Reflection on Your Contested Issue

One of our goals for our majors is that "our graduates will understand the fundamental claims and logic of the Christian faith, appreciate the development of Christian theological traditions over time, and be able to think theologically." I have mentioned that seniors, including seniors in RS, have expressed a kind of paralysis in the face of their exposure to contested theological and historical positions in the Christian faith. I would like you to practice moving from exposure to analysis to informed resolution on a soteriological issue, even if it is only provisional.

You debated a contested theological issue, and you were exposed to a variety of others through Boyd and Eddy's Across the Spectrum. If you are yourself undecided on the issue you debated, you may use it; if not, choose an issue from one of the other chapters we debated on which you do not have a firm, informed stance.

Pursue that issue further by considering the positions as described in the book and other possible positions on that issue. Draw on (a) the material in Boyd and Eddy, (b) our other textbooks (whose material may be relevant only indirectly, but relevant nonetheless), (c) material from other classes you have taken, and perhaps (d) other primary or secondary sources. Make (a)-(c) a priority. Write a 'research report' describing how the material you have found helps develop your thinking on that issue. This part of the assignment can take up all but the last page of your report.

Finally, on the last page, weigh in on your current thinking about the issue. What for instance seems solid? promising? false? problematic? insoluble? It is probably not yet time for you to come to a definitive conclusion. I'm interested in hearing the state of your thinking.

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my suggestions for writing papers.

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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