Nicholas Lash has remarked, not unreasonably, that “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that devout and educated Christians who refuse to acquire a theological competence cognate to the general level of their education simply do not care about the truth of Christianity” (Holiness, Speech & Silence, 5). If that’s the case, then it’s incumbent upon theologians to help their fellow Christians attain this cognate competence. The following list, then, offers some suggestions for filling out your family’s “Library for the Christian Home,” as it were, and for filling in what ever gaps in your knowledge base you’d care to remedy. (You may find that your own tradition has equivalent resources that didn’t make this list. So long as at least the following categories are represented, there’s no reason substitutions can’t be made.)
- Evangelical Lutheran Worship, (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006)
- The Book of Common Prayer
- Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, Martin Tel and John Witvliet, (Brazos, 2012)
- The Book of Concord, (1580), especially The Augsburg Confession (1530) and Luther’s Smaller Catechism (1529)
- Reformed Confessions of the Sixteenth Century, Ed. Arthur Cochrane, 2nd Ed., (Westminster John Knox, 2003)
- The Westminster Confession & Catechisms, (1649)
- Catechism of the Catholic Church
- The New Interpreter’s BIble One-Volume Commentary, Eds. Beverly Gaventa and David Petersen, (Abingdon, 2010)
- Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, Ed. Kevin Vanhoozer, (Baker, 2005)
- (more suggestions to come)
- Carter Lindberg, A Brief History of Christianity, (Blackwell, 2005)
- Mark Noll, The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity, (Eerdmans, 2001)
- Jaroslav Pelikan, Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture, (Yale, 1999)
- Robert Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity, (Yale, 2012)
Theology, Philosophy, Ethics & Politics
- Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love
- Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, (Harper, 1959).
- Diogenes Allen and Eric Springsted, Philosophy for Understanding Theology, 2nd Ed., (Westminster John Knox, 2007).
- Alister McGrath, Ed., The Christian Theology Reader, 4th Ed., (Blackwell, 2011).
- Oliver and Joan O’Donovan, Eds., From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought, (Eerdmans, 1999).
- Samuel Wells, Ed., Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader, (Blackwell, 2010).
- Augustine, The Confessions, Trans. Maria Boulding, 2nd Ed., (New City Press, 2012)
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
- For more suggestions, see my post Theologians in the Pulpit.