Some months back, I posted a list of suggested novels, plays and collections of poetry that I thought theology students and pastors ought to read, and in response received a number of excellent additional suggestions. Thanks heaps to those who offered such! Now, I am putting together a wee course on twentieth-century Reformed & Presbyterian thought for interns training for ordained pastoral ministry, part of which means offering some pre-reading suggestions. So far I’m considering selections from some of the following:
- Karl Barth, The Göttingen Dogmatics: Instruction in the Christian Religion, Evangelical Theology, Church Dogmatics
- Jacques Ellul, What I Believe
- Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians
- Herbert Henry Farmer, The World and God: A Study of Prayer, Providence and Miracle in Christian Experience
- Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God, The Trinity and the Kingdom, The Church in the Power of the Spirit and In the End – The Beginning
- Reinhold Neibuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society and The Nature and Destiny of Man: a Christian interpretation, Volume 1: Human Nature
- Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship and Trinitarian Doctrine for Today’s Mission
- John Oman, Grace and Personality
I’m also considering some of the following essays:
- Karl Barth, ‘The Word of God and the Task of the Ministry’, in The Word of God and the Word of Man (trans. Douglas Horton; New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957), 183–217.
- Eberhard Busch, ‘The Closeness of the Distant: Reformed Confessions after 1945’, in Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (ed. David Willis and Michael Welker; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999), 512–31.
- John W. de Gruchy, ‘Toward a Reformed Theology of Liberation: A Retrieval of Reformed Symbols in the Struggle for Justice’, in Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (ed. David Willis and Michael Welker; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999), 103–19.
- Lynn Winkels Japinga, ‘Reformed and Feminist: Feminist Theology as a Source of Revitalization’, in Reformed Vitality: Continuity and Change in the Face of Modernity (ed. Donald A. Luidens, et al.; Lanham: University Press of America, 1998), 139–54.
- Jürgen Moltmann, ‘Theologia Reformata et Semper Reformanda’, in Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (ed. David Willis and Michael Welker; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999), 120–35.
- Douglas F. Ottati, ‘The Church In, With, Against, and For the World’, in Reforming Protestantism: Christian Commitment in Today’s World (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), 93–116.
- Choan-Seng Song, ‘Christian Theology: Toward an Asian Reconstruction’, in Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (ed. David Willis and Michael Welker; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999), 58–74.
- Thomas F. Torrance, ‘The Distinctive Character of the Reformed Tradition’, in Incarnational Ministry: The Presence of Christ in Church, Society, and Family: Essays in Honor of Ray S. Anderson (ed. Christian D. Kettler and Todd H. Speidell; Colorado Springs: Helmers & Howard, 1990), 2–15.
- Daniel L. Migliore, ‘The Spirit of Reformed Faith and Theology’, in Loving God with our Minds: The Pastor as Theologian (ed. Michael Welker and Cynthia A. Jarvis. Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004), 352–66.
- Nicholas Wolterstorff, ‘Liturgy, Justice, and Holiness’, Reformed Journal 16 (1989), 12–20.
Am I missing anything really obvious here, particularly stuff that would be important for Presbyterian ordinands to engage with? Keep in mind that this is only one module of seven in an entire course dedicated to Presbyterian and Reformed studies, and that there is a separate module that attends to key New Zealand figures.
So what other texts ought I consider? And – to make it broader – if you’re a Pressie/Reformed minister, or even one from some lesser tribe, what twentieth-century reformed theology do you wish you had read when you were training?