While I disagree with portions of the book now, Newbigin’s thought and work remains deeply influential.”, Jerome Creach The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective by Terence Fretheim. CT asked publishers which theology and biblical studies books they were most excited to publish this year. Systematic Theology, by … Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen’s The Drama of Scripture: Bartholomew and Goheen have given us a fine introduction to biblical theology, organized around the biblical narrative in six plot movements. Athanasius’ On the Incarnation: In this book, Athanasius argues that the Son was begotten and not made, and therefore is of one substance with the Father, and which is “perhaps the single most important statement made in the history of Christian thought” (Widdicombe). “As I am working on creation themes in Scripture and the intersection between science and theology, I keep remembering how important John Polkinghorne’s book “The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker” has been for my own theology and biblical study. Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (1679-1685). In Review: Scripture, Creed, Theology, by Robert L. Calhoun, edited and with an introduction by George A. Lindbeck. It was written in his retirement and pulls together material he has published over the years. student, and I still am today.”, Ron Cole-Turner The Crucified God by Jürgen Moltmann. : Schaeffer was a towering figure in the 20th century evangelical world. A classic Puritan exposition of Christian theology and ethics, highly edifying and practical. Thomas Oden’s Classic Christianity: Oden is a Methodist theologian who brings to bear a wealth of historical theology upon his systematic. “One of the influential books for me early in my theological education was Newbigin’s ‘The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.’ I read this book when I began my M.Div. If ever in history there were a non-event, this is it: my top 25 (or so) books for a young theologian to own (and read). For it is the Gospels that testify to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation we read of the implications and future hope of the gospel for the church. But I still recommend the book because he does a fine job of historical theology, mediating the Roman tradition. Michael Goheen & Craig Bartholomew’s Living at the Crossroads: This slim volume is an excellent one-stop worldview text. I guess my question would be, if you truly want to bring a well-rounded young theologian to the table, where are the books by the women? Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae: This book is perhaps the most enduringly influential text in Christian history, apart from the Bible. Books. First of all, though, if you somehow missed David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite (Eerdmans, 2003), then you should skip all these other books and start with that one – it will almost certainly prove to be the most important theological work of the decade. This in turn convinced me that as a theologian I would also need to be the best amateur Bible scholar I could be.”, John Burgess Calvin’s Institutes by John Calvin. “This easy to read autobiographical statement by Skinner outlines his transformation from mid-20th century Harlem gang leader to path breaking urban street evangelist, racial justice activist, and church critic. Now they want to read the most important books in theology that were written during that time. Pastoral in nature, very accessible for the young theologian. John Calvin’s Institutes: Calvin’s Institutes is an enduringly influential text, easy to read, and pastoral in nature. “I read it right when it appeared in 1997, and as a budding theologian with a deep interest in Christology it brought home to me that if Jesus is truly whom we confess him to be, God *incarnate*, I would have to take serious that in him God became a first-century Jew – and I would have to understand what that meant. Global Theology: The young theologian would do well to read theology written in other contexts. “In some ways Theology of Hope was the first book to awaken my theological quest when I was a theology student in Edinburgh in 1972. He defined the doctrine of justification by faith alone clearer than any had before him. A. H. Strong’s Systematic Theology: Another classic Baptist theology. The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction). Richard Tarnas’ The Passion of the Western Mind: Tarnas’ book is perhaps the best one-stop intellectual history describing the development of the Western mind. 4 Pt. After 10 years, you’ll be better read than most college professors. His sections on the 10 Commandments, the Christian life, and the sacraments have shaped my theology decisively.”. Hedgehogs know one big thing; foxes know many little things. David Esterline Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell. These works are some of the most influential books because they began or at least represent the beginning of entire movements and schools of thought in the fields of science, math, and geography. The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived. Three Towering Theologians in Baptist History. Erickson is a top-shelf mind who has put in the hard work to give us a theology that arises from the Scriptures and is conversant with historical and philosophical theology. Martin Luther- Martin Luther was of course the father of the Protestant reformation, one of the most important events in the history of the church (and the world in general). Where are the books by non-White middle class men? It explains the sacramental nature of the world, and is essential for anyone interested in ministry. The load speed of each individual book depends on the size of the book file as well as your computer and connection speed. Never miss a post! Another option is Irenaeus’ Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. Johnson and Coe are not prejudiced; they are equal opportunity offenders and nobody gets off un-teased. ecclesiology), Our Reasonable Faith is a lucid and compelling account of the Christian faith. Learn more about the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty members and their areas of research of writing. C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity: This book is theological dynamite, one of the most popular introductions to the Christian faith ever written, and was voted by Christianity Today the best book of the 20th century. John Wesley's heart was "strangely warmed" while listening to Luther's commentary on Romans being read. Nine Towering Theologians in Church History. 42-page PDF sample. Do not read it in bed. This was the textbook at Old Princeton … In other words, I would have to learn interpreting Jesus both in terms of the church’s creeds and in terms of his very particular historical context, and I would have to learn to see these are not opposites, but imply one another. Books. “For the Life of the World speaks about the nature of the human being as a creature made to worship and give thanks. “One of the influential books for me early in my theological education was Newbigin’s ‘The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.’ I read this book when I began my M.Div. Also, a bonus: Luther’s Table Talk is a riotously good read; it is a selection of recollections of Luther’s informal comments about numerous topics, theological and otherwise. — D. A. Carson, editor, NIV Zondervan Study Bible (Zondervan). Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by e-mail. “‘Stations of the Heart’ offers a beautiful (and heart-wrenching) account of his adult son’s life and witness of faith in the days and months before his death from cancer at age 33. Romans is certainly important though. Its strength lies in its ability to immerse the young theologian in the great theological conversation stretching over the past 2,000 years. John Stott’s The Cross of Christ: Like Packer’s book above, Stott’s The Cross of Christ is a powerful pastoral treatment of the cross, in which Stott teaches the doctrine of the atonement and applies to Christian life, worship, and mission. In the midst of his battle with the Arians, he employed a theological and apologetic method included biblical exegesis, historical arguments, logical deduction, and the use of available philosophical terms and categories. The first time reader will want to buy an abridged version, such as Summa of the Summa, edited by Peter Kreeft. Irenaeus’ Against the Heresies: In this book and other … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I started out aiming to provide 25 recommendations, but ended up exceeding my own limit. There is only one book on the list with God as its author. He’s an Opus Dei priest and fellow book-lover, and he’s put together … Best Catholic Books of All-Time Read More » I was mesmerized by the depth and beauty of Barth’s writing when I was an M.Div. Herman Bavinck’s Our Reasonable Faith: Herman Bavinck’s Our Reasonable Faith is a mini-theology which represents a distillation of his multi-volume Reformed Dogmatics. ethical monism). You may especially enjoy working through this book day by day during the Passion week (this year = April 13–20): [Read more…] about The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived What five titles would you suggest? The new Study Bible from Zondervan … It is a magisterial statement of the faith of the church catholic.”, Edwin van Driel Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. J. I. Packer’s Knowing God: This book is an incisive and powerful pastoral theology, in which Packer unpacks the doctrine of God in a way that will challenge anybody from a teenager to a Ph.D. For a young theologian wanting a model of how to write theology, this is your book. The final option, Church Dogmatics, is the best option, but is wickedly difficult to read because Barth unfolds his arguments slowly and circuitously, rather than in a straightforward and linear fashion. J. L. Dagg’s Manual of Theology and Manual of Church Order: Classic Southern Baptist systematic theology. Over the past two decades, books such as Samuel Huntingdon’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Robert Kaplan’s The Ends of the Earth, and Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat have served this purpose. A better option is to read Evangelical Theology, which shows his more mature thought, but unfortunately it is not a dogmatics text. He is also the author of Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians and One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics. John McCloskey. 1. Second, McBrien is a liberal/revisionist who is excited by many of the radicalisms of the 20th century (he is farther to the left than Sam Donaldson’s part); conservative Catholics don’t prefer him. Augustine was one of the most prolific writers of the ancient world, and one scholar has quipped that anyone claiming to have read all that he wrote is actually a liar 13! “When I read the Institutes, I feel as though I have come home theologically. 2. Augustine’s City of God: Augustine wrote this powerful theological treatise in response to pagan intellectuals who blamed the fall of Rome on Rome’s adoption of Christianity as its official religioin. Wright. Lisher’s text offers a deeply moving theological account of suffering, salvation, grace, and love. We ultimately associate him with this city because it was there that he wrote his most important theological texts. I recommend the abridged version with a foreword by Vernon Bourke. Luther on Vocation. Unfortunately, he elects not to interact with historical and philosophical theology. The best books on OT Theology ranked by scholars, journal reviews, and site users. It provides an example of theological inquiry attentive to context, culture, and congregations. Digging deeply into the long trajectory of Christian history, ‘Carter’s Race: A Theological Account’ challenges readers to consider the entanglement of race and Christianity in modernity. “The book draws attention to divine pathos in the Old Testament – to God’s suffering for, with, and because of humankind – and therefore helps us understand how the Old Testament anticipates the cross of Jesus Christ.”, Angela Hancock Church Dogmatics Vol. Find the best commentary on OT Theology. ** An important theological scholar explores Luther’s teachings about life in the world, including both Luther’s doctrine of vocation and his doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. “By being both Biblical and intensely connected to the present context, this book redefines God for the church today.”, Drew Smith Black and Free by Tom Skinner. Given the fact that charismatic churches are experiencing explosive growth worldwide, the young theologian is well-served to pay close attention. As a Catholic bibliophile I’m always hunting for the next must-read book. Nine Towering Theologians in Church History. There are many great books on this list. The Christian Faith reflects his mature thought, is not at all brief, and is a bit easier to read. Finally, the fourth gospel. Probably the most important non-theological new book I read this year, as I explained in August: “In Isaiah Berlin’s famous dictum, the world is made up of hedgehogs and foxes. James Hal Cone (1938–2018) was an American theologian, best known for his advocacy of black theology and black liberation theology.His 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power provided a new way to comprehensively define the distinctiveness of theology in the black church. Gustav Wingren. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014. It may have been the first book I read that gave me a clear theological vision for mission and ministry in our modern (or post-modern) context. For young theologians who want to read something readily comprehensible, one option is Dogmatics in Outline, but the problem is that this shows Barth’s early and unseasoned thought. In particular, he has been influential in urging theologians to draw upon the church fathers. I fear that you will doze off (that’s a reasonable fear, I assure you) in mid-sentence and be crushed to death. Lewis. This book is based on his 1993-1994 Gifford Lectures, which reflected on the Apostle’s Creed through the lens of quantum physics.”, Edith Humphrey For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann and Mere Christianity by C.S. | Pittsburgh Theological Seminary | Bridging the Word and the World | All Rights Reserved |, Ministry and Social Media: 5 tools, 5 minutes each, Inside the PTS Curriculum: Humanity in a Scientific Age, Inside the PTS Curriculum: Pastoral Ministry and Healthcare. Tarnas is not a Christian. as a story about Jesus Christ. In this book, Ruether (a feminist theologian) engages what she sees as the four most pressing issues for contemporary Christians: poverty and oppression; religious intolerance; sexism; and environmental abuse. 1 by Karl Barth. A few "period" pieces also made the list of 90. The narrations have filled me with great joy by offering a glimpse of the power of human and divine relationship. His sentences sometimes last half a page. Irenaeus’ Against the Heresies: In this book and other writings, Irenaeus argues that the heretics’ interpretations go awry precisely because they do not use the apostolic interpretation of Scripture, because they do not set biblical passages within their home environment, the entire canon of Christian Scripture. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me his list of twenty-five books and it “got me to thinkin.” So here’s my list, but before I give the list, allow me to make several comments. Johnson and Coe’s book is a light-hearted satire on all types of Christian theology. Follow us: About us. Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans: Luther’s Romans is a fascinating and slim little volume that arises from the lectures he gave on the book of Romans from 1515 until 1516, as he was coming to a realization of justification by faith. A Body of Practical Divinity by Thomas Watson (1692), reprinted by Banner of Truth in three parts: Body of Divinity, The Ten Commandments, and The Lord's Prayer. Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology: This is perhaps the best concise “historically-informed” systematic theology. This massive summary of Christian learning is one of the most important works of theology in the Western church. Before you get too zealous, make sure that you have read the Bible at least one time. The book distinguishes between the power of narrative in biblical theology and the power of application in systematic theology, but also emphasizes the importance of their collaboration in ministry. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. One might start with Timothy Tennent’s Theology in the Context of World Christianity, which is a systematic theology compendium of essays written by global theologians, or one of Veli-Matti Karkkainen’s multi-volume set (e.g. In Christian theology, justification is God's righteous act of removing the condemnation, guilt, and penalty of sin, by grace, while, at the same time, declaring the ungodly to be righteous, through faith in Christ's atoning sacrifice.. In Review: A review of Defending Constantine. selected by Stanley Hauerwas October 3, 2010 . Written while Cambridge was closed because of the plague, Newton's Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica details the principles of gravity, mechanics, calculus, and light and color. On Religion is his first major publication; it reflects his early thought, is brief, and is relatively difficult to read. Nine Towering Theologians in Church History. Here are the top 4 most important-Theology Proper – The Person, identity, nature, attributes, prerogatives and … In October, seminaries and divinity schools around the country celebrate Theological Libraries Month. Hint: These texts are also great additions to your Amazon Wish List! It is a model of the early church’s persuasoria, it’s way of drawing upon upon human creativity and love, imagination and humor, eloquence and irony, in order to soften hearts and open minds. Discover the best Catholic Theology in Best Sellers. Balthasar Hubmaier’s The Christian Baptism of Believers: Lively treatise on believer’s baptism, written by a man who surely would have become a prolific and powerful theologian had he not been burned at the stake. Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? Haze Motes, the central character in Wise Blood, sets out to be a … reviewed by Stanley Hauerwas October 12, 2010 . Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology: This book by Erickson is the finest Baptist theology of our generation. One of the most important theological books of the 20th century was Karl Barth's Commentary on Romans. This abridged edition of the Institutes provides a readable and inexpensive sampler of Calvin’s greatest work.Lane has condensed the … Martin Luther, Large Catechism , 1529: Organized around the Ten Commandments, Apostle’s Creed, and Lord’s Prayer, along with an extended treatment of the sacraments, this work was created to help churches and families faithfully hand down Christian … A theologian’s library should contain more than a few books written by theologians outside of our “theological family,” so that he can come to the theological roundtable, listening and speaking in an informed and compelling manner. One of the most important safeguards against this danger is an understanding of biblical theology: reading the Bible in light of its main message, culminating in Jesus Christ. I’ve left out numerous wonderful books that fall in other categories (pastoral theology, biblical studies, etc.). Have all new posts delivered straight to your inbox. First, I’ve focused this list mainly on Christian doctrine and systematic theology, and certain other types of books that relate closely to those tasks. Heather Vacek Stations of the Heart by Richard Lischer and Race: A Theological Account by J. Cameron Carter. This is a list of my top five books on Old Testament … In fact, my list begins with (1) nine towering theologians in church history, followed by (2) three towering theologians in Baptist History; (3) ten more books; (4) intellectual history, worldview, and culture; (5) global theology; and (6) theological satire. Mere Christianity, originally a series of radio talks, has shaped my understanding of the Christian faith, especially in the areas of the incarnation, the Trinity, and the atonement.”, Leanna Fuller To Change the World: Christology and Cultural Criticism by Rosemary Radford Ruether. Friedrich Schleiermacher’s On Religion or The Christian Faith: Schleiermacher is the father of modern theology and the fountainhead from which most liberal/revisionist theology flows. Although it is two volumes of substantial prose, every young theologian should read it slowly, carefully, and critically. The main issue I have with Barth is his deficient view of Scripture, which led to a deficient method, which led to some heterodox conclusions (such as his implicit universalism). Although I differ from him in some respects (e.g. To join in the festivities, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty answered the question, “Outside of the Bible, what book has had the most influence on your theology?” Here’s a list of their recommended reading. “This text was my introduction not only to Barth’s theology, but also to his imaginative theological way of interpreting Scripture. *** The key book on vocation with paradigm-shifting insights on every page. THEOLOGY … But with a religious tradition spanning two millennia, thousands of saints, and millions of titles, where to begin? Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton. This book was followed by several more Skinner wrote that spoke with clarity, incisiveness, and conviction into the turbulent social and religious contexts of the 1960s and 1970s. For the reader who wants an accessible introduction, this is probably the best choice. Ken C. Johnson and John H. Coe, Wildlife in the Kingdom Come: This little 126-page book is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read; only a person with a petrified diaphragm could fail to laugh out loud. J. Rodman Williams’ Renewal Theology: This text is a systematic theology from a charismatic perspective. He presents an important call for the reorientation of Christian theology.”, Scott Hagley The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Lesslie Newbigin. The Chronicles of Narnia book. Fourth, I’d like to hear your thoughts about what you would have included that I left out, and maybe what I included that you would have left out. The Dogmatics are rewarding, but not an easy read for the uninitiated. His compassionate and learned apologetic for Christianity finds its fruition in this book, which is an analysis of the decline of Western culture, and a proclamation of the truth of Christianity. Read 10 438 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Best known for his work in ecclesiology (theology… We have included books which do not always prompt agreement, but which are important for evangelical Christians to read and contend with. However, in terms of a book that has sustained and influenced me over the long term, I think I would choose Thomas F. Torrance’s The Christian Doctrine of God: One being Three Persons. Try to read 10 of these books every year—one every 5 weeks. I’ll warn you, however, on two counts: First, this book is nearly 1300 pages. Paul's theology for the first time was fully understood. John Calvin’s Institutes has established itself as “one of the most important theological works ever written,” writes Tony Lane. Nevertheless, the theology context of the Old Testament is necessary for a full understanding of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. For the student who wants lighter fare, try Christmas Eve Dialogue on the Incarnation, a very brief and fascinating book written in the form of a Christmas mini-drama, and which was written during the period in between On Religion and The Christian Faith. What five titles would you suggest? Carl F. H. Henry’s God, Revelation, and Authority: Henry does not quite have the stature of the other eight theologians, but he did provide the most notable evangelical critique of liberal and Barthian theology. Lesslie Newbigin’s Foolishness to the Greeks: Newbigin served for nearly 40 years as a missionary in India, after which he returned to Europe and began asking the question, “What would it mean to confront Western culture with the gospel?” This book is an elegant an incisive distillation of his answer to that question. Reading this book helped me to see that being a faithful Christian doesn’t mean I have to be ‘apolitical.’ In fact, it convinced me that as Christians, our theological commitments are precisely what should motivate us to take action to address the problems we see in the world around us.”, Andrew Purves Theology of Hope by Jürgen Moltmann and The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons by Thomas F. Torrance. Karl Barth’s Evangelical Theology or Church Dogmatics: Any 21st century theologian must reckon with Barth. (The covers of this book are too far apart.) It may have been the first book I read that gave me a clear theological vision for mission and ministry in our modern (or post-modern) context. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. Contemporary Intellectual History, Worldview, & Culture. (Note: The first time I read a volume of the Dogmatics, way back in 1996, I felt like a ferret swimming in a bucket of Codeine ®.). Now they want to read the most important books in theology that were written during that time. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. Book by John Calvin. It is too much beholden to Aristotelian philosophy and as such not tied closely enough to the biblical narrative, but is a must-read for the informed theologian. Third, this list encourages the young theologian not to be a chronological snob (by limiting his reading to recent publications), but instead to read the old books, slowly, patiently, receptively. Irenaeus’ Against the Heresies: In this book and other … This volume includes his account of the incarnation as ‘the way of the Son into the far country.’ Barth reads the story of the prodigal son (or is it the prodigal father!) An alternative book is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Skinner’s writings and ministry continue to serve as an influence upon urban ministry thinking and approaches up through the present, including my own.”, Steve Tuell The Faith of a Physicist by John Polkinghorne. © 2021 | Pittsburgh Theological Seminary | Bridging the Word and the World | All Rights Reserved | PTS.EDU website. Dr. Bruce Ashford serves as Provost and Professor of Theology & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. selected by Willie James Jennings October 3, 2010 . God, Revelation, and Authority is a multi-volume treatise on, um, God, revelation, and authority. An alternative selection is Henry’s The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, in which Henry calls for a new kind of robust evangelical scholarship that engages with the larger world, rejects cultural separatism, engages culture in all of its complexity, and works with a type of theological “triage” in which evangelicals can unify and cooperate despite disagreement on more secondary and tertiary issues. Yves Congar, French Dominican priest who was widely recognized in his lifetime as one of the most important Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Theological Book Review "With characteristic lucidity and insight, Fergus Kerr narrates the story of twentieth-century Catholic theology. Buy here . Augustine and the Book of Scripture. He held a high view of Scripture, but unfortunately held to an exclusively inductive view of theology and to some questionable views on other matters (e.g. Goheen & Bartholomew begin by expounding the Christian worldview as it arises from the biblical narrative, and follow this with an exposition of Western intellectual history, a brief treatment of contextualization, and finally a brief exposition of how to think and live Christianly in various areas of public life (arts, education, sports, etc.). So, grab a cup of hot apple cider and a piece of pumpkin pie and start reading! One place I often turn is a list composed by Fr. It’s critical to know what the “most important” Christian doctrines are, before you can assert that or agree with the statement that Eschatology is not among the most important Christian Doctrines. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Politics & Christian Witness in a Secular Age, The Greatest Challenge Christianity Has Ever Faced, 4 Key Ingredients in a Devotional Reading of Scripture, Why Abraham Kuyper is Relevant to American Public Life (An Interview with Craig Bartholomew), Easter: Why the resurrection is the most important truth in the world, 8 Writers Whose Books Have Shaped Me Spiritually, Tony Dungy, Nick Foles, and the Emerging Trend of Christian-Shaming, 12 Books Every Pastor, Professor, or Student Should Read (about Christianity, Politics, & Public Life). Praying with People Grieving Loss from Suicide, White Privilege in a World Where Black Lives Matter, Pastoral Care and Counseling to Help Families Heal. What’s the Difference Between a DMin and a PhD? (Note: The Summa is not a hot page-turner; it reads like a prolonged excursion into the earnest world of doctoral dissertations.). What a glorious vision of God’s love for humanity in Jesus Christ. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Second, this list includes quite a few books with which I disagree vigorously. “I first read this book in a college seminar on religion and culture, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it profoundly changed the way I understood my faith. Worldview text and Authority and Coe are not prejudiced ; they are opportunity. The Word and the sacraments have shaped my theology decisively. ” brings to bear a wealth of historical theology biblical! Great joy by offering a glimpse of the most important Week of world. An easy read for the Life of the Apostolic Preaching theologian must with! Institutes is an enduringly influential text, easy to read theology written in other contexts “ historically-informed ” theology! Are also great additions to your inbox decisively. ” big thing ; foxes know many little.! 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