Friday, November 12, 2010

Books and book suggestions

What with Christmas and my birthday in the coming months, my family has asked for gift ideas. Being unimpressed with the boring request for a massive amount of amazon gift cards, they asked for specifics. After some thought, I was able to come up with the following books, and have for the purposes of this blog included reasons why I am asking for these books. Perhaps the reader will find something of interest or be able to suggest a book that I might find interesting.

Forthcoming books:

Michael Horton
: The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

James M. Hamilton Jr.: God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
John Frame: The Doctrine of the Word of God

This is an interesting gift list because it is the first time I can recall that I have asked for one book - let alone three - which have not yet been made available to the public. In the last year, I have been on a covenant and biblical theology kick, which explains the interest in the first two books. I've been consistently impressed with Horton's covenantal perspective, and it will be nice to have a book in which his thoughts are centralized. I had never heard of Hamilton Jr. before having stumbled across the book on amazon, but after reading the blurbs by men like Thomas Schreiner and
this publication of his related to the subject of the book, it reminds me of Piper's exegesis of Romans 9 with a biblical-theology oriented focus. I've had my eye on Frame's book for a couple years now, since I believe a systemic presentation of the doctrine of Scripture has been lacking in the church. His Doctrine of God was unbelievable; I had to set it aside because it was so deep I didn't think I could do it justice until I was more well-read. I am hoping for the same impression with this book.

Meredith Kline: God, Heaven and Har Magedon: A Covenantal Tale of Cosmos and Telos

Of course, since I like Horton, it follows that I like Kline. I recently found most of his books are available online (link), and the only other book that is not available to me at a local library is his magnum opus. He and Horton make connections between Testaments that bespeak a true knowledge of the inter-connectedness of God's plan.

John Robbins: The Church Effeminate and Other Essays

A gift list would not be complete without a book or six from the TrinityFoundation. This Reformed anthology on ecclesiology will, I hope, give me a well-grounded understanding of the church that I have been lacking.

Gordon Clark:

1. The Trinity
2. The Incarnation
3. Commentaries on Paul's Letters
4. Philippians
5. First Corinthians

Clark has been my favorite philosophical-theologian for some time now. I will have, with these books, all his concise yet rich Scriptural commentaries. I have been meaning to purchase his books on the Trinity and Incarnation for some time now, after having heard that both are controversial. Clark was nothing if not consistent in his attempt to be logically consistent, and if the fundamentals of Christianity can inspire such intriguing thoughts after 2000 years, I would be remiss if I did not attempt to inform myself.


Joshua Butcher said...

Good list Ryan. I think Kline's "Images of the Spirit" might be a better choice than one you have, unless you've already found that one online.

Clark's books on the Trinity and the Incarnation are his most controversial, and read much more like thought experiments than dogmatic works. These are where he argues for his controversial view of personhood (a complex of propositions), and where the grounds for his being accused of Nestorianism arise. The commentaries are good insofar as they go--often the most helpful things come in one or two controversial verses where Clark's attention to logic and/or Greek grammar clear up what is otherwise a mess of interpretation.

The Robbins collections has some excellent selections, and I purchased it some time ago upon the same intention as you have, although I haven't made much headway. I look forward to your thoughts on the forthcoming titles you are wanting, particularly the Hamilton volume.

Have you read any Rushdoony? His Christianity and the State is quite good. There is also an excellent book on Biblical Theology and typology called "Paradise Restored" by David Chilton (which is available for free from the Institute of Christian Economics website).

Ryan said...

Kline's book on the images of the Spirit can be found at the site I linked to in the OP. What you say about Clark's books is consistent with what I've heard elsewhere. I'll definitely look into writing up some posts on Hamilton's book and perhaps Robbins' as well.

I haven't read Rushdoony, but I've heard good things about him. I'm not much in to politics, though, at least not now. Thanks for the Chilton suggestion, I downloaded and saved a pdf of it. Are you a postmillennialist or did you just find it good reading? I've not sorted out that area of eschatology. I've largely agreed with what I've read in Beale (amillennial, I think), but I have also heard the a- and post- positions are somewhat similar. The book of Revelation is a looming mystery to me that I think I will need to address sooner rather than later.

Joshua Butcher said...

Chilton's book is a good read, and I also like it as a postmillennialist. Bahnsen has a short book (actually a collection of several essays) on postmillennialism, a chapter of which deals with Revelation. Chilton also has a commentary on Revelation (also free from I.C.E. I think), of which I've read portions. Gary North's book, Before Jerusalem Fell, was also very helpful on understanding Revelation better.

Amillennialism agrees in some regards with postmillennialism, but the biggest difference is that postmillennialism expects a triumphant church in history, whereas amillennialism expects a largely defeated church or is simply ambivalent as to the success of the church in history.