Developments in Christian Thought exam questions

Past paper questions

2019 (AS and A Level)

  • Critically discuss Jesus’ parable of The Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31–46).
  • ‘Jesus’ miracles demonstrate that he was the Son of God.’ Discuss.
  • Assess the view that Bonhoeffer’s theology puts too much emphasis on suffering.
  • ‘Humans have an innate knowledge of God.’ Discuss.
  • Discuss the view that the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell.
  • ‘Inter-faith dialogue strengthens Christian communities.’ Discuss.
  • ‘For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is head of the church.’ (Ephesian 5:23)  Critically assess this teaching for 21st century family life.

2018 (AS and A Level)

  • Critically assess the significance of Augustine’s teaching on human relationships before the Fall.
  • ‘The most important source for Christian ethics is Church teaching.’ Discuss.
  • To what extent is faith the only means of knowing God?
  • ‘Bonhoeffer’s theology is still relevant today.’ Discuss.
  • To what extent was Jesus merely a political liberator?
  • Assess the view that Mary Daly’s theology proves that Christianity is sexist.
  • ‘Secularism does not pose a threat to Christianity.’ Discuss.

Other possible questions

  1. “Both Augustine’s interpretation of the Fall and his doctrine of Original Sin are simply wrong!” Discuss
  2. Critically assess the view that if Augustine is right, humans can never be morally good. [40]
  3. Augustine’s view of human nature is an optimistic one. Discuss this claim. [40]
  4. Is there a distinctive human nature? [40]
  5. Is it possible to discuss when God’s judgement will take place meaningfully? [40]
  6. Could hell be eternal? Discuss. [40]
  7. “Heaven is the transformation and perfection of the whole of creation” Discuss [40]
  8. Is purgatory a state through which everyone goes? [40]
  9. To what extent can God can be known through reason alone? [40]
  10. Faith is sufficient reason for itself. Critically evaluate this claim. [40]
  11. To what extent can human beings have natural knowledge of God after the Fall? [40]
  12. Is natural knowledge of God the same as revealed knowledge of God? [40]
  13. Is it wrong to trust in God, when we have no evidence of His existence? [40]
  14. Jesus was only a teacher of wisdom! Discuss [40]
  15. Was Jesus was more than just a political liberator? [40]
  16. Was Jesus’ relationship with God truly unique? [40]
  17. Did Jesus think he was divine? Discuss. [40]
  18. To what extent are Christian ethics distinctive? [40]
  19. Are Christian ethics are personal or communal? [40]
  20. To what extent is acting with love sufficient to live a good life? [40]
  21. Is the Bible is a comprehensive moral guide? [40]
  22. Critically evaluate the view that Christians should not practise civil disobedience. [40]
  23. Is it always possible always to know God’s will? [40]
  24. Critically evaluate Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s approach to suffering. [40]
  25. To what extent has Bonhoeffer’s theology relevance today? [40]
  26. If Christ is the ‘truth’, can there be any other means of salvation? [40]
  27. “A good God could not send anybody to hell!” Discuss.
  28. Will all good people be saved?
  29. To what extent does theological pluralism undermine central Christian beliefs?
  30. Can a Christian be a theological pluralist? [40]
  31. Inter-faith dialogue has not contributed practically towards social cohesion. Evaluate this claim. [40]
  32. Should Christians seek to convert people from other faiths?
  33. Christians should try to convert atheists. Discuss. [40]
  34. To what extent does scriptural reasoning relativise religious beliefs? [40]
  35. The Church cannot change to reflect secular views of gender. Discuss [40]
  36. To what extent have secular views of gender equality undermined Christian gender roles? [40]
  37. Is motherhood is liberating or restricting? [40]
  38. To what extent is the idea of family entirely culturally determined? [40]
  39. Critically compare Ruether’s and Daly’s approaches to sexism and patriarchy within Christianity, as it has developed in the mainstream Churches. [40]
  40. Has Christianity a future? [40]
  41. Christianity is essentially sexist! [40]
  42. If God is male, then man is God! Discuss [40]
  43. Can a male saviour save women? [40]
  44. Critically assess the view that only women can develop a genuine spirituality. [40]
  45. Can God be mother? [40]
  46. Are Christian values just human values? [40]
  47. “Christianity is a major cause of personal and social problems!” Discuss this claim. [40]
  48. “Secularism presents an opportunity for the Church to develop new doctrines and practices.” Critically evaluate this idea. [40]
  49. Should Christianity continue to play a role in public life within the UK? [40]
  50. Are British values actually Christian values? Should they be? [40]
  51. To what extent should Christian theology engage with atheist secular ideologies?
  52. Assess the view that Christianity tackles social issues more effectively than Marxism. [40]
  53. Liberation theology has not engaged with Marxism fully enough! Discuss. [40]
  54. Critically assess the view that since Christians should not show favouritism, it is wrong to offer a preferential option for the poor. [40]

with thanks to Charlotte Vardy for many of these questions