How to Write a Theological Paper

John Frame and P&R Publishing have kindly granted me permission to post Professor Frame’s ‘How to Write a Theological Paper’ on my website. This short article appears as Appendix F in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (P&R, 1987). It should be required reading for every seminary student!

The article makes a few references to other sections of DKG, and is best read in the context of the whole book, but it can still be read as a standalone article to great profit.

5 thoughts on “How to Write a Theological Paper”

  1. …it is good to have at your fingertips the standard arguments for infant baptism, for example.

    LOL. ;)

    With a scriptural text as a source, of course, the evaluation should always be positive.” I can see what F. is getting at, of course, but I can think of cases where this doesn’t quite capture it — Job’s friends? some narratives? the odd psalm?

    Interesting, too, to see where computers can be especially helpful. (!) 1987, hmm… I was using an Apple //c at that point!

    David Reimer

  2. Thanks for the comments, David.

    Yes, I agree that the second statement needs to be nuanced a bit, even though the basic point is clear enough. I’m sure Frame would concur. In essence, we need to distinguish what the scriptural text says (which is always good, true, etc.) from what is said in the scriptural text (which may not always be good, true, etc.).

    Which ‘odd’ psalms did you have in mind, BTW? The imprecatory ones?

  3. Thanks for this James, it will come in useful for whenever I get the chance do to some correspondance studying!

    Thought you might be interested to know I started a new blog at Christmas. I’m reading and blogging Calvin’s Institutes all through 2009. I’ve been wanting to read it for ages but not got round to it, and when I realised 2009 is the 500th anniversary of his birth I knew it was now or never. If you want to you can check it out at:
    Every blessing for 2009,

  4. Great to hear from you, Martyn! Thanks for the heads-up on your blog. I’ll be re-reading ICR again this year, but since my copy is currently floating across the Atlantic (on a boat, I hope) I’ll have to wait a few weeks before I can begin.

  5. Also, I just saw on Colin’s blog that you’re off to RTS, wow! What will you be teaching? I’m really pleased for you as I’m sure you’ve been working towards this position for a long time. I’ve been listenning to RTS on iTunes for the past year now and the teaching is very good.

    Please pass on my best to Catriona and the children and all the best for your trip & your future teaching role!
    Enjoy the States.

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