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How to Write a Theology Essay

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❶They also need to number all citations correctly. Additionally, there should usually be some interaction with other orthodox theologians to guard against individualistic aberration.

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Theology professors may want to assign this new little book as required reading: Each of the twenty chapters titles in bold below ends with a bullet-point summary: How not to lose heart before you start The topics of theology really matter The knowledge of God is not the preserve of the very clever Starting to write theology is a challenge that can be fun!

What is theology in any case? Theology is a species of reason, subject to the Word of God Theology is a form of speech Theology is evangelical: What is a theology essay? An essay is an invitation to persuade The object of the theology essay is to say true things about God The theology essay deals with ideas and concepts It is not merely a summary of Scripture 4. The responsibility of theology Theology is answerable to God and must be done with prayerful reverence Theology is best done in service to God and his people 5.

Choosing the question Choose a topic that interests you, but look carefully at the question Avoid a topic that is a contemporary church controversy where possible Consider what others are doing 6. Analysing the question What higher level task am I being asked to do, explicitly or implicitly?

Am I being asked to find a cause or a purpose, or trace a connection, or describe something? What is the measure I am being asked to use, explicitly or implicitly? Where is my question located in the context of the ongoing theological conversation? Are there any extra features of the question that I have to take into account? Try to paraphrase his position as best you can. Is his position clear? What is he saying on the best possible interpretation?

On the most likely? If you come across anything especially interesting, add it to the notes mentioned in step 3. Formulate a critical perspective on your sources. How do you evaluate them?

Use criteria 1—9 under Appendix E. With a scriptural text as a source, of course, the evaluation should always be positive. With other texts, there will generally be some element of negative evaluation see chapter 7, E. Organize your notes according to topics of interest. I generally go through my notes and write down everything that bears on a particular topic. A computer can be of assistance here. Ask, then, What do I want to tell my audience on the basis of my research? Determine one or more points that you think your readers, hearers, viewers etc.

The structure of your presentation should be fully determined by that purpose. You do not need to tell your audience everything you have learned.

Here are some things you might choose to do at this point. Sometimes a well-formulated question can be edifying, even if the theologian has no answer. It is good for us to learn what is mysterious, what is beyond our comprehension. Show their similarities and differences. Add something to their teaching that you think is important. The point, of course, is to be clear on just what you are doing. Before and during your writing, anticipate objections. If you are criticizing Barth, imagine Barth looking over your shoulder, reading your manuscript, giving his reactions.

This point is crucial. A truly self-critical attitude can save you from unclarity and unsound arguments. It will also keep you from arrogance and unwarranted dogmatism—faults common to all theology liberal as well as conservative. In self-criticism the creative use of the theological imagination is tremendously important.

Keep asking such questions as these. A less favorable one? Decide on an audience. Children of a certain age? The audience chosen will have a great effect on the format and style of the presentation. Decide on a format and style.

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How to write a Theology Essay Just in case my students begin to think I’m for dumbing down. [ ]. How to Write a Theological Paper. John M. Frame. There may also be interaction with nonorthodox theology, secular science, politics, economics, philosophy, cultural trends, and the like, by way of contrast, critique, Before and during your writing, anticipate objections. If you are criticizing Barth, imagine Barth looking over your.