Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - One-Volume Systematic Theologies
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Bibliology
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Theology Proper
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Christology
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Soteriology
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Atonement
Where to Begin: Books for Budding Theologians - Ecclesiology
Some time ago I came across a list of 25 theological books composed by Bruce Ashford he believes young theologians should read and invest in. I share my enthusiasm for most on his list and would recommend his post (you can read it here) but felt that for those brand new to the study of theology, many of the writings would be overwhelming and perhaps not the best place to start. For example, Augustine's City of God is a classic but is also an academic work that is over 1,000 pages with a unique historic context. I would not recommend a new theologian to begin there.
With that in mind, I want to compose my list of books for young theologians in various categories of theology of mostly modern books for young, budding theologians that I believe may be easier to understand. They are not classics, but I do believe they will be helpful resources to sink your teeth into.
In this eighth installment, here is a list of helpful ecclesiastical books.
- Charles Colson and Ellen Santilli Vaughn, The Body: Being Light in Darkness - It has been several years since I cracked this book's spine, but it is a helpful introduction to ecclesiology to one of the great spiritual giants of the late 20th century.
- Mark Dever, The Church: The Gospel Made Visible - one of several books you should have on your shelf.
- Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church - another book you should read and have on your shelf.
- Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus - This is a very short and easy to read book that lays out what the Bible says about membership. Every pastor and theologian (and member) should be familiar with its content.
- Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission - This was one of the most helpful books for me regarding the church, social justice, missions, and the gospel.
- Chad Brand and R. Stanton Norman (editors), Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity - These sort of books are really helpful and this one is no different.