About a year ago, I let you know about 12 books I planned to read in 2012. All of them were rather substantial 500+ page works, and in hindsight, it was a bit aggressive to plan so far in advance. In case you forgot the original list, here it is again:
- The Theology of Jonathan Edwards
- Salvation Accomplished By The Son
- Jesus and the Victory of God
- The Resurrection of the Son of God
- God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment
- The Doctrine of the Christian Life
- The Doctrine of God
- Systematic Theology
- The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary
- Dogmatic Theology
- Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis
- Paul: An Outline of His Theology
As you can see, this was quite the impressive list. I did get quite a bit of reading in this year, but here’s what I actually finished out of the list:
- Salvation Accomplished By The Son (see my review)
- Jesus and the Victory of God (see my review)
- The Resurrection of the Son of God (see my review)
And instead of some of the original list of large books, I read and review these:
- Theology of the New Testament
- An Old Testament Theology
- A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters
- Kingdom Through Covenant
From that perspective, I read through roughly 7 large books (good chunk of about 3-4 others) instead of the originally proposed 12. Not too shabby, but I think there is a lesson lurking in this particular adventure.
Specifically, I learned that while a plan for your reading is good, I inevitably need to leave space for books that come out of the blue. My personal reading schedule really only held true for about the first 3 months of the year. After that, I wasn’t even remotely following what I’d set out to do. While I may have done the volume of reading I planned, there were many books I planned to read this past year that I didn’t even crack open.
Given some of the potential reading plans that I could follow this year, I’m having a hard time deciding what to actually attempt. I’ll give you the rundown on those next week perhaps, but in the meantime, I’ll be spending some time evaluating how much reading is feasible and how I can still enjoy it. It’s one thing to be structured in your reading, it’s another thing to be so structured it’s not pleasurable anymore. And since I’m not in a doctoral program, there is no need to keep up that kind of pace.
At least if I ever do end up pursuing a Ph.D, my reading muscles will already be flexed and ready for action!