Reflection on a Theology of God in Light of Others
This course seeks to train us to remain centered on God as revealed definitively in Jesus Christ (so especially Barth, WCC, and Thompson so far), open to ways we might understand that definitive revelation better than we do now (so especially Newbigin and the Oxford Companion), and equipped to train others in the same knowledge (so especially Seamands). Some practice may help us meet all three of these goals.

Choose someone you know, preferably someone in your congregation, and interview him or her about his or her understanding of God. The person does not need to be a believer (whatever you take that to mean). Compare and contrast that person's understanding of God with the understanding of God you are getting from this course. How do these images compare? coincide? complement? contradict? In your comparison, make sure you draw substantively on the course materials as they are relevant.

Now evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of that person's image of God. (Note well: you are not quizzing every point of Christian doctrine, but focusing on God.) (Note also that this part of the assignment does not demand that you treat the course materials as normative, though I do expect you to interact with them explicitly.)

Finally, describe the steps you might take in response to what you have learned. (Correct? ordain? counsel?) Here consider both Newbigin's account of cross-cultural mission — every new encounter with someone else is like one — and Seamands' account of Christian service.

Note that this assignment has three aspects: description, discernment, and response. You can mix them together in your essay, but you need to do all three clearly enough that your readers can tell, or you will not have fulfilled the assignment.

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. (Try not to use as many parenthetical constructions when you write as I do.)

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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