Congregational consultant Dr. Alfred Bamsey and ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm prepared this week’s quiz — as a kind of benchmark to see how well equipped you are for understanding the global changes that are sweeping through American religious life.
To read more about Dr. Bamsey’s work, make sure to check out Monday’s story, which contained his recommended-reading list. Today’s multiple-choice questions touch on a whole range of data, details and popular voices that are important in understanding religious trends.
See how many correct answers you can rack up.
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THE 10 QUESTIONS:
1.) According to Scott Thumma, one of the leading experts studying enormous congregations and the co-author of “Beyond Megachurch Myths,” what is a “megachurch”?
A. A Protestant church that averages 2,000 attendees at weekend services.
B. Any congregation with more than 1,000 members.
C. A church designed to attract young people with contemporary music and lively worship.
2.) Who is Eugene Peterson?
A. Developer of a guide to birds and advocate of ecotheology.
B. He rewrote the Bible in common language.
C. A jazz pianist who wrote many contemporary hymns.
3.) What two writers have jointly produced two popular books analyzing scriptures about both the first week and the last week of Jesus’ life?
A. Crossan and Borg.
B. Wright and Spong.
C. Graham and LeHaye.
4.) Random House published a landmark non-fiction book in late 2007, called “American Crescent.” To what does the title refer?
A. Changing cultures around America’s Pacific rim.
B. The growth of Islam in the U.S.
C. Religious change in three trend-setting East Coast cities.
6.) Which three of the following countries are projected to have the largest Christian communities in the year 2015?
B. United States
7.) Which continent is projected to have the most Roman Catholics in 2025?
A. North America
D. Latin America
8.) According to church-growth consultant William Easum, what is the best growth strategy for a pastor of a church that is averaging less than 100 people in worship?
A. Introduce contemporary music and sing fewer traditional hymns.
B. Arrange to air services on a public-access television or a local radio station.
C. Spend more time having one-on-one conversations about the core of the faith with people who are not affiliated with any church.
9.) Name the influential American sociologist, who has been charting changes in religious life for decades and who has proclaimed that “the influence of music and art on spirituality is becoming increasingly apparent”?
A. Robert Wuthnow
B. Howard Beale
C. Benjamin Braddock
10.) Why do people travel to Bodh Gaya, India? (Shown at left.)
A. To climb to the top of a major Hindu temple.
B. To visit the most important Sikh center in Asia.
C. To meditate at the place that tradition says Prince Gautama Siddhartha attained enlightenment.
When you think you’ve got all the answers, CLICK on the link below in the online version of this
quiz, and the ANSWERS will pop up!
Ready? CLICK for the ANSWERS below …
HERE are THE ANSWERS:
1.) A. Thumma and Travis didn’t come up with this definition, but it’s the one they accept and explain in their book. The term has been used loosely to describe a range of big churches — but this is the meaning that’s becoming widely accepted, the authors argue.
2.) B. That’s Oscar Peterson, the jazz great, in the photograph with the questions. The bird expert is Roger Tory Peterson.
3.) A. You can click on book covers in any of our stories and jump to our bookstore to read further reviews and buy copies, if you wish.
4.) B. Click HERE to read our original piece on “American Crescent” — or click on the book cover at left to read more about the book in our bookstore.
5.) C. And roughly half of that 2 billion is made up of the Roman Catholic church.
6.) Biggest in this list will be B, D and F.
7.) D. The growth of the Catholic church in Latin America is the subject of one of Philip Jenkins’ major books.
8.) As amazingly basic as it sounds, Easum says “C” is the answer for growing small congregations.
9.) A. Howard Beale was the half-crazy anchorman in “Network” who began raving on live TV with a stained-glass window as a backdrop. Benjamin Braddock was the character played by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate” — and his most memorable experience with a church comes as he is racing away from one at the very end of that movie.
10.) C. The prince is better known around the world today as the Buddha.
HOW DID YOU DO?
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COME BACK OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS for more intriguing stories by our visiting writer: the Rev. Dr. Alfred Bamsey.