Religion and Theology

JOURNAL CRITIQUE: GENERAL TOPIC ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
Overview
You will complete 2 Journal Critiques in this course. You will read a peer-reviewed, scholarly
journal article, written within the last 20 years, on a topic covered in this class and write a
critique that is a minimum of 2 full pages and no more than 3.
This Journal Critique is an opportunity for you to critique an article on a topic about which you
may want to address in your Research Paper.
Besides preparing you for the Research Paper, the critique has several purposes:
 To expose you to scholarly journal articles.
 To train you to write with clarity and concision.
 To develop your ability to critically analyze scholarly works.
 To teach you how to properly utilize the Turabian format.
 To improve your technical writing skills (e.g., grammar and syntax).

Instructions
For each critique, find a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal article about 10–20 pages in length that
covers an area in this course. A few peer-reviewed journals are the Journal of the Evangelical
Theological Society, Bibliotheca Sacra, Grace Theological Journal, and the Westminster
Theological Journal. Since magazines (e.g., Christianity Today, Visions, etc.) are not considered
scholarly, they do not contain the appropriate articles to critique. If you need assistance in
locating a peer-reviewed scholarly journal article, please use the Online Student Library Services
website. You may also email the Liberty University Online Librarian at research@liberty.edu for
further information. The following are some topics you may want to consider for your critiques:
 Philosophy of Language
 Existentialism
 Christianity and Culture
 General Revelation
 Special Revelation
 Biblical Authority
 Biblical Inspiration
 Biblical Inerrancy
 The Chicago Statement on Biblical
Inerrancy
 Attributes of God
 Preexistence of God
 Eternal Generation
 Providence of God
 Divine Sovereignty/Free Will
 Predestination/Foreknowledge

 Theodicy/The Problem of Evil
 Doctrine of Creation
 The Doctrine of Angels
 The Image of God in Man
 Total Depravity
 Trichotomy/Dichotomy
 Traducianism
 The Fall of Man
 The Doctrine of Sin

THEO 525

2
Read the article you select and then write a minimum of 2 full pages and no more than 3 pages.
You are expected to read the articles with a critical eye and to interact with the author’s theology
and worldview. Since you are not considered an authority, you must withhold personal
references, opinions, attitudes, and values from the critiquing process. Please follow this
template when writing each critique:
Title Page
Contents Page (Section headings should be as follows: Introduction, Brief Summary, Critical
Interaction, Conclusion, Selected Bibliography, See LU Rawlings School of Divinity
Writing Guide)
The body of your critique includes the following sections:
I. Introduction (2-3 paragraphs)
A. Provide a purpose statement.
B. Provide a brief overview of the paper’s contents.
II. Brief Summary (3-4 paragraphs)
A. Capture the thesis of the article.
B. Share the overall content of the article.
III. Critical Interaction (4-5 paragraphs)
A. The point is not whether you agree with the author’s point of view, but that you
recognize what the author is discussing and what theological issues are at stake.
B. It is important for you to document your assessment of the author throughout. If you
evaluate the author’s opinion, give an example along with an endnote to designate an
outside source where the opinion can be observed.
C. Does the author approach the subject with any presuppositions/or biases?
D. With what theological and biblical perspectives does he/she approach the subject?
E. What is the author’s goal?
F. Has the author developed his/her thesis logically?
G. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s arguments?
H. Did the author prove his/her thesis?
I. What are some applications that arise from this article?
IV. Conclusion (2 paragraphs)
A. This is where you wrap up your work by conveying how well the author achieved
his/her goals. Very briefly summarize your evaluations here.
B. Does the author leave you with any questions? If so, what are they?
Selected Bibliography (on a separate page)

THEO 525

3
The minimum of 2 full pages not to exceed 3-page requirement refers to the Introduction, Brief
Summary, Critical Interaction, and Conclusion sections. It does not include the Cover page,
Contents page, or Selected Bibliography. If your critique exceeds the 3-page requirement for
sections I–IV, your grade will be reduced.
Make sure your critiques are formatted in the following manner:
 Follow Turabian style 1 (as specified in the Turabian manual) for the critique (See the
“LU Rawlings School of Divinity Writing Guide” for preferred Turabian standards).
 Use footnotes to document research statements.
 Use 1” margins all around.
 Make text double-spaced.
 Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
 Indent the 1 st line of a paragraph ½ inch.
 Do not insert any extra lines or additional points between paragraphs.
 Include a cover page, following the Journal Critique Sample Cover Page.
Consult the Journal Article Critique Grading Rubric to see how you will be graded for each
critique. Students typically lose the most points in the Critical Interaction section. For whatever
reason, some students have trouble discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the article.

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