Here are twelve books I recommend to persons who wish to better understand the rise and development of Western thought. Together, the books form a sort of “starter” course. I will describe each book and then rank its level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult. Level 1 is the category for a [ Read More ]
Here are three new books (and an old one) that I am currently reading and evaluating. I recommend them to pastors, professors, students, and others who are interested in exploring the intersection between Christianity, politics, and public life. I will describe each book and then provide a brief-to-the-extreme evaluation of it. Anthony Esolen, Out of [ Read More ]
In the beginning, God created the world as a magnificent unity-in-diversity (Gen 1). As the great theologian Abraham Kuyper noted, our world is characterized by an “infinite diversity” and an “inexhaustible profusion of variations.” He writes, “Where in God’s creation do you encounter life that does not display the unmistakable hallmark of life precisely in [ Read More ]
The Christmas season is inextricably intertwined with Christian missions. Jesus was born in a manger so that one day he could suffer on a cross, be raised in victory, and commission his people to make disciples of the nations. For that reason, some denominations even plan their annual missions offering to coincide with the Christmas [ Read More ]
Here are seven pro-life books and articles I recommend to pastors, medical practitioners, counselors, and students who wish to gain a better understanding of the pro-life case against abortion. I will describe each resource and then rank its level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult. A Level 1 [ Read More ]
Over the course of the past two years, I have had occasion to reflect on the various ways the Lord has discipled me and disciplined me since I came to saving faith during high school. The catalyst for those reflections was my 40th birthday and the recognition that, although God has graciously worked in my [ Read More ]
Here are seven recently-written books I recommend to political junkies. (I offer them as temporary shelter from the avalanche of current event stories and political opinion pieces rumbling down from the heights occupied by the NYT, WSJ, CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, and Daily Caller; as the type of books that will challenge us and [ Read More ]
There are three types of people in our great nation. There are, first of all, those who do not read. An AP-Ipsos poll recently revealed that 25% of Americans do not read books, while other polls have put the number higher, at around 50%. It is not that these Americans cannot read or that they do not accumulate knowledge. (No country’s citizens—and I mean none—bring more depth and import to subjects such as celebrity clothes, hair and makeup, and the intricacies of the Pitt-Jolie marriage than the citizens of the USA.) It is just that their knowledge is not gained from books. Second, there are those who read but do so aimlessly, choosing on a whim what to read and when to do so. Third, there are those who plan to read and who read with a plan.
If you are the third type of reader, or if you wish to become that type of reader, this post offers five tips for determining which books to read (and which not to read).
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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). 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.
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. I’ve left out numerous wonderful books that fall in other categories (pastoral theology, biblical studies, etc.).
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Here are six sets of resources for pastors, professors, and students who wish to build their “theology and culture” library. I’ve included a variety of resources, some of which represent views I oppose. However, the majority of the resources fit my preferred “Reformational” model.
1. Differing Visions for Christianity and Culture
Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture is a minor classic in 20th century theology; it provides a historical classification of typical Christian views of the relationship between “Christ” and culture. In combination with Niebuhr’s book, you’ll want to read D. A. Carson’s Christ and Culture Revisited and Craig Carter’s Rethinking Christ and Culture. Carson critiques Niebuhr’s theological framework and argues for a more cruciform understanding of the Christian’s place in culture. Carter also critiques Niebuhr’s theological framework as well as Niebuhr’s privileging of Christendom in the conception of his categories. Finally, to cover all your bases, you won’t want to miss Jamie Smith’s brief article critiquing Carson.
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