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How to Write a Theological Position Paper

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    How to Write a Theological Position Paper

    • 1). Pick an issue. As with any position paper, a theological position paper must start by selecting a specific issue. To maintain the relevance of your paper, pick an issue that is relevant to contemporary life.

    • 2). Take a stance on the issue you have selected. Every position paper must include a statement in which you directly assert your opinion on the issue. It is this sentence or group of sentences that is the foundation for the remainder of your paper. This stance is generally taken in the introduction of a paper. In addition to taking a stance in the introduction, it is important to acknowledge the other side of an argument in a way that is not belittling.

    • 3). Support your stance. For a theological argument to hold validity, it must be grounded and tied to scripture. Every argument that is based solely on philosophy or historical inquiry lacks the punch that could be delivered by tying it to specific biblical texts. The danger in such an approach is avoiding proof-texting, which is selecting texts from the Bible and using them to support an argument without paying careful attention to the context of a passage. If your theological stance is grounded in proof texts, it will easily be dissectible. In addition to basing your argument on the scripture, your argument will gain nice momentum if it can be linked to other theological works on the subject. This will form the body of your paper.

    • 4). Evaluate the ramifications and practical implications of your stance. Making a theological argument relevant to your reader's historical moment can make it incredibly meaningful for the reader. Properly done theology does not solely inform someone's spiritual or mental practice, it should have direct impact how a life is lived. Since the Bible, the foundation for well-constructed theological argument, is several thousand years old, it is important to modernize an argument lest it loses its revelatory edge. This section would be a great way to conclude a theological position paper.

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