I have on occasion received a question from a student involving the difference between theological reflection and critical thinking. I require both of these scholarly disciplines to be demonstrated in a student’s research paper. I shared the following with my students today and thought it might be helpful to others:
Theological reflection locates the intersecting point of the presenting issue and Christian faith.
Critical thinking summarizes the lessons or the variables of theological reflection and applies these insights to an area of practical need or importance to the Church.
So, think about something that has happened in your life today, a “presenting issue.” Locate God in the midst of that issue. Then, as you see clearly what God’s Word has to say about the issue, summarize your findings. Now, you are prepared to apply your new insight to another area of your life or to help someone else.
Such an approach to the complicated issues that come before us may prove to be of help and if so then my little posting here will have been worth it.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.