i. List the most helpful book you’ve read in this category;
ii. Describe why you found it helpful; and
iii. Tag five more friends and spread the meme love.
Prefatory note: this is HARD; if you’ve been reading theology for twenty years how do you assess?? But I’ll be disciplined, and just put one book into each.
Theology after Wittgenstein, Fergus Kerr. The key to integrating my philosophical and theological interests into some sort of harmony: “That considering the execution of an innocent man is a more promising starting point for sustaining Christian theology than proving that God exists might be one unsurprising conclusion” [flowing from W’s philosophy].
2. Biblical Theology
The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann. Totally shaped how I understand not just the OT but also what I’m supposed to be doing in my ministry.
The Darkness of God, Denys Turner. Describes the rigorous intellectual context for the mystical tradition and what it means to talk about God.
Jesus and Judaism, EP Sanders. I’d probably disagree with a lot of this now but it was the backbone of the NT part of my degree.
5. Old Testament
Leviticus as Literature, Mary Douglas. Fascinating and humanising.
6. New Testament
What St Paul Really Said, Tom Wright. Concise, readable, essential.
The Peaceable Kingdom, Stanley Hauerwas. Explains why most “Christian Ethics” is nonsense, and what we should be doing instead.
8. (Church) History
At the Origins of Modern Atheism, William Buckley. The fish rots from the head down.
The Shame and the Sacrifice, Edwin Robertson. The book that introduced me to Bonhoeffer’s life and thought.
The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch. Need to re-read this, but it’s an excellent manifesto for authentic church – easy to enter but demanding for disciples.
The Roots of Christian Mysticism, Olivier Clement. Practical and integrates doctrine and spirituality; also functions as a great introduction to the Church Fathers.
Tags (exceeding my allowance): your meme, should you choose to accept it: Paul, Jon, Justin, Joe, Tim, Tim and Phil.