An Approach to Doing Theology (Part 2)

24 Mar

There are PLENTY of examples of poor theological method, many professing to be “Evangelical”!  How ought we to “do” theology?  What should be the STEPS we use in researching theological topics?

One of my favorite courses to teach this semester is entitled “Theological Methods and Issues.”  This upper-level seminary course has thirteen students who are presenting two papers each on topics they have chosen.  [Several of our previous blogs referred to one student’s study of “A Theology of Risk”].

We have already looked at STEP #1 entitled STATING THE TOPIC. We are to clearly identify the underlying issue, then state the topic which we are addressing.

STEP #2 really involves FRAMING THE QUESTION which leads to a process of inquiry.   If one wanted to study the issue of God’s glory, for example, he or she might state the question as follows:  “What Is Meant by the Term ‘the Glory of God’ in the Pentateuch?”  [One of the toughest challenges in theological research is narrowing the topic down to a manageable size!].

I am greatly helped here by the theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes.  Here the two of them are discussing a profound theological question:


1.  For those of you have read Rob Bell’s Love Wins, how does Bell misuse questions in his dismissal of the doctrine of eternal lostness?

2.  Why don’t more preachers and teachers use Calvin and Hobbes’ cartoons in their preaching and teaching?


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3 responses to “An Approach to Doing Theology (Part 2)

  1. duanemiller

    October 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Great material. Thank you.

    • Dr. Larry Dixon

      October 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you! I hope you’ll continue to read my blog! Blessings. Dr. D.

      • duanemiller

        October 5, 2020 at 1:59 pm

        Thanks Dr. Dixon. I sent an e-mail to you from my seminary e-mail. If you did not receive it please get in touch with me at Duane [dot] miller [at] Ftuebe [dot] es. I’m interested in using some of this material in my the class on OT Theology I’m teaching to our fourth year students here in Spain.


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