Taking a bit of inspiration from The Dead Theologian 1 Year Challenge from Mike Leake and Aaron Armstong’s re-reading project, I’ve decided to devote some time this year to re-reading and reading anew several fairly influential dead guy. I’ve split it between two guys who are primarily novelists (though with theological sensibilitie) and two guys who are primarily theologians (but with pastoral experience and sensibilities).
C. S. Lewis
Lewis was very influential on me when I first starting reading more about theology in college. Later, I read through the Chronicles of Narnia on my own (my mom had read them to me when I was little), and the first two volumes of the Space Triology (Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra). This year, I want to re-read Narnia, as well as some of Lewis’ non-fiction, both previously read and un-read. I’d also like to delve into some special studies (right now I’m reading Planet Narnia). I’m sure I’ll keep you in the loop as I read on.
J. R. R. Tolkien
I read through The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings in high school, which if you’re keeping score is before the movies came out. I really haven’t given Tolkien too much thought since then, but recently, I’ve wanted to dig back in give The Lord of The Rings a re-read. Not to confine myself to that, I asked for and got Peter Kreeft’s The Philosophy of Tolkien for Christmas, and used my Amazon gift card in part to get The Hobbit and Philosophy. I’ve already devoured the former and you can expect a post on it next Wednesday. I’ve also got my eye on these two box sets: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and The Histories of Middle Earth, Volumes 1-5. We’ll see how much I have time for.
John Owen ranks right up there with guys named John who were influential on me in seminary (Edwards, Piper, Frame, my roommate). He is notoriously hard to read, but I was blown away on my initial read-thru of The Glory of Christ and The Holy Spirit in individual paperback form. I noticed recently that Christian Focus has put all of their individual volumes for sale in the Kindle store for $3.99. So, I grabbed them, and plan on dipping in and reading here and there every Saturday this year for some spiritual refreshment. I have no goals as far as finishing since 4 of the 6 books I’ll be dabbling in I’ve already read before. Instead, I wanted to have Owen do that thing where he blows my mind and helps me see Christ more clearly than I did before I started reading. If you’re interested, here’s the books I’ll be dabbling in:
- The Holy Spirit
- The Glory of Christ
- Communion with God
- The Priesthood of Christ
- Overcoming Sin and Temptation
When I graduated from seminary, I used part of my graduation money to buy Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. I’ve read a good bit of the first volume, but have been wanting to read it all for almost 3 years now. It’s a shame to have it on hand and not be digging in, at least on a semi-weekly basis. So, with this I actually have a plan, and that is to complete the four volumes this year. That will involve reading a volume a season, so I’ve got until April to finish the first one. Given what I’ve already read, it ends up being about 35 pages a week, which is clearly do-able. Let’s see if I can stick with it.