Thursday 2 November 2006

More top 20 lists

In response to my top 20 list, several people have been posting their own excellent lists. Here are the ones I’ve noticed so far:

Nothing New under the Sun
Inhabitatio Dei
The Fire and the Rose
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
Evangelical Catholicism
Sinning Boldly
Exiled Preacher
Sub Ratione Dei
Wally World
Journeying with Those in Exile
Theologoumenon (again)
Mined Splatterings
Adventures in Divinity School
Missions and Theology
A Desperate Kind of Faithful
Prairie Hill


Anonymous said...

A couple of comments. First, I think it'd be good to see a list of the worst 10-20 books you've every read. There's a lot of writing out there trying to sell itself. Well, I need to know from experienced people what not to waste my time on.

That brings me to my second point. Can somebody explain the influence that Calvin's Institutes seems to be having on everybody? I am almost finished reading Institutes for the first time ever and I'm just not seeing it. I'm just not getting anything from it. I can see how he was important in the time he was in, but influential to my mind now? It's just not happening. Perhaps we need a "For the Love of God..." post on why everybody is so influenced by Calvin. Seriously, help me out here, I'm being sincere, I want to see what you guys are seeing. Point me to something concrete. I have the book standing by and am ready to learn.

Anonymous said...

What about Calvin's doctrine of the Trinity? Calvin does not approach the Trinity via the existence and atributes of God as in pre and post Reformation scholastic theology. His doctrine of God is the doctrine of the Trinity. He eschews speculation about the eternal generation of the Son and insists that the Son is autotheos. He is God in his own right rather than deriving his deity from the Father. Calvin is happy with extra-Biblical language that describes God as a Trinity of three Persons subsisting in the one divne essence. But he is more Biblical than philosophical in his treatment of the doctrine. (See Book I:XIII & the chapter on Calvin in Robert Leatham's The Holy Trinity, 2004, P&R). Surely Calvin deserves our respect and maybe a little bit of love for his rigorously Biblical approach to theology.

byron smith said...

I also appreciated his mutually conditioning knowledge of ourselves and of God. I realise he's not the only one to do this, but he made it quite programmatic, which pushed soteriology to the fore and sidelines natural theology. It is in Christ as he comes to save us that we know God. Also his emphasis on the Trinity working together in the economy of salvation helps avoid a skewed and christless eschatology (cf. Joachim of Fiore) - though that said, Moltmann does take him to task for virtually dropping the incarnation in the eschaton...

Anonymous said...

Ok, I got my list up now as well.

And since, I am one of these folks who put Calvin's institutes on the list (I prefer the 1536 edition to the later ones which are wordy and tend to exaggerate Calvin's few flaws), I'll chime in about the value of that book.

Calvin's emphasis on God as the fount of all goodness from whom flows bountiful and unconditional grace remains the most profound metaphor in my thinking for describing God's character - and it's counterpart, which is that the Christian life consists of gratitude to that goodness is the most liberating way of describing ethical Christian engagement, without slipping into works righteousness that I've heard expressed.

Anonymous said...

and another 20 has just appeared here:

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

I've enjoyed reading these lists. I'll participate if I can narrow mine to 20 and figure out how to rank them!

byron smith said...

Sorry if this is too far off topic, but since Joshua did a philosophy list, I've done one for novels.

byron smith said...

Since you've been doing such a good job adding to this top 20 list, thought I'd offer another one I noticed from a friend in WA (= Western Australia, not Washington): here.

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