Theology Nerd Book Survey

I picked this up over at Homebrewed Christianity (which won’t let me leave comments, Tripp Fuller!) and thought it might be fun over here.  Of course, we’re Christian Humanists, so we’re not limited to that guild that the academy calls the Divinity School–feel free to list books of any sort that seem fitting!

I’ll leave my answers as the first comment; jump in when you can!

Here are the categories:

1. A book you get excited just looking at

2. Your favorite book by your favorite living theologian

3. A classic you can’t leave behind

4. Best book to cross your eyes in 2011

5. Favorite book to give a budding theology nerd

6. A book you can’t wait for!

16 thoughts on “Theology Nerd Book Survey

  1. 1. A book you get excited just looking at: Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics (yes, I own all fourteen volumes, and they look mighty fine on my office’s bookshelves)

    2. Your favorite book by your favorite living theologian: William Cavanaugh’s Torture and Eucharist

    3. A classic you can’t leave behind: Dante’s Comedy

    4. Best book to cross your eyes in 2011: David B. Hart’s Beauty of the Infinite

    5. Favorite book to give a budding theology nerd: Stan Hauerwas’s The Peaceable Kingdom

    6. A book you can’t wait for!: N.T. Wright’s Paul volume (the fourth in the New Testament and the Question of God “trilogy”)

  2. 1. Could second the Dogmatics, but in the interest of variety, I’ll go with Transforming Mission, David Bosch

    2. Hannah’s Child, Stanley Hauerwas

    3. The Politics of Jesus, John H. Yoder

    4. A Secular Age, Charles Taylor

    5. A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, Helmut Thielicke

    6. ditto on the Tom Wright v. 4.

  3. : ) I’ve been lurking in the background of this blog for a long time, and it’s partly because we’re definitely on the same path theologically, and partly because I like literature a lot too. You guys do good work here – thanks for your effort.

  4. no idea why our site hates you….i don’t!

    try commenting and unclick the facebook button and see if it works. i think the facebook button may be a bad plugin.

  5. Don’t sweat it, Tripp. The Ooze Viral Bloggers page doesn’t let me do much with my reviews/comments either. I’m not a big fan of Facebook-engine blog comments, I’ll admit. I’ll go over there later today (right now I’m on a roll with my Shakespeare’s Rome dissertation chapter) and try to post a link over here.

    Oh, and if you get a moment, why not post your list over here? The more the merrier, right?

  6. Dave, you didn’t secretly attend Emmanuel School of Religion at the same time I did, did you? Looking at your list again, those are the titles (with the exception of those published since 2002) that provoked some of the best discussions I remember there.

  7. Keep in mind these come from the mind of a 17 year old, soon to be college freshman, amateur nerd.

    1. My 1980’s hardback edition of The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk.

    2. I haven’t read any (living ones) that I really enjoy. Pearcey is good, but not my style. Doug Wilson is good, but he’s a bit over-reformed under-resconstructed (Sometimes we must sacrifice syntax for the sake of antithesis.)

    3. Witness by Whittaker Chambers

    4. The Southern Essays by Richard M. Weaver. (I got 3 essays into this book and BAM! epiphany. I then had to look up Weaver on every Information Age medium available to me, including iTunes, which is where I found this podcast. I have been working my way back in your episodes and I am currently listening to Nationalism.)

    5. Either/Or by Kierkegaard. I know it’s irresponsible, but what the heck.

    6. Any stinkin’ reprint or anthology of Russell Kirk’s novels!!!

  8. 1. God In Search of Man (Abraham Joshua Heshel)

    2. All my favorites have passed on.

    3. No Man Is An Island (Thomas Merton)

    4. God In Search of Man (A. Heshel)I know, its an old one.

    5. New Seeds Of Contemplation (Thomas Merton) It helps one get past just learning the rules.

    6. The Insecurity of Freedom … I know, another old one. My wife has ordered it for me. You can probably tell that I have turned on to Heshel.

    I think my goal now, though I am in my sixties, is to become a Heshel/Merton hybrid. Maybe that will make up for the closed mindedness and stupidity of my teens and twenties.

  9. 1. Fear and Trembling – or really anything by SK who, incidentally, wins the ‘best titles’ contest

    2. I also read mostly the dead…but I’ll go with Exclusion and Embrace by Volf (though his theology of vocation is hugely underrated)

    3. Penses – I am startled by its prescience every time I pick it up.

    4. A lot of disappointments so far in 2011 – I have really enjoyed Goldengay’s popular commentary on Genesis. The lost city of z was also pretty good.

    5. Lectures to my Students by Charles Spurgeon or Chesterton’s Orthodoxy

    6. The first thing Luther publishes through New Earth Press…but in the age of now but not yet…put me down for NTW’s Paul book also. There was a lot in his earlier books that left me thinking ‘but how does this square with Pauline thought.’

  10. 1. Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Theology and the Kingdom of God

    2. John Cobb’s Transforming Christianity and the World: A Way Beyond Absolutism and Relativism

    3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship (or the Cost of Discipleship)

    4. Terrence Tilley’s The Disciples’ Jesus: Christology as Reconciling Practice

    5. Elizabeth A. Johnson’s Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God

    6. Philip Clayton & Steven Knapp’s The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, and Faith

  11. 1. A book you get excited just looking at – My set of Augustine’s works.

    2. Your favorite book by your favorite living theologian – My favorites are mostly dead (all dead?), so I’ll just give a recent favorite of mine, “The Spirit of Early Christian Thought,” by Robert Louis Wilken.

    3. A classic you can’t leave behind – “Confessions,” by Augustine.

    4. Best book to cross your eyes in 2011 – Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a book that has been published that recently, so here’s one I finally got around to reading, “The Screwtape Letter’s,” C.S. Lewis.

    5. Favorite book to give a budding theology nerd – “Knowing God,” by J.I. Packer.

    6. A book you can’t wait for!

    A supposed introduction to doctrine by Ivor Davidson, a patristics scholar, or Roberth Letham’s work on Christology (both of which untitled, as far as I can tell)

  12. 1. A book you get excited just looking at: Luther’s Works. ‘nuff said.

    2. Your favorite book by your favorite living theologian: Favourite living theologian? Hmmmm… I suppose I’m rather fond Alister McGrath (even if I don’t always agree with him), and while I’m not sure it’s my favourite work by him, the first half of Mere Theology was pretty grand (the latter half less so). That’s The Passionate Intellect in its American title.

    3. A classic you can’t leave behind: John Donne’s poetry (and, for that matter, his sermons)

    4. Best book to cross your eyes in 2011: It’s a toss up between Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. Hadn’t read anything by either of them until this past year.

    5. Favorite book to give a budding theology nerd: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. It did the trick for me back in grade seven.

    6. A book you can’t wait for: Christianity and Literature: Philosophical Foundations and Critical Practice by David Lyle Jeffrey & Gregory P. Maillet. It’s already out, I know, but I haven’t remembered to order a copy yet. I should probably go do that now…

  13. I believe I’m tracking more with Carter and the Cap’n on this one. I read embarrassingly little contemporary theology, so I can’t really complete the survey. I would like to name Calvin’s Institutes for #3, though to be more honest, Pilgrim’s Progress has a firmer grip on my imagination.

  14. Alright, alright. So someone needs to write a “Christian Antiquarian Book Nerd Survey” for our readership. I get it. 🙂

    It’s heartening to see that, among others, we’ve got a self-identified Baby Boomer, a self-identified teenager, and plenty of folks in between reading here. Stick around, folks, and we’ll try to make it worth the read!

  15. No Emmanuel School for me. I’ve been trained by Pentecostals and Baptists in the Upper Midwest. 🙂 But caught on to Hauerwas after being pretty disgusted with the nationalism of certain white Pentecostal groups, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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