Reflection on the Shape of Theology

Christian doctrine describes and regulates Christian practice so that both are faithful to the good news of Jesus Christ. This course has been showing you all three of these aspects of Christian life and how they are interrelated. In this exercise I want you to explore some of the interrelationships we have not explicitly mentioned in class. My hope is that connecting the dots on your own will help you appreciate the power and coherence of the Christian tradition.

First, briefly describe one of the following doctrines. Honors students must choose a doctrine over which Boyd and Eddy describe a debate within evangelicalism. Others should choose any doctrine from the list below.

The doctrine of God/Trinity;
the doctrine of creation;
the doctrine of humanity in the image of God;
conviction of sin and justification, in both their personal and social dimensions;
the doctrine of election;
the work of the Holy Spirit (pneumatology);
the doctrine of the last things (eschatology);
the Church's participation in the priesthood of Christ;
the Church's participation in the prophethood of Christ;
the unity, holiness, catholicity, or apostolicity of the Church;
the order of salvation (personal and corporate justification
and sanctification);
the doctrine of Scripture.

Second, show how Christology (meaning the doctrine of the person and work of Christ) gives each one its definitive shape for Christians (i.e., how that doctrine "goes through Atlanta"). Those drawing on Boyd and Eddy must also use Christology to comment on or take a position in that debate.

Third, show how the Christian practice of either baptism or Holy Communion (also called the Lord's Supper) relates to that doctrine as an embodiment, symbol, or reflection of its substance.

Throughout the exercise, be sure to appeal explicitly to course materials for your specific points.

Please keep your paper three pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. Focus on Harvey chapter 7. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

(Back to Schedule)