- Published: November 14, 2022
- Updated: November 14, 2022
- University / College: Temple University
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How to Think Theologically (HTTT) chapters 2, 3 Affiliation How to Think Theologically (HTTT) chapters 2, 3 Theology as Interpreting
Definition of terms
Q1. Hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge dealing with the interpretation of texts. Viewpoint, on the other hand, means one’s opinion of a given theological context. Seemingly, Christology is the branch of theology concerned with the nature and role of Christ (Stone and Duke, 2013). Consequently, pneumatology is the branch of theology concerned with the Holy Spirit. As for anthropology, it implies the comparative study of humanity. Coming to Soteriology, it means the doctrine of salvation. The term ecclesiology deals with theology’s application to the nature and structure of the church. Lastly, eschatology is the theological branch concerned with death, judgement and eventual destiny of humankind and his soul.
Q2. At times, two different people read a similar section of the Bible but end up having entirely different interpretations of the same. For instance, someone reading the book of Job can have his interpretation that temptation comes from God (Stone and Duke, 2013). This is in relation with God’s acceptance to have his servant Job tempted. Another would view it different and conclude that temptations are Satanic in nature as the whole idea of bringing calamities upon Job came from Satan. This happens because different Christians have varied theological backgrounds depending on how they were made to understand the bible right from Childhood.
Theology as Correlating
Q3. Correlation of different ideas involves bringing of two distinct ones together. For several years, this has been done by Christians in the journey of spiritual growth. As such, they tend to harmonize theology as a subject with their daily encounters. This helps Christians to carry out their ordinary lives basing on how they understand the Bible.
Theology as Assessment
Q4. Offering an evaluation of the rationale and trustworthiness of a belief entails deliberating on multiple conflicting issues. Thus, it helps in understanding of the Christian faith when initial perceptions of the same no longer seem tenable enough (Stone and Duke, 2013). Christians do this when seeking clarity on varied Christian concepts. Consequently, people weigh the available options alongside the merits of taking a particular direction. This is essential in the deeper understanding of the scriptures. In taking considerations, four of the most common tests of adequacy are often involved; Christian appropriateness, intelligibility, moral integrity and validity. Christian relevance involves the assessment of theology with regards to its faithfulness to the Christian message. Intelligibility, on the other hand, is concerned with theology being sensible enough to Christians coupled with logical consistency. As of moral integrity, theological views are assessed in terms of their ethical standards.
Q5. Lastly, validity in theological assessment is concerned with truth, credibility and reality of theological beliefs and ideas. Individuals are made to understand this is the most difficult task faced by theologians. This comes in when a given theological view is in conflict with what the Christians have ideally accepted as the truth. Individuals typically find it difficult explaining why a given theological view is valid as some are bound to make certain inclusions that contradict what people already believe to be the truth.
Resources of Theological Thinking
Q1. Christians’ religious viewpoint functions as a template. As such, theological template helps Christians engaging in theological reflections to organize the data of life. Through this, they can have a better view of the world (Stone and Duke, 2013). Consequently, they can interpret, correlate and assess a number of things in relation to faith in Christian’s message of God.
Q2. In their book, Stone and Duke suggest four resources essential in thinking about Christian faith and Life. These include scripture, tradition, reason and experience. Scripture is valuable in assessing Christianity as a history-based religion as all that is known about this religion’s origin is recorded in the New Testament books.
Q3. The resources of tradition on the other hand guard against being caught up in the implicit theologies of present culture or being blown by the latest wind of doctrine. Reason as a theological resource becomes useful when taking care of how people think about things. The role of experience as a resource can’t also be underestimated as the life of faith itself is a matter of experiencing. More focus is bestowed on experience as a resource (Stone and Duke, 2013). This is supported by suggestions that theology has experiential roots, and first-hand experience contributes to understanding of faith. In reality, these resources work side by side in understanding Christian faith and life as they are used in relation to one another.
Q4. Understanding certain theological terms also become handy in grasping the whole idea of theological thought. One such term is exegesis meaning critical interpretation of the scripture. The other one is eisegesis which implies one’s own imposed interpretation of the scripture without taking into consideration the contextual meaning. There is also Biblical hermeneutics concerned with the interpretation of the bible texts. Finally, there is proof-texting involving the citation of proofs from reliable sources like the bible in support of evidence.
Stone, H. W and Duke, O. J. (2013). How to Think Theologically. New York: Fortress Press
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