Christian Thought

Christian Thought Paper Students will write a 10 page (no longer than 12) final Christian Thought Paper that will culminate their learning in TH250. This research paper will focus upon a theological topic of the student’s choosing (e.g. the social Trinity, historic premillennialism, limited atonement, total depravity, theistic evolution, entire sanctification, etc.) and will implement a Wesleyan theological method (Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience). This paper is worth 35% of the final grade and is due the last day of the course (Friday, December 9 by 11:59pm EST). A rough draft will be due at the end of Unit 2 (Sunday, November 13 by 11:59pm) and will constitute 10% of the paper’s grade. Concerning style, students must use SBL, Chicago, or MLA (with footnote citation); no APA. Papers must be at the college level: proper grammar, spelling, and style. Points will be deducted for every writing error. Late papers will be penalized one letter grade for every day late. Plagiarism will result in a ‘0’ for the paper. THE STRUCTURE OF THE PAPER Students must follow the proposed paper outline structure and headings below. Deviations from this will result in a significant lowering of the final grade. I. Introduction – 1 page a. Here students will first introduce the theological topic that they have chosen to research. This will include a definition of the theology and the possible controversial (historical development) issues related to it. b. Then they will provide a brief outline of the rest of their paper as a segue into the major sections of the paper. c. Finally, they will briefly state their thesis (i.e. the conclusion from their research). II. Biblical Foundations (Scripture) – 2 pages a. Here students will provide the biblical foundations for this theology. b. Students should discuss the Scripture texts in Dorman on this topic. c. Students must also find other Scripture texts outside of Dorman on this topic. d. Students must avoid merely quoting Scripture without interpreting it, that is, they should summarize what they think this Scripture text means theologically. III. Historical Development (Tradition) – 2 pages a. Here students will survey the development of this theology in an historically chronological fashion. This survey must cover the whole historical development of the doctrine in a broad manner, from the early church until today, and mention the key historical theologians and debates concerning this theology. b. Make sure you cover key theologians throughout the whole breadth of church history: Irenaeus, Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Barth, C. S. Lewis, and contemporary theologians. Cover as many as possible. You MUST discuss John Wesley’s view and contribution to the theology. IV. Critical Assessment (Reason) – 2 pages a. Here students will critically assess this theology (Does it align with Scripture?) and its historical development (Which parts of the tradition align with Scripture? Which don’t? What historical factors might explain this?). V. Theological Integration (Experience) – 2 pages a. Here students will describe one brief and specific personal experience of this theology, if any. For example, if the topic is Regeneration and the student has experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit and new life from Christ, he or she should briefly share this, how it happened, etc. b. If the student has not personally experienced the doctrine, they should discuss how their own personal experience of the world informs this theology. c. Secondly, the student must specifically apply this theology to their life/ministry/career by explaining how this theology affects their everyday life both now and forever (lifelong learning). VI. Conclusion – 1 page a. To end, students will recap the major points of their paper and wrap up their final thoughts in a summative and conclusive manner. VII. Bibliography – not included in the page count a. Here students must provide a bibliography of sources which they actually cited in the paper. As a rule of thumb, there should be at least 1 source cited for every page written. So then, since this is a 10-page paper, students should use a minimum of 10 secondary sources (not including Scripture and Dorman [though you still need to cite Dorman and the Bible translation that you are using]). THE ROUGH DRAFT Students will turn in a “rough draft” of the final Christian Thought Paper as a PDF file via email to the professor by the end of Unit 2 (Sunday, November 13 by 11:59pm EST). This “rough draft” must include the following: 1. Identification of the theological topic a. That is, any theological topic in Dorman. If a student wishes to write on a theological topic not discussed in Dorman, he or she must acquire approval from the professor first. 2. A working bibliography a. Students must find at least 5 secondary sources (half) for their rough draft (and remember: Scripture and Dorman do not count toward this number). b. This does not mean that all these secondary sources need to be read by the time the rough draft is due; just found and cited. 3. A rough outline a. Using the structure of the paper required above, provide a couple sentences describing your initial thoughts concerning (1) Biblical Foundations, (2) Historical Development, (3) Critical Assessment, and (4) Theological Integration. b. This does not need to be long or eloquent. Just a simple outline with a few ideas in place (show me that you’ve been thinking about this). Christian Thought Paper Rubric Rough Draft 10% Biblical Foundations 20% Historical Development 20% Critical Assessment 20% Theological Integration 20% 10 Secondary Sources 10% Total 100%