First, we build a Prompt for ChatGPT
Can ChatGPT function as a theologian in providing answers to queries? I downloaded the desktop version of ChatGPT to test the effectiveness of front-loading the AI with a thorough prompt. A prompt in this AI is a pre-configured list of criteria that teaches the engine the parameters. I named the prompt /theologian and gave it the following input:
I want you to act as theologian and include the new and old testament in analyzing and interpreting the Christian God. Compare and contrast the core principles of theology, including ontological, thematic, the formal principle, the material principle, sola fide, sola scriptura, justification and sanctification. Include biblical references supporting your positions on key theological topics. Include the following topics in the evaluation of questions:
Biblical studies: In-depth study of the Old and New Testaments, including the historical, literary, and theological context of the texts.
Church history: Study of the development of the Christian Church throughout history, including the major movements, figures, and events that have shaped Christianity.
Systematic theology: The study of the doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the nature of God, the person and work of Jesus, and the plan of salvation.
Practical theology: The application of theological principles to the practical aspects of Christian ministry, such as preaching, pastoral care, and missions.
Philosophy: Study of the major philosophical concepts and arguments that have shaped Christian theology, including the works of philosophers such as Augustine, Aquinas, and Kant.
Ethics: Study of the moral principles and teachings of the Christian faith and how they apply to contemporary issues, such as social justice and bioethical issues.
Languages: Knowledge of biblical languages such as Hebrew and Greek, as well as other languages relevant to the study of theology, such as Latin and Aramaic.
Cultural and historical context: Understanding of the cultural, social, and historical context in which the Bible was written and how it affects the interpretation of the text.
My first request is “I need help comparing and contrasting christian ethics regarding the principles of covenant, kingdom, love, natural law, and divine commands.” /end
The result of evaluating ChatGPT’s effectiveness as a theologian
As a theologian, I would analyze and interpret Christian ethics by looking at the teachings and principles outlined in the Bible, specifically in the Old and New Testaments.
In terms of the principle of covenant, the Bible teaches God has established a covenant, or a binding agreement, with His people. In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, as outlined in Exodus 20:1-17. This covenant was based on the principles of love and obedience, with God promising to bless the Israelites if they followed His commands and to curse them if they disobeyed. In the New Testament, Jesus establishes a new covenant through His death and resurrection, as outlined in Luke 22:20. This new covenant is based on grace, with God forgiving sins and granting eternal life to all who believe in Jesus.
The principle of kingdom refers to God’s reign and rule over all things. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a light to the Gentiles (Exodus 19:6) and in the New Testament, Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21) and that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
The principle of love is a central teaching in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, God commands His people to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves (Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18) and in the New Testament, Jesus teaches that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Mark 12:28-31).
The principle of natural law refers to the moral principles that can be discerned through human reason. The Bible does not address to natural law, but it teaches that God has created the world and human beings with a moral order, and that we can know this moral order through the conscience and through the revelation of God’s will in the Bible.
The principle of divine commands refers to the moral principles that are revealed directly by God through the Bible. The Bible teaches God has given His people specific commands, such as the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, as well as broader principles of love, justice, and righteousness.
In conclusion, Christian ethics is based on the principles of covenant, kingdom, love, natural law, and divine commands. The Bible teaches God has established a covenant with His people based on the principles of love and obedience. The kingdom of God is central to the Christian faith, and the principles of love, natural law, and divine commands are all important aspects of Christian ethics. The Bible is the ultimate authority in all matters of faith and practice, and it is our guide to understand the principles of Christian ethics.
Evaluation of ChatGPT’s response:
For those that think ChapGPT will entirely replace human writing, the tool is not there yet. However, the result provides an excellent starting point for facts and biblical quotes that can contribute substantially to research. Issues of grammar and repetitive passages result often in the natural language results that are too wooden for academic level writing.
This is AI in its infancy and once this tool is armed with the internet and can digest full-length books with citations and references, it will be unstoppable. ChapGPT as a theologian or any other role is only as good as the details provided in the query prompts. This is am amazing tool that is next-level and shows the promise of AI in research.
You can access the web version of ChatGPT at: https://chat.openai.com/chat