Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

“What Is the Best Method for Studying Theology?” (Part 5)

After a hiatus, here’s the next bit of Chytraeus on the best method for studying theology. He advocates a dialectical method of teaching, and also recommends that students engage in rhetorical exercise first in order to understand and discriminate among arguments, and second because it is essential for dogmatic exposition. Rhetoric is necessary both for internal judgment and for clear speaking.

4. Dialectica Methodo in discenda & docenda coelesti doctrina & refutandis veritatis corruptelis opus est.

5. Disputationum & declamationum exercitia suscipienda sunt, quae & iudicium de veris sententiis confirmant & acuunt, & facultatem propriae & perspicuae orationis, ad explicationem dogmatum necessariae, pariunt.

4. There is need for a dialectical method in learning and teaching heavenly doctrine and refuting the corruptions of the truth.

5. Exercises in disputation and declamation must be undertaken, which both strengthen and sharpen one’s judgment concerning true opinions and produce the ability for proper and clear speaking, which is necessary for the exposition of dogma.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.