Spot the Heretic! (with answers)

By Piotr Malysz

I put this half-tongue-in-cheek quiz together back in 2001, during my second year of seminary, when it became increasingly obvious to me that much of our “confessional” theology was done “by names”. If a theologian was regarded as heterodox or heretical, then nothing he (she?) had ever said could be considered of any value or could possibly be quoted appreciatively. (And Melanchthon, that villain, when he wrote the Augsburg Confession, was really only channeling Luther.) By contrast, if a theologian was considered kosher, so to speak, then everything he had said was worth defending and had better not be criticized. So I decided to remove the authors’ names from certain theological statements to encourage more thoughtfulness without providing an easy way out.

(In retrospect, it seems to me that perhaps the only theologian whose name was thrown back and forth over the (non-)confessional fence was C.F.W. Walther, depending on whether it was Walther on the Church, or Walther on Law and Gospel one was talking about. For all I know, his earthly remains are probably still rolling in their grave.)

SPOT THE HERETIC!

Armed with the impregnable “pure doctrine,” march boldly into the world of heresy! Your task is simple: match each of the statements below with the name of the person who made it. Also, indicate whether the statement is “confessional” and whether or not you agree with it. Weed out the heretics from our midst!

A word of caution before you begin: “For everyone thinks he knows best and hopes that the devil is beyond the ocean and God is tucked in our pocket.” Martin Luther

The answers can be found at the bottom of the page. No peeking please!

1. “To wish then to establish such a presence as is to enclose the body within the sign, or to be joined to it locally, is not only a reverie, but a damnable error, derogatory to the glory of Christ, and destructive of what we ought to hold in regard to his human nature. For Scripture everywhere teaches us, that as the Lord on earth took our humanity, so he has exalted it to heaven, withdrawing it from mortal condition, but not changing its nature.”

A. Spener
B. Calvin
C. Melanchthon
D. Luther

2. “When good works are done on account of right causes and for right ends (that is, with the intention that God demands of the regenerated), they are an indication of salvation in believers.”

A. Wesley
B. Melanchthon
C. Arminius
D. Formula of Concord

3. “Accordingly, we herewith condemn without any qualification the Capernaitic eating of the body of Christ as though one rent Christ’s flesh with one’s teeth and digested it like other food.”

A. Calvin
B. Formula of Concord
C. Zwingli
D. Luther

4. “So, this text [1 Cor. 11:23-25] teaches emphatically that Christ’s body is broken and divided at the table and bitten, chewed, and swallowed like other bread, though in the form of bread or in the bread.”

A. Luther
B. Melanchthon
C. Formula of Concord
D. Fourth Lateran Council (1215)

5. “Those elected by God in Christ are wretched sinful men; yet not all promiscuously, but those whom God from eternity distinctly foresaw as those who would believe in Christ to the end.”

A. Luther
B. Formula of Concord
C. Hollaz
D. Andreae

6. “Surely God does not have blood, does not suffer, cannot be touched with hands. But since Christ, who was true God and also true man, was crucified and shed his blood for us, the things that he carried out in his human nature are transferred improperly, although not without reason, to his divinity. …surely then, as man, in the flesh that he had taken upon himself, he was not in heaven. But because the selfsame one was both God and man, for the sake of the union of both natures he gave to the one what belonged to the other.”

A. Calvin
B. Smalcald Articles
C. Melanchthon
D. Formula of Concord

7. “It is, of course, self-evident that in true conversion there must be a change, there must be new activities and emotions in the intellect, will, and heart, so that the heart learns to know sin, to fear the wrath of God, to turn from sin, to understand and accept the promise of grace in Christ, to have good spiritual thoughts, Christian intentions and diligence, and to fight against the flesh, etc. For if none of these things exists or takes place, there is no true conversion.”

A. Melanchthon
B. Calvin
C. Formula of Concord
D. Wesley

8. “…the very word of the Gospel is heard in vain, unless the Father Himself speaks within, and teaches, and draws.”

A. Calvin
B. Synod of Dort
C. Luther
D. Spener

9. “On the other hand, the eternal election of God or God’s predestination to salvation does not extend over both the godly and the ungodly, but only over the children of God, who have been elected and predestined to eternal life ‘before the foundation of the world was laid’.”

A. Formula of Concord
B. Melanchthon
C. Synod of Dort
D. Luther

10. “…It is useless to threaten, to scold, or even to teach and preach’ until the Holy Spirit enlightens, converts and regenerates man.”

A. Spener
B. Melanchthon
C. Wesley
D. Formula of Concord

11. “I did teach, and still teach, that sinners shall be stirred to repentance through the preaching or the contemplation of the passion of Christ, so that they might see the enormity of God’s wrath over sin, and learn that there is no other remedy for this than the death of God’s Son.”

A. Luther
B. Gerhard
C. Zinzendorf
D. Chemnitz

12. “…through the ministry [the Holy Spirit] brings us into the church, sanctifies us therein, and effects in us a daily increase in faith and good works.”

A. Arminius
B. Formula of Concord
C. Wesley
D. Luther

13. “Even should we grant that some of the elect are held in error throughout their whole life, yet they must of necessity return into the way before they die.”

A. Zwingli
B. Synod of Dort
C. Luther
D. Selnecker

14. “And ‘to be justified’ means to make unrighteous men righteous or to regenerate them, as well as to be pronounced righteous.”

A. Wesley
B. The Apology
C. Heidelberg Catechism
D. Spener

15. “‘Who will believe’ (you say) ‘that God loves Him?’ I reply, Nobody! Nobody can! But the elect shall believe it; and the rest shall perish without believing it, raging and blaspheming… You say that a flood-gate of iniquity is opened by our doctrines. … Nonetheless, these are the very doctrines which throw open to the elect, who fear God, a gateway to righteousness, an entrance into heaven, and a road to God!”

A. Luther
B. Arminius
C. Melanchthon
D. Calvin

16. “There is therefore a great difference between baptized people and unbaptized people because, according to the teaching of St. Paul, ‘all who have been baptized have put on Christ’ (Gal. 3:27), are thus truly born again, and now have a liberated will-that is, as Christ says, they have again been made free. As a result, they not only hear the Word of God but are also able to assent to it and accept it, even though it be in great weakness.”

A. Spener
B. Heidelberg Catechism
C. Wesley
D. Formula of Concord

17. “…the love and hate of God towards men is immutable and eternal, existing, not merely before there was any merit or work of ‘free-will’, but before the world was made; and that all things take place in us of necessity, according as He has from eternity loved or not loved.”

A. Calvin
B. Melanchthon
C. Luther
D. Heidelberg Catechism

18. “…the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments are the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged… Other writings of ancient and modern teachers, whatever their names, should not be put on a par with Holy Scripture. Every single one of them should be subordinated to the Scriptures and should be received in no other way and no further than as a witness to the fashion in which the doctrine of the prophets and apostles was preserved in post-apostolic times.”

A. Heidelberg Catechism
B. Formula of Concord
C. S.S. Schmucker
D. Council of Trent

THE END

Please feel free to let us know how you did.

**********************************

ANSWERS

1.    Calvin, Short Treatise on the Holy Supper of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1540), §41.
2.    Formula of Concord [FC] SD VI:38.
3.    FC Ep. VII:42.
4.    Luther, Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper (1528); LW 37:300.
5.    David Hollaz (1648-1713), cited in Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 288.
6.    Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559), II.XIV.2
7.    FC SD II:70.
8.    Luther, The Bondage of the Will (1525); Packer & Johnston, 311.
9.    FC SD XI:5.
10.    FC SC II:21.
11.    Luther, Against the Antinomians (1539); LW 47:110.
12.    FC SD II:38.
13.    Luther, The Bondage of the Will, 120.
14.    The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV:72.
15.    Luther, The Bondage of the Will, 99.
16.    FC SD II:67.
17.    Luther, The Bondage of the Will, 226.
18.    FC Ep. Rule and Norm: 1-2.

4 thoughts on “Spot the Heretic! (with answers)

  1. Okay, now that the answers have been provided I can say that many of my intuitions, if not my final answers, were spot on. I knew my “Bondage of the Will” pretty well. I was slightly shocked by some of the FC statements (although context might resolve some of that shock) and by one or two of Luther’s.

    Calvin’s statement in #6 threw me off quite a bit.

    Luther threw me off in #8.

    Overall, very interesting, challenging and enlightening.

  2. Piotr!

    Greetings from St. Luke’s in Dedham!

    I came across your quiz. I got all but one of the FC quotes; I guess that’s what reading the Confessions 30+ times has done for me! I actually recognized them! I also got all of the Luther “Bondage of the Will” quotes (but not the one from Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper….*sigh*). I even got one of Calvin’s quotes.

    God continue to bless your studies!

  3. Pr. Derk-Michel Strauch

    OK, I’m ready to be employed in the Inquisition, perfect score. I do have an advantage, I was originally in training for the ministry in the Reformed Church in America, so Jean Calvin is easy to spot.

    As I was told in seminary, we are not good at creating new heresies – we just seem to recycle the same old ones. With all that “recycling,” does that make the Church “green”?

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