13 July 2006

reformed literature 2

reformed literature 2

Thanks to all below who gave suggestions for works of Reformed theology that could give a well-rounded introduction to someone trying to understand the contours of the tradition as well as its contemporary profile.

If I had to give a list of ten such books, I think my list would likely include the following, though with the option of course to modify the list in individual circumstances:
William Edgar, Truth in All Its Glory: Commending The Reformed Faith (P&R 2004)

Book of Confessions (PCUSA) and/or Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom (Baker 1984)

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit (IVP 1997) or The Christian Life (Banner of Truth 1996)

Robert Letham, The Work of Christ (IVP 1993)

Alber M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Eerdmans 2005)

Leonard Vander Zee, Christ, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship (IVP 2004)

Michael D. Williams, Far As The Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story Of Redemption (P&R 2005) or Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen, The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story (Baker Academic 2004)

Lesslie Newbigin, The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission (Eerdmans 1995)

John Calvin, John Calvin: Steward of God's Covenant: Selected Writings , ed. by John F. Thornton (Vintage 2006)
Well, that's only nine (or more than ten, depending how one is counting). My primary criterion was to choose contemporary, accessible works that nonetheless preserve and present the best of the tradition from the standpoint of current scholarship.

While some of these books sketch some history, ideally I would probably want more history. But I'm not sure what to choose to fill that out and one could hardly hand Richard Muller's corpus to an inquirer. A good resource might be the relevant bits of The Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period edited by Carter Lindberg (Blackwell 2001). That book, however, doesn't help with the 17th century or later, but once one starts down that avenue, it's difficult to know when to stop.

I would also like to include some kind of overview of the past century or so of mainline Reformed theology (Barth, Moltmann, Pannenberg, Niebuhr, etc.). Here I might suggest the relevant bits of Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson's 20th-Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age (IVP 1997).

At any rate, those would be my initial suggestions, though if you asked me next week I'm sure I'd say something different.