Matthew Loftus, Susannah Black, Matthew Lee Anderson, Jon Askonas, and Christian Young assisted with the drafting of the questions. Also, thanks to Alan Noble for mentioning this idea on Twitter!

Are you an evangelical?

In the Trump era there is no lack of uncertainty about the true definition of an evangelical Christian. 81% of evangelical Christians supported Trump last fall and... one of Trump's most prominent conservative critics is evangelical leader Russell Moore. It's no surprise that a) no one knows what an evangelical is, and b) everyone wants to define it.

To fix this problem, the writers of Mere Orthodoxy have created a quiz to help people determine if they are, in fact, evangelical.

Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy and author of "In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World." He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play.

  • Justin Keller

    Or, you’re an adult convert who missed out on a lot of the silliness in these questions. Or, you’re too old to care about some of those bands or to have read Harry Potter before getting your drivers license. Yeesh. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on this.

    • samueljames

      Your refund check is in the mail.

      • Justin Keller

        And Trump is actually gonna build that wall, right?

        By all means, skewer and spoof away. But I’m used to stuff from the site that isn’t so narrow and parochial. There’s a place for being silly. This just wasn’t very good. And because the site normally has better stuff on it, you deserve to know when you bellyflopped.

        • Greywolf

          I don’t if you’re trolling or just that grumpy. Did The Last Jedi upset you too much this weekend? If you have been around here long enough, you would know they’ve done things like this before, and it’s good stuff. And if you listened to the podcast, you’d know they take things serious enough when needed and can still have a good laugh.

          • Justin Keller

            I apologize to everyone who reads this site and found the quiz amusing. I never meant to troll, and ad hominem is a bit more than I have the stomach for. Matthew, Samuel, and Jake, I won’t post a comment again.

    • Joe Stocker

      It’s just a bit of fun. I tried to second guess the “right” answers and failed miserably – being informed that I’m spiritual not religious and clearly not an evangelical.

      But it does point to the more serious question (OK after the holiday season is over) of how much an adult convert needs to know this stuff in order to feel “at home” in an evangelical setting. I spent my first 5 years of my Christian life torn between not wanting to explain my background (so my conversion/faith didn’t sound like it “was all about me”) and trying not to say anything that marked me out as “clearly not an evangelical”.

  • My formerly Evangelical wife says your “correct” answer to question 20 is wrong. Regis Blackgaard is the primary villain.

  • I was so relieved to learn I’m a “carnal Christian” and not an Evangelical. I really dodged a bullet there.

  • E. Meltsner

    Fake Quiz! Regis Blackgaard was the villain a the radio drama put out by Focus on the Family. He was never in the short-lived cartoon series ;)

    (But hey, I’m a carnal Christian anyway, so what do I know!?)

  • E. J.

    If you don’t know the Christian song lyrics because your mom didn’t like CCM, do you get extra points?

  • Prefiero Figurados

    I was raised in a non-Christian home and didn’t come to Christ until I was an adult… I quit half way through because I realized that much of the quiz is for people raised as evangelical kids. Lots of us weren’t.

  • calebroberts811

    The fact that my problem on the “What was the first R-rated movie you saw?” question was remembering *which of the three* movie options (Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, Gladiator) was, in fact, the first tells me all that I need to know.

    Even if I still got “Carnal Christian.”

    • calebroberts811

      Oh, and you should automatically get 20 percentage points for correctly finishing the line of DC Talk’s “That Kind of Girl.” Come on! That’s like evangelical dungeon master level stuff. (<— deduct 10 percentage points for satanic dungeon master reference.)

  • Jordan Ashley Monge

    1. I misanswered a couple because it swaps yes and no randomly.
    2. So converts whose parents are heathens can’t be evangelicals? For shame!

  • Joseph Rhea

    A little surprised at some of the comments here – you’d think you guys have a reputation for doing serious reflection on major issues or something …

    Also, I laughed out loud at the DC Talk reference. Took me back to my pre-carnal-Christian days. That may have been the first CD I ever purchased with my own money. (and by ‘may have been,’ I mean ‘definitely was’)

    Questions I’d add:
    – As a child, were you more familiar with Carmen Electra or Carman (no last name needed)?
    – Did you ever attend a strongman demonstration, stuntman routine, or stand-up comedy routine that ended with an altar call?

  • Jeremy Burch

    I’m an evangelical and I think this is hilarious. It wouldn’t surprise me if the survey identified everyone as a carnal Christian no matter what score you got, because that would be a very evangelical thing to do. Merry Christmas, Mere O!

  • William Thierfelder

    As someone else noted below…some of us are much older than you are. But it was still funny. Here’s a question for my age group: Who was the first pop singer you listened to who had shoulder-length hair? a. Eric Clapton; b. Larry Norman; c. Dan Fogelberg; d. Mama Cass Elliot. The correct answer is….

  • Cal P

    I’m not sure the intention behind the quiz besides, or behind, good fund. But it’s kind of proof for Hoosier_Bob’s claim that Evangelicalism has become more of a tribal arrangement rather than an actual theological position. Maybe that’s the point, and it’s a form of tongue-in-cheek criticism. But, even so, it’s an interesting commentary that is far and away from Bebbington’s Quadrilateral. I guess Evangelical among Americans is like Catholic among the Irish, even if you’re not you still are.

    • hoosier_bob

      I came out as “spiritual but not religious,” as I hadn’t even set foot into an evangelical church until I was 18.

  • Becky Messer

    Totally kills me that the results page tells me which ones I got “wrong” lololol
    Also, where’s the option for #18, “my mom made me help at VBS every year”???

  • George Hauser

    When you said at 33% incorrect answers I could still be an evangelical but probably no longer was you are absolutely right. In my early 40’s things happened that started me on a journey from fundamentalist evangelicalism to the sacramental liturgical and I now attend an LCMS church

    • Justin Vest

      I’d have done that too, if there was one near my house. But there wasn’t so now I’m a Baptist! Ah well.

  • Anglican_geek

    Hilarious. I think you hit all the major evangelical fads in the last 20 year’s! I think I am in the “ parent” generation, though, not the generation this was aimed at.

  • ‘Spiritual but not religious’ here. The quiz is really a test of whether someone is an American evangelical.

    • Daniel Hindman

      I’m not even sure it’s that. I went to Bob Jones from kindergarten through college but also got “Spiritual but not religious.” But I did get the lampooning of American evangelical culture in many of the questions, even if I didn’t know the answers.

  • Yana Nikolova

    This is hard for evangelicals who are not American. :D I got “spiritual but not religious” (God forbid).

  • cornofear

    I started it, but the random switching of the yes/no questions misrecorded a bunch of my answers. Could you turn that off?

  • Greg Herr

    And not a single question about Norman, Love Song, Daniel Amos, Big Chuck, Green & the Chronicles, Phil, John Warwick, The Bible Answer Man, small, medium, or large fish stickers for your car, leather Bible covers (ahem, also with a fish), and church splits (I mean, c’mon). Thank God I’m an Evangelical in Rome.

    Better get crackin’ on those Catholic jokes.

    “25 Signs Your Evangelical Friend is Considering Catholicism”

    Friends, evangelicals become Catholics. It may be hard to hear but it’s true.

    I know you probably don’t think it could happen to you or those you love. But trust me, no one is safe from the Apostolic Truth sprinkled with Holy Water which Catholics dole out like it’s fish soup on a Friday.

    To help you out, here at 25 signs to look for to see if your friend might be considering the Catholic Church.

    They surreptitiously make the Sign of the Cross when you pray together and then pretend they’re brushing away flies when you catch them.
    They’ve been seen with this book in their hand.
    They don’t know how to have a conversation without quoting G.K. Chesterton anymore.
    You saw a rosary stashed in their car.
    It wasn’t dusty or tangled in the jumper cables either.
    They keep saying, “but what did the Fathers teach?” like that should have some sway in the matter.
    You asked them if they’re saved and they told that they have been saved, are being saved and, God willing, will be saved.
    They’ve developed a fondness for crucifixes.
    You’ve seen them get that small, shy smile on their face when they talk about Mary. (I mean, talking about Mary is bad enough but the smile? That’s when you know it’s serious.)
    They’ve been to a Theology on Tap.
    Their bible looks suspiciously bigger at bible study.
    Like 7 books bigger.
    They keep talking about this great bible teacher Scott Hahn. He’s a pastor somewhere… you think.
    They think there might have been ACTUAL Christians in the 1,000 years between Augustine and Luther. You’re very suspicious on this point.
    You swear you’ve heard them mumble something in Latin.
    They think Pope Francis is the bees knees.
    They’ve started asking questions about contraception. (On a side note, you’ve decided that contraception is never appropriate church-supper conversation. No one wants to hear this stuff, dude.)
    They’re reading some book by a guy called Ratzinger. (Who is this man?)
    They tell you they want to be just like the Little Flower. (What is this flower? And why is it little?)
    You keep hearing the phrase RCIA popping up. You’re not sure what this is but you think it’s the Roman Catholic Intelligence Agency.
    Disunity makes them sad.
    They keep asking, “what do you think Mary thought about this?” in bible study. Who cares, it’s not like she was there! Oh wait… yeah, there she is in verse 5. #awkward
    They keep going back to Mass even though they can’t “eat the wafer”.
    They love Jesus and would do anything for Him.
    They just sent you this list.
    Sadly, if you or your friend are suffering from the condition known as “thinking about becoming Catholic”, I really can’t help you. My own symptoms were terminal.

    The best thing I can do is prepare you for the dire prognosis ahead: What to Expect When You’re Converting to the Catholic Church. You’re welcome. ;)

    • Cal P

      I answered a little over half of this list, but I think the papal office is anti-Christ and Rome is full of idolatrous superstitions. What does that make me?

  • Greywolf

    I got 13 out of 31, such a carnal Christian, complete with a Jars of Clay album art for my reward! Guessed on a few, got them right. At least I recognized DC Talk lyrics!

  • GodsGadfly

    I’m confused why this is called “Mere Orthodoxy.” I was expecting an Orthodox take on Evangelicalism.
    I got “spiritual but not religious,” yet I’m a cradle Catholic who grew up in the deep south, attended an Evangelical private school for a year, started reading C. S. Lewis (and Catholic Answers) when I was 12, and spoke at the 1998 C. S. Lewis Conference. How is “enthusiastically taking up dating in college” the “right answer” for a Christian? Rumspringa? “Dating” is a 20th century innovation that lends to fornication.
    The “Evangelical” answers make sense, the non-Evangelical alternatives are biased not only against actual apostolic Christians such as those whose name your blog fraudulently usurps but even against Evangelicals who are are over 40 and have decent taste in music. To me, “Christian music” is Bach and Handel even if they were Protestants (wherever they are now, which I’m confident is Heaven, they’re not Protestants any more).

  • SamHamilton

    Very funny. Well done.

    I’ve always considered myself an evangelical, but apparently I missed out on a huge part of evangelical subculture!

  • Justin Vest

    “Did you kiss dating goodbye in high school”

    I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond

    • Justin Vest

      Oh, it’s a joke. I got “Carnal Christian”. But that’s so correct, God save me

  • Krychek_2

    I’m an atheist, and I scored 18 out of 31, but that’s because I was raised evangelical and knew or could guess the right answers. I did enjoy taking it, though. I especially loved the “why do you hate the English language” ones.

  • Tim Hoskins

    Aslan is most certainly not a Christ figure, he is literally Jesus as he appears in the world of Narnia.

  • Sue Korlan

    I hit one of the ones I got right, with the opposite of what I meant, and I got my first driver’s license at least 20 years before Harry Potter was written, so instead of getting 6 right it should have been 4. So am I still spiritual but not religious by your lights?

  • AndreaLeane

    Well, I got 15 out of 31, so I got Carnal Christian. heh. I have no idea if my denomination and beliefs are considered evangelical. I’m guess some beliefs are but others would separate us from that label. I’m Oneness Pentecostal, aka we’re not trinitarian nor do we consider ourselves charismatic. I knew the C.S. Lewis quote. I knew the CCM answers and a few others. I don’t hate Harry Potter. I was a bit shaky on quite a few others, especially the ones related to well-known people and some trends. It was an interesting little, tongue-in-cheek quiz. And now I have to go Youtube a few old DC Talk songs.

  • Michael Southerland

    This quiz is bizarre and I get the humor in it. The word evangelical is an adjective, not a noun and it was originally used to mean those who evangelize or to make converts to Christianity. It now has been borrowed, hijacked, or used, depending on your Christian perspective, to mean a certain set of religious and political beliefs. What I don’t find funny about all of this is that Christians fight each other about differences of opinion or about who is a “real Christian”. Isn’t that the role of Christ?