Currently reading: Ian Macfarland, From Nothing; (still reading) Heidegger, Being and Time; Graham Ward, How the Light Gets In.

1, 2, 3. James K.A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom/ Imagining the Kingdom/Speech and Theology. Helpful to see how insights in phenomenology may aid our articulation of revelation, sanctification and anthropology. Sections of these volumes could, in my view, be seen as extensions of Bavinck’s articulation of the unconscious life and the internal life of the psyche.

 

4. B. A. Gerrish, Christian Faith: Dogmatics in Outline. Brief and elegant – this clarifies how Calvin and Schleiermacher might be read together. A representative summary of what might be called a Reformed-liberal dogmatics.

 

5. Kevin Hector, Theology Without Metaphysics. The title is a bit of a misnomer – Hector isn’t against metaphysics per se (as his respondents in the Journal of Analytic Theology symposium recognize). Hector is against talk of God that presume that the terms predicated of him cut God down to size, so to speak. He offers an account of theological predication that depends on a pragmatic account of mutual recognition, undergirded by pneumatology, and standing much on Schleiermacher. Talk of God is legitimate insofar as it stands on a trajectory of mutual recognition that extend from the person of Jesus himself.

 

6. Mats Wahlberg, Revelation as Testimony. Responds against false binaries that pit propositional accounts of revelation from non-propositional ones. Though rigorously argued, the responses to alternative and nonpropositional accounts of revelation are less than satisfying. There is also too heavy a focus on knowledge as necessarily propositional, which seems common among analytic authors.

 

7. Kevin Vanhoozer, Biblical Authority After Babel. Retrieves the five solas of the Reformation creatively to defend Protestantism against the claim that it necessarily fosters interpretive pluralism and disunity. Some chapters are stronger than others: particularly the ones on grace and Protestantism as a conciliatory and catholic movement.

 

8. Peter Leithart. End of Protestantism. I find myself saying, ‘yes…. But.’ As usual, though, eloquently written.

 

9. Abraham Kuyper, On Scholarship. Two addresses that Kuyper gave at the VU. Romantically tinged and powerfully communicated – Kuyper weaves in his account of the Logos, organism, and unconscious knowledge to motivate his students. Kuyper at his best.

 

10. Sean Michael Lucas: For a Continuing Church. Seems to make clear why and how the PCA is the way it is today. Though, see Moses Lee’s review, here.

 

11. Jim Spiegel and Steven Cowan (eds.), Idealism and Christian Philosophy. A robust philosophical defense of Berkelyan idealism and its congruence with Christian orthodoxy. I have some theological reservations against that claim (I’m happily and confessionally Reformed), but I’m glad to see more volumes that display the capacity and flexibility with which Christianity can attach itself to various philosophies.

 

12. J.H. Bavinck Reader. Superb. J.H. Bavinck’s insights on revelation and missions, I reckon, ought to be read widely today. It is incredible to sense its organic connectedness to Herman Bavinck’s own insights, especially in the older Bavinck’s Philosophy of Revelation.

 

13. Herman Bavinck, Beginselen der Psychologie. An important but neglected work. Not a work on psychology as it is understood today, but on the workings of consciousness, the inner psyche, the heart, and the various faculties in the human being.

 

14. Schleiermacher, Christian Faith (Critical Edition). A smoother read, and the critical apparatus is immensely illuminating. I’ll be returning to this edition repeatedly.

 

15. Scott Oliphint, Majesty of Mystery. Reminds me of his classes – ably defends and shows why Christians shouldn’t be afraid of paradoxes in their theological reasoning, and why this is important for worship. Good to recommend for churches.

 

16. Tim Keller, Making Sense of God. This will probably be my first recommendation to anyone interested in, but having little to no knowledge of, Christianity.

 

17, 18. Judith Wolfe, Heidegger’s Eschatology/ Heidegger and Theology. There is some considerable overlap between the two books. Makes clear Heidegger’s (often uncomfortable dependence) on Christian theology and his catholic/Christian roots, even in his most seemingly anti-theistic moments. Elegantly written and rigorous in its research.
19. George Pattison, God and Being. Theologically and philosophically erudite and historically attuned. There is a useful section on ‘romantic presence’ here.

 

20. Augustine, On The Trinity. Always struck by how deeply exegetical Augustine was. Also an interesting experience to re-read this in light the summer’s Trinity debacle.

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