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