Thursday, 12 March 2009

Not every student cheers the cockles of my heart...

End of term exam (missions course)...

Q. Give as many reasons as you can why the gospel spread in the Roman Empire in the early centuries after Pentecost.
A. World peace, development of the steam engine, publication of David Livingstone, commitment and zeal of the believers, uprightness of believers.

Q. List as many places as you can where Paul and Barnabas were persecuted, and what persecutions they faced in those places.
A. Thessalonica: they were blamed to have burnt the city.

Q. Give as many reasons as you can why the Reformers were involved in few missionary efforts outside of Europe.
A. The outbreak of World War I and II

Q. Which year did William Carey travel to India in?
A1. 1419
A2. 1973

Q. Who was the Portuguese explorer who found the route to India?
A1. William Carey
A.2 Jonathan Edwards

Q. What was the name of Carey's first convert?
A. Ethiopian eunuch

Q. Name a New Testament letter that Paul wrote to a church that he did not plant or visit.
A. Jude

Q. How was Paul supported financially as a missionary?
A. He had his own tent.

After noting those ones down, few answers seemed surprising any more. Only 5 of 27 students scored higher than my wife, who had not been on the course. Reassuringly for me, in every question but one, (there were about 30 questions in all), at least someone got the right answer. (Nobody could recall that the first place Paul went to on the first missionary journey after leaving Syria was Cyprus). Interestingly, three of the students who claimed in the initial questionnaire to have read the Bible twice or more (and thus were a small minority of the class), were amongst the weakest - were they telling the truth?

These students are at the end of their 4 years of training and most will now be the teachers of others. By my reckoning, 3 or perhaps 4 showed a minimum standard of attainment, and this is my assessment after adjusting for the generally lower standards here. Is there a work needing to be done in Africa to equip church leaders? Yes there is... do pray!

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