The Reading List
Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? By James K. Smith
–>A really good big picture of some major philosophical questions that pertain to contemporary culture and the emerging church.
Body Politics By John Howard Yoder
–>One of Yoder’s simple yet profound works. It looks at five practices the church needs to engage in to be a witness to the world, will also being faithful to the Gospel. This book is great for ministry, theological reflection and thinking about how all this connects with everyday life.
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll*
–>Mark Noll is one of my favorite Evangelical historians (George Marsden you’re in there too!) and this book is perfect for putting the pieces together on what Evangelicalism is, and some of the problems its run into in recent times. It’s a fun read and it helps to put seminary education into context.
The Younger Evangelicals by Robert Webber*
–>This book picks up on where the previous one leaves off. It’s aimed at the young people (think emerging-church-minded people) within Evangelicalism. It shows the shaping of this group’s practices, thoughts and what it means for the future of church.
An Introduction to Ecclesiology by Veli-Mati Karkkainen*
–>Karkkainen is a systematic theologian at Fuller and all his stuff is excellent. This is a great book that will introduce you to some of the main theological thinkers and their ideas about what the church is, and what it ought to be. He even gives space for ‘radical’ theologians like my favorite James McClendon. This will help you get familiar with some important names, ideas as well as give you a vision for what the broader church is doing in the global context.
Jesus and Community by Gerhard Lohfink
–>A great book done by a Catholic NT scholar who looks to put Jesus in the context of his culture and show just how important Jesus message and his practices were to his original audience. It also has direct implications for the church today. This is one of my absolute favorite books I read in Seminary.
The Shape of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
–>A superb introduction to missional church, culture and the practices behind this influential and important movement.
How to Think Theologically By Howard W. Stone and James O. Duke
–>A book that will help prepare you for what’s in store, some of the ideas behind theological thinking, etc.