Hello Patient Readers!
As I mentioned recently, one of my primary tasks this summer is to prepare for my entrance exams. After doing a bit of reading and lots of fiddling with how to best attack all that I need to review and learn this summer, I want to try something new here at ST. Roughly seventy questions have been sent to me to aid in my preparation, all of which I should be able to answer to sufficiently demonstrate a “Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree level” response. I am going to attempt to use these question to create a “Compendium of Christian Thought.”
Obviously, attempting to create a Compendium of Christian Thought (hereafter CCH) often veils as much as clarifies, and this will be no different in this case. First, due to the genre of theoblogging and the amount of material I have to work through, all my posts will aim for 800-1000 words in length*, which will help capture the salient features or sufficiently inventory the main themes under discussion in each post. While this will make for helpful cheat sheets for me to look back on (for this fall and for hopefully longer than that), no doubt I will leave aside certain issues or reject certain positions others would deem vital and true. To this I say: convince me! You really might be right, and the discussion will be helpful for me. My hope is that while the CCH will of course be primarily my creation, it will also be one shaped by others who visit here. My one special guideline in this vein is this: if you want to argue a point with me, please be able to make some mention of any specific sources you’re drawing on, even if by memory. This way I can briefly review those too, either way helping my preparation and keeping above reproach as it relates to integrity issues on my actual exams. Sustained reflection without mention of sources won’t be responded to and likely will be deleted-this makes it less tempting to cheat, even if by accident :).
Second, certain editorial decisions are unavoidable. In particular, certain fields and thinkers will be excluded since they are outside the focus of my exams. In a similar vein, some questions encourage choosing a particular subtopic or particular thinker(s) to write on out of numerous options. Here more than anywhere my distinctive interests and concerns will be evident. Again, if you think there is a more fruitful way to approach the topic convince me, just have sources at hand. Finally, some entries will amount to merely recounting commonly accepted information, while others will be more constructive in nature, depending on the question I’m responding to.
Well, this is probably more than enough by way of introduction. The first post will hopefully be up by late tonight, and be sure to periodically check the CCH page to conveniently access all posts as the summer moves along. I look forward to hearing from you this summer to work on creating a “Master’s in a nutshell!”
*Update 6/25/11: My first post has already made clear how off my initial word count would be. I am going to try to write several (hopefully) smaller posts instead, and see how that goes.