What Anglican Theological Education used to look like


Puritan Board Senior
According to Dr. Timothy McGrew this is just a taste of what apologetics education used to look like. This he tells us is an actually examination papers for young men taking a theological degree at Cambridge University. This exam covers William Paley's View of the Evidences of Christianity, a work that every student was required to study. It was not an open book exam.
1. THE case of miracles is stated by Hume to be a contest of opposite improbabilities. How is it so? Give Paley's remarks on Hume's want of argumentative justice in connection with that statement.
2. Explain how the nature of the case renders it probable that the propagation of the Christian religion among the heathen was attended with difficulty and danger.
3. Shew from the Christian records that the primitive followers of Christ assumed, upon their conversion, a new and peculiar course of private life.
4. How does Paley prove that if any one of the four Gospels be genuine, we have sufficient reason to believe that we possess the accounts which the original emissaries of the religion delivered?
5. What does Paley mean by the 'genuineness' of the books of the New Testament? What would appear to be the real cause of their genuineness being called in question? Give Paley's remarks on this point.
6. Give Paley's explanation of the miracles said to have been wrought at the tomb of the Abbe Paris. In what material respect do these differ from the other instances brought forward by Hume?
7. In considering the character of Christ as a part of the morality of the Gospel, state and illustrate one particular which distinguishes him from other ancient teachers and law givers. Give Origen's remark on this point.
8. Explain what Paley means by the Identity of Christ's character, and illustrate it by the instance of Christ's washing his disciples' feet, as related by S. John.
9. In what does the peculiar value of the history of the Resurrection of Christ as a head of evidence consist? Answer the objections, that "the Apostles knowingly published a falsehood or were themselves deceived."
10. What is the usual character of human testimony? Give Paley's answer to the objection arising from the discrepancies in the Evangelic narrative.


Staff member
Back when exams were exams, and the questions had meaty content to them. None of that multiple-choice stuff.
Well, back then the professors had to read the exams too. That was hard work.

Now it's easy: feed it into a scanner and get a Starbucks. Progress!....


Puritan Board Doctor
Of course, answering the questions on that exam could be more difficult if you'd been reading about William Paley (1901-1990), the guy who founded CBS (first the radio network, then the television network).


Puritan Board Junior
And to think that after reading the Bahnsen-Stein debate I felt like an impenetrable genius... :p

Exams like this make one realize they might actually only know enough to be dangerous.