Coronavirus testing fills the news. Scientists, politicians, care home workers, nurses, patients and the public all have an opinion and a vested interest.
I spent many happy years in teaching debating testing with teachers, parents, employers and children (later pupils and then students!)
How do you test for Christian faith?
Many tests are conducted by experts: Martin (friend, optometrist) tested my eyes, Andrew (son, audiologist) tested my ears, Andy (friend, mechanic) tested my car.
Last month Rob (instructor, boat-builder) gave me a certificate; I passed a test on the ‘Safe use of wood machines’.
The traditional test for faith is carried out by some divine expert.
Masterchef’s experts, Greg and John, make judgements. Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing tell the public that they are the experts; they assess the contestants.
I like the idea of the public testing. How about a new test for driving, teacher-qualification, or the guilt of a criminal? Put it to the public vote.
There is a public testing of faith. Jesus said that people will recognise his disciples by the love they have for each other.
Some tests are self-administered – for pregnancy, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases… In education some self-assessment is certainly valuable.
I have met many ‘experts’ who self-assess their popularity, sense of humour, personality or humility… with varying accuracy.
Christian faith speaks of self-testing; St Paul says ‘Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.’
In Snow White the evil queen asks the test question. ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?’
There are three replies. The test is carried out by three parties: the expert – the mirror, the public – the reader, the audience looking on, and the self-test of the queen.
Whose test results are most accurate?
Ref: John 13:35, Romans 12:3