yet the cycle goes on, and every month more people fill up their units with their excess, as we all go on buying and buying, burying ourselves under remnants of our corporate consumerism. All of which is to say, though this snow will inevitably melt away, we'll still be buried alive.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Now That's Creepy!

David Ker shares his view of Santa...

Then there's this, courtesy of James McGrath:

Thank God the true meaning of Christmas lies elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Telling Kids About Santa?

Over at Emergent Village, Jenell Williams Paris reflects on what to tell her kids about Santa, a subject that has also become an issue around our house this year (my daughter is two and a half):

Should we really encourage children to project their material aspirations onto an idealized white man? As a full-time working woman, I don’t want my own hard work, income generation, present-purchasing and gift-wrapping to not only be entirely discredited, but all attributed to a benevolent white man. And I also don’t want to encourage my children to associate material wealth, kindness and generosity, and feasting with whiteness and maleness....

If Santa were a refugee, or a woman of color, or a plant or animal, I could probably get on board. But theologically speaking, Santa is in direct competition with Jesus, and it seems that Jesus pales in comparison. They’re both bearded white men (in the American imagination), but Santa gives more hugs and lets you sit on his lap. They’re both invisible characters that appear from time to time, so how do you convince a child that though you once told them both were real, only Jesus is really real? They both listen to petitions, but Santa grants wishes in material, fun, lit-up ways. Jesus occasionally answers, but with much less reliability than Santa. Your odds are much better if you pray to Santa for a Wii than if you pray to Jesus for your fighting parents to not divorce.

I'm not sure what to make of Paris' concerns about racism and sexism. If Santa is allowed to become the focus of Christmas, I suppose this could be a problem, but as long as Santa is just a character in certain stories, one among many others, I don't see the big deal. In any case, my daughter is not really old enough to ask a question like "is Santa real?" To her, Santa is a character on TV, only as real to her as Dora the Explorer and Little Bear, and I've tried to keep it that way.

But this is one area where my wife and I don't quite agree--her family always got gifts "from Santa," whereas mine never did, so she is much more comfortable asking things like "what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?" I just don't see the value in transferring Santa from being a character in her books and on TV into an imaginary person in the real world. But what I really do not understand is why parents would continue to insist on Santa's existence even after their kids start to question it. Shouldn't they be glad their kids are thinking critically for themselves? Why lie? It isn't as though they are protecting them from some dark secret. I just don't get it.

Sweet Free Books!

Not to brag or anything but I just got this email:

Hi Kenneth,

At SBL last month, you entered your name to win $250 worth of Continuum and T&T Clark books, and I’m pleased to tell you that you’ve won our drawing!

You can choose which titles you’d like to receive by visiting our website , or I can send you a catalog if you’d rather browse that way. Let me know which titles you’d like, and I’ll arrange to have them shipped to you.
Someone had better not be pulling my leg!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quote - Brueggemann on the Bible

Walter Brueggemann, Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism (quoted by A. Katherine Grieb, The Story of Romans, pg. xxi):

I assume that the biblical text is not a handbook for morality or doctrine as it is often regarded, nor on the other hand, is it an historical record, as many are wont to take it. Rather the biblical text is the articulation of imaginative models of reality in which the... readers in church and synagogue, are invited to participate. (pg. 8)

Monday, December 15, 2008

That's Pretty Cool

So with that last post I tried using Microsoft Word's blog-post creator for the first time, and it actually worked surprisingly well. Up to this point, I have usually composed short posts in blogger itself, but for more substantial pieces I write them in Word, then copy and paste into blogger, which works fairly well except it strips out the formatting (like italics). This new way uploaded straight to my blog without my even having to access the blogger page, and it seemed to work perfectly apart from the need to go back and add tags. If anyone has used this feature of Microsoft word, do you know if there is a way to add tags within the program?

An Overview of Romans

Anyone care to join me in a round of the Hallelujah chorus? I'm done with coursework! All that stands between me and my degree is a thesis, and I'll worry about that tomorrow. For now I should be back to more regular posting, and in the meantime, here's the final I submitted to my last class, which may be of interest to some readers. The assignment was a five-page position paper summarizing five "non-negotiable" elements of any understanding of Paul's letter to the Romans. It deals with the usual basics (occasion, structure), plus more significant issues like the nature of the Gospel and the people of God. Enjoy, throw stones, move on to greener pastures, whatever:

Romans is not a piece of systematic theology but a letter, written in a specific situation for specific reasons. Yet neither is it purely occasional, as one of those reasons is to introduce Paul and his gospel to a group of people he has not met. Any summary of the "non-negotiable elements of Romans," then, must account for both the context and content of the letter, which are intimately bound together. We will pay particular attention to: 1. The immediate context of the letter, including author, audience, occasion and purpose; and 2. The structure and argumentative method, including large-scale contents. This will set the stage for consideration of three of the most important themes in Romans: 3. The role of the law; 4. The relation between Jews and Gentiles in the people of God; and 5. The Gospel of God's righteousness.

1. Author, Audience, Occasion and Purpose
Romans, of course, was written by Paul (1:1; all stand alone scripture references refer to Romans), the self-described "Apostle to the Gentiles" (1:5; 11:13). It is addressed to the "saints" in Rome (1:7) in anticipation of Paul's upcoming visit (1:8-15; 15:22-32). Unlike the addressees of his other letters, however, Paul has never been to Rome (1:13; 15:22), so part of the purpose of this letter is to introduce himself, not to those who have never heard of him, but to those who only know him second-hand, and might be prone to misunderstand him (cf. 1:13; 3:1-8; 9:1-3; 15:14-22). He wants to clarify his views and earn their support, not only because he hopes to enjoy ministry in Rome (1:15), but also because he seeks their aid for yet further ministry in Spain (15:24). It may also be that Paul's ongoing conflict with those who adhere more strictly to the Jewish law (cf. Galatians) has made him fear that his reception in Rome might be less than friendly, especially as he anxiously awaits a trip to Jerusalem (15:25-31; cf. Acts 21-23). For the purpose of that trip is to bring gifts from his Gentile churches that symbolize his hope for Jewish and Gentile unity, so often threatened by controversy over Paul's view of the law (cf. 15:27; Gal 2:10 in context).

It should come as no surprise, then, that Romans' presentation of the gospel is everywhere tied to questions of Jewish-Gentile relations and the role of the law, as we shall see. Still, the letter was written to Rome, not Jerusalem, and while its audience plausibly included some Jews (cf. 2:17; 16:7, 11), it was likely predominantly Gentile (1:13; 11:13; 15:14-29). As such, Romans not only addresses Jewish concerns (and cites Jewish scripture), but also alludes distinctively Greco-Roman interests. For instance, Jesus (not Caesar) is "our Lord" (1:4; 4:24), who embodies the "good news" (1:16), "peace" (5:1) and "salvation" (10:10) that the emperors promised. In all ways, however, Romans is not just a defense of Paul's views, but an invitation to find in his gospel the true answer to humanity's deepest needs, and it must be asked how he makes this case.

2. The Structure and Argumentative Method of Romans
Though the major section breaks are widely agreed upon (1:18; 5:1; 9:1; 12:1; 15:14; though it seems to me that 6:1 marks a clearer shift than 5:1), the connections between Romans' various sections have been just as widely disputed. Even if the letter is not tightly structured, however, it is well-integrated. Virtually every section can be tied back to the theme announced in 1:16-17: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of all who have faith, the Jew first and the Greek. For in it is revealed a righteousness of God from faith to faith...." So in chapters 1-5, Paul argues that Jews as well as Gentiles have failed to honor God and his law (1:18-3:20), and so all alike must look to Christ for God's righteousness (3:21-31). In Christ, all can share in the promises made to Abraham (4:1-25), and the universal hope of salvation (5:1-21). In chapters 6-15, Paul responds to potential questions and objections raised by the foregoing: Is grace an excuse to sin (6:1-23)? Is the law sin (7:1-25)? Who can rescue us (8:1-17)? Why do the redeemed suffer (8:18-39)? Have God's promises to Israel failed (9:1-11:36)? How should we live, without the law (12:1-15:13)? Paul then explains his plans (15:14-33) and closes with greetings, blessings and (perhaps) a warning (16:1-27). Thus, even those sections most often deemed tangential actually address objections raised previously, for instance, 9:1-11:32 answer 3:1-2, while 7:1-25 and 13:8-10 answer 3:31.

This is no mere abstract discussion, however; it is grounded in Paul's lived experience as Jewish Apostle to the Gentiles, and is marked by a series of overlapping narratives: of humanity's failure (1:18-3:20), of Abraham's faith (4:1-25), of Adam and Christ (5:12-21), of Israel's struggle with the law (7:7-25), of creation's "frustration" and restoration (8:18-25), of Israel's stumbling and hope (9:1-11:36), of Paul's own ministry (15:17-33), etc. All of these are bound up in the grand narrative of God's righteousness—revealed in creation and covenant, redemption and restoration—and in that story, the law, the people of God, and the good news of Jesus' redemption stand central.

3. The Role of the Law in Romans
Few issues are as controversial in Pauline studies as role of the Jewish law, and in Romans this theme is especially prominent. So this is one place where context is vital, for tied up in the debate is the nature of 1st C. Judaism as a whole. With the New Perspective I must affirm that Judaism was diverse, but not generally marked by self-righteous legalism, though some (perhaps many) no doubt took their election too-much for granted. Ideally, at least, the average Jew saw obedience to the law as the proper response to God's goodness and promises. Few, however, thought the world was as it should be, and most anticipated God's intervention on their behalf, though who or what they blamed and how they pictured God's response varied greatly. Virtually all saw the law as central to their identity and hope.

For his part, Paul believed that God's redemption had decisively come in Jesus' death and resurrection, and this unexpected turn placed the Jewish law in a new light. He agreed that the law specifies God's (covenant) demands (2:13-29), but insisted that "no one will be declared righteous in [God's] sight by works of the law" (3:20). Instead, the law was given to reveal sin (3:20; 7:13), but because of "the flesh," it cannot make anyone righteous (8:3). Indeed, Israel's reception of the law, which seemed intended to solve the problem of sin, was itself abused by it, so she too fell, like Adam before her (2:17-29; 7:7-24). But Christ did obey perfectly (5:12-21; 8:1-2; cf. 10:4), and those "in Christ" have the Spirit, and so are capable of "fully" meeting "the righteous requirements of the law" (8:4; cf. 13:8-10). Yet it is just this Christological reinterpretation of the law which proved a "stumbling block" to the Jews (9:32-33; 11:9-11; 14:13-18) for, to Paul, it meant that there is no longer any need to maintain the "boundary markers" that divide Jews from Gentiles (3:28-31). Rather, the people of God are defined by faith and identity with Christ, not by ethnicity, ritual purity, food regulations, or adherence to the law generally (2:25-29; 3:27-4:25; 9:1-11:36; 14:1-15:13). Yet if this is so, what then is the proper relation of Jews and Gentiles in the people of God?

4. The People of God: The Relation of Jews and Gentiles in Romans
Arguably, even more central to Paul's purpose in Romans than the law is the relation between Jews and Gentiles, and here too there is a curious tension at work. Though Paul often affirms the equality of Jews and Gentiles (e.g. 3:9; 4:11-12; 10:11-13), the distinction remains important to him: "The Jew first and the Greek" (1:16); "a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly… by the Spirit" (2:29). The law was given uniquely to Israel (2:12-29), but she too fell (7:7-25) so that "Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin" (3:9) and must all respond to Christ in faith (3:27-4:25; 10:9-13). Yet ultimately faith marks one's inclusion in Israel (2:29; 11:17-24) and lack of faith means exclusion, such that "not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" (9:6; cf. 11:23). "Israel" itself remains a valid category, and therefore, while the word "covenant" is not prominent in Romans (appearing only in 9:4 and 11:27), God's faithfulness to his covenant people is central throughout, now extended to include all who are in Christ.

Paradoxically, then, the very distinguishing marks of Israel (cf. 9:4-5) are also applied to the new people of God, Jews and Gentiles: adoption as children of God (8:14-25), glory (5:2; 8:18), covenant (11:27? cf. 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Gal 4:24), the law (8:4; 13:8-10), worship (12:1), promises (4:13-25), patriarchs (4:1-12), and Christ (3:21-31; 5:12-21; 8:1-4). But it is just that equation which poses a problem for Paul: "Did God reject his people [ethnic Israel]?" (11:1). God's righteousness is called into question (3:3-8) and defended (chs. 9-11) precisely in relation to the fate of Israel: Gentiles are "grafted on" to the olive tree of redeemed Israel (11:17-24), and "all Israel will be saved" (11:26-32). So even now there is "a remnant, chosen by grace" (11:5), the first-fruits of the eventual restoration of all through faith in Christ (11:13-36), and Paul sees his own ministry as part of God's plan to bring this reconciliation to fruition (15:14-33). But how has God accomplished all this? That is the Gospel—good news—that forms the real heart of this letter.

5. The Gospel of God's Righteousness
Traditional Protestant theology stresses the individual's salvation by faith as God's entirely unmerited forgiveness of sin. While this is certainly an element of Paul's gospel, however, it should be obvious by now that this falls far short of the cosmic and covenantal scope of both the problem and its solution in Romans. On the one hand, humanity's "plight" is much more than individual sins; humanity as a whole has failed to honor her creator and has been "given over" in slavery to sin, leading to death (1:18-32; 5:12-14; 6:16-23; 7:14-25), pulling all of creation down with her (8:20). More troubling still, God has called a particular people and given her a law that "was intended to bring life" but even it failed to do so (7:10), for the Jews too fell prey to sin (7:7-25), and this calls God's own righteousness into question (3:3; 9:6; 11:1). So as we turn to that controversial phrase, "the righteousness of God," first aired in Romans' thematic statement (1:17), it seems clear that much more than forgiveness of sins is at stake. A solution is needed to the whole nexus of evil that infects humanity and creation, and the vindication of God's own justice and covenant faithfulness.

In fact, much of Paul's purpose in Romans seems to be to explain how these two aspects of God's righteousness can be reconciled: How can God be both just and faithful, in light of Israel's sin? By sending his son, who obeyed where Adam and Israel disobeyed, and who died in our place and so reconstituted God's covenant people "in Christ" (3:24; 6:11, 23; 8:1-2; 12:5), Paul claims that God has indeed proven his righteousness. This all-encompassing "good news," therefore, includes far more than forgiveness (3:25; 4:7-8) and justification (3:26; 4:5; 5:19) declared of sinners through some sort of legal fiction (though cf. 3:23-24; 5:6-11). Rather, through the Spirit and as part of the redeemed people of God, believers are also made righteous (6:1-23; 8:1-17; 12:1-8), offered "peace with God" (5:1; 8:6; 14:17), "the hope of glory" (5:2; 8:17-25; 15:4, 13), the gift of the Holy Spirit (1:4; 5:5; 8:2-27; 15:13), reconciliation (5:10-11; 11:15), adoption as children of God (8:14-25), conformity to the likeness of Jesus (8:28-29; 12:1-8), and more. Ultimately, this means the vindication and restoration of the covenant people of God, now expanded to include Gentiles as well as Jews (3:21-31; 4:1-25; 11:1-36; 15:7-13), the restoration of the whole cosmos (8:18-25), and hope of resurrection life (4:17-25; 5:17-21; 6:4-11, 22-23; 8:2, 6, 11-25; 11:15). In all this, the one God is truly proven "just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (3:26).

In short, Romans introduces Paul, his gospel and its implications to a church from whom he hopes to win support for future mission work, written in the context of significant controversy over the role of the law in light of Christ, and the relation of Jews and Gentiles in the people of God. Through argument and narrative, Paul defends his gospel of God's saving, restoring and redeeming righteousness, offered to God's covenant people through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through participation in Christ, all—Jews and Gentiles—may have a share in the blessings and promises made to Israel, truly fulfilling the law and inaugurating the final restoration of every aspect of God's creation. "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (11:36).

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Knew Jim West Hated Guns...

...I didn't know why. I guess if you can kill a bear with naught but a stick, you don't need them:

Jim West, 45, was out walking last Saturday morning with his two dogs near 70 Mile House, about halfway between Kamloops and Williams Lake, when he came face to face with an angry mother bear.

"I turned [when] I heard a grunt. All I saw was eyes full of hatred … I had no option … So I stuck my foot up and tried to kick her in the face," he said.

The bear then attacked him, knocking him to the ground, and West soon found himself on the losing side of an ill-matched fight....

Knowing he would likely soon be dead unless he fought back, the injured West managed to get to his feet and picked up a stick about as thick as his arm....

The five-foot-nine man eventually crushed the bear's skull with the stick, killing it.

West then walked a kilometre and a half to a local lodge, where he was transported to hospital. The gashes in his body took 60 stitches to sew up.

Glad you survived your ordeal, Jim, I hope the environmentalists don't eat you alive!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Battlestar Galactica and a Prequel Series

Good news for fellow Battlestar Galactica fans! The second half of the final season starts January 16 (you can also watch some full episodes here or on Hulu), and starting December 12 there will be a series of 10 webisodes at They have also filmed a 2 hour TV movie called "The Plan," which will air sometime after the series ends in March. Finally, they just approved the prequel, Caprica, as a full series (HT FilmChat):

"Caprica" will star Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker, and will be set 50 years prior to "Galactica's" seminal attack on human civilization by those dreaded 'droids the Cylons. [The] Family-drama-themed series will focus on the Earthlike planet of Caprica as two rival families deal with, among other topical issues, the broader implications of their society's emerging artificial intelligence technology sector.
That means it will be set 10 years before the first Cylon war, which ought to give them plenty of Terminator-esk themes to explore. I'm eager to see what they do with it.

Oh, and I almost forgot: I'm a Leobon, according to this Cylon Detector Test (HT: Carmen).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quote - Freedom and Virtue

From Jeffrey Overstreet's excellent novel Auralia's Colors (Abascar is a city-state):

Hear this: if you allow Abascar freedom, some people will choose what they shouldn't.... But take away that freedom, and no one has opportunity to choose what they should.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm a Quaker?

Sorry about the lack of posting, lately. I've been out touring the world, meeting famous people, climbing Everest.... ok, really I've been busy with family and the end of the semester, but after the 12th I'll be done with course work--for good!--so that's something. Then all I'll have left is my thesis... speaking of things I've been too busy to work on.

So with all that extra time I don't have, I wasted a bit of it on the "Belief-O-Matic," which has been making the rounds of late. As all such questionnaires, this one is almost entirely useless, as I'm inclined to choose "none of the above" for almost every question, but I still can't figure out how I got a 100% for "Orthodox Quaker." To be honest, some days I'm not even sure I'm Orthodox, and don't know that I've ever even met an Quaker. Still, the summary at Beliefnet doesn't sound half bad. Anyway, here's my top 5:

1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (94%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (83%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (80%)
5. Eastern Orthodox (79%)

You can take the quiz yourself here.