Recommended Reading Meme

I was tagged by Aaron to produce a list of books that I continually find myself recommending to people. They may not all be my favorite books, but they are ones I find helpful in explaining important theological issues and concepts. Or they may just be classic works that people need to read. In any case, here are a few of the theological works to which I keep referring people:
  • Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding (2nd ed., 2004). This is the best guide to theology for beginners currently in print (until Ben Myer’s publishes his wonderful series, that is!). I’ve recommended this book countless times.
  • Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline (ET 1959). An excellent introduction to Barth’s theology as well as an excellent commentary on the Apostles’ Creed.
  • William Cavanaugh, Theopolitical Imagination (2003). Cavanaugh’s shortest and simplest work is also, in many ways, his most profound.
  • T. F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ (New ed., 1992). Torrance’s short work on Christ’s mediation between God and humanity is a work that beautifully captures some of Barth’s best insights and conveys them to English-speaking audiences in unparalleled ways.
  • G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908; 2002). This work had a profound influence on me when I first read it, and even though it is not strictly a work of theology, Chesterton’s masterpiece is one of those rare gems that demands to be read.
I now tag Travis, Chris, and Halden with this meme.

Update: For some unknown reason, I left Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison off this list, which is probably the book I recommend most to people. I would probably have to place Bonhoeffer’s letters and papers from the end of his life above these other important works in terms of all around importance for me both personally and intellectually. I recommend it to everyone without exception.


WTM said…
Oh boy! My first 'meme'!

Shame on you, David, for making me write a post on a Sunday...
::aaron g:: said…
Thanks for these suggestions -- I haven't read any of them!
All of these are excellent except for the Chesterton work. I found it completely boring.
a. steward said…
I've read all of these (Dogmatics in Outline at your recommendation!) except Cavanaugh, and I concur wholeheartedly with, except for a slight quibble with Chesterton. I loved that book, but I'm still a bit puzzled as to why. I really don't think that it is terrifically profound as far as content goes. However, I somehow walked away from it feeling incredibly glad that I was a Christian. The book is important, then, for that reason alone. But the fact that I struggle to communicate why it was so effective in making me feel that way is confusing to me.
D.W. Congdon said…

Chesterton "boring"? That is one of the more incomprehensible things I have ever read. If I didn't already know you, I'd say you never read the book. But maybe it's just a stylistic thing ... though "boring" is still the last word I can imagine a person using to describe this book. And I don't say that just because I like Chesterton. Even his intellectual foes always admitted that he was one of the most charming, interesting, and brilliant writers in the English language.
Pastor David said…
I'm with you on the Chesterton; it made it on to my own slightly more specific list.