Earlier this week, I attended a special writing and study skills class for graduate theology students. After the session, I thought I was going to write about all that I learned, but by the time I got around to it, my friend, Keith, beat me to the punch. I’d like to echo his sentiments and add that he is much better at point 3 than I am.
After reading over having a proper mindset again, it becomes pretty obvious how important this is when ever you are communicating anything about God. So for your (or should I say our) benefit:
Dr. Steele’s (slightly edited) Guidelines for a Proper Mindset to Theological Writing.
- Remember that theological writing is a sacred act, a form of intellectual worship. Accordingly it should be undertaken with reverent joy and childlike wonder.
- Remember that you are writing for the sake of learning something about God, not for the sake of proving something about yourself.
- Remember the advice of C.S. Lewis: “You are more likely to be profound if you simply to be clear, than you are to be clear if you try to hard to be profound.” Or to say that another way, you are more likely to be persuasive if you simply try to be accurate, than you are to be accurate if you try to hard to be persuasive. “Theological writing is faith seeking understand,” as St. Anslem said, not ideology seeking adherents. If what you say is clear and accurate, you may trust the Holy Spirit you use it for the Kingdom.