*** (of 5)
The bottom line: A guide that successfully illustrates how to write theology well, but also devotes significant space to the very basics.
Writing Theology Well certainly will equip you with the tools needed to write like a theologian. Writing theologically does not equate to re-inventing the writing wheel, it simply has some basic organizational and structural peculiarities that can be discovered by a cursory review of this book. In short, as a seminarian, theological writing involves a lot of personal reflection and learning how to extract and re-construct ideas from a variety of sources.
The only critique I have of this book is that it assumes you have almost no writing experience and begins to describe the writing process from the ground up. In fact, the entire first section goes into such minutiae as brainstorming, reflecting on a topic, and writing an outline. I think that unless you haven’t had any form of graduate education, or you have no idea how to write at all, then this book will relate a lot of common sense and information that you probably already know. I ended up skipping through what seemed like an inordinate number of pages in order to get to the central point. Also, the cover price in excess of $20 also seemed a bit steep.
Writing Theology Well, I believe, will best serve the audiences of seminarians, theology students, those in full-time ministry, non-fiction Christian authors, and of course, theologians. I would tend to think those in more advanced religious degree programs (e.g. D.Minn) or those doing academic research would need to have this as part of their library. Then again, if you’re not writing for an audience, then there would be little value for you.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal