Recommended Readings: September 27 – October 3

communion_elementsIf you only read article this week, engage the Round Table on Communion over at Conciliar Post (especially the comments).

If you’ve got more time to read (or, like me, think you’ve got more time to read), check out some of the other recommended readings from this past week. And, as always, if you think there’s something else I should have read this week, let me know in the comments section. 10-4.

Theology and Religion

Advice for Grad Students by Nathaniel Peters

Advice for the Dismal Academic Job Market by Thomas Kidd

Protestantism in the Desert by Matthew Milliner

Muslim Scholars vs. ISIS by Ayman S. Ibrahim

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

There Is No “Bible” in the Bible by Stephen Freeman

The Politics of Bible Translation by Scot McKnight

Review: Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond (Gupta) by Michael K. W. Suh

Jesus and ‘Nationalism’ by James Crossley

Worldviews and Culture

Christ and Consumer Culture: The Market’s Moral Morass by George Aldhizer

Random Thoughts by Thomas Sowell

Wanted: A Synod of Affirmation by George Weigel

The Divine Art of Funny by Chris Casberg

Facebook Trends and Book Lists

BooksThe past several weeks my Facebook friends have been swapping lists of their “Ten Most Influential/Important Books.” Now, typically social media trends don’t excite me and giving into peer pressure does not sound very enticing. But when it comes to books and reading, the bibliophile within cannot resist. So I gave in. But seeing all those lists got me thinking: we all have books we have read. What about books that we should have read? In other words, are there some books, or at least some types of books, that educated Christian men and women should read in order to understand who we are and how we have gotten where we are culturally?

As both a lover of books and creator of lists, I had made a “Ten Books You Should Read” list before (and, whatever else I’m about to suggest, we should all consult and read the “Canon” of Western Civilization). Never are my lists intended to be “closed canons”, but instead starting points. So I returned to and modified my list of books that every American Christian should read: Continue reading

Recommended Reading: September 13-19

#WeAreNIf you only read one article this week, engage #WeAreN by Andrew Damick.

If you found that interesting and insightful, check out our other recommendations from this week (and late last week; thus is the life of a PhD student). And as always, if you think there’s something else I should be reading, let me know in the comments section.

Theology and Religion

A Sad Episode by Mark Movsesian

The Eucharist: Its Structure by Lawrence Farley

Big History. Too Big. by Agnes Howard

Book, Film, and Christian Propaganda by Amanda Barber

Jewish Praise of Truett Cathy by Daniel Ross Goodman

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

Did the Disciples of Jesus Keep Notebooks? by Phillip Long

Does Personal Bible Reading Destroy the Church? by Paul Penley

The Codex and Early Christians: Clarification and Corrections by Larry Hurtado

The Words of Jesus and the Criteria of Authenticity by Phillip Long

Theology Through Friendship by Czaderna and Nolan

Worldviews and Culture

The Illusion of Neutrality by Anthony Esolen

The Superversive World of Harry Potter by John C. Wright

From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq’s Full Story by Tim Urban

Tocqueville in Arabia by Joshua Mitchell

How to Be a Conservative: A Conversation with Roger Scruton by Jonathan Derbyshire

Recommended Reading: September 6-12

Rocky-Mountain-National-ParkIf you only read one article this week, read America Under Cultural Dhimmitude by Rod Dreher

There are lots of other article worth your read as well, broadly categorized below. Hopefully you find them stimulating for your thinking. And as always, if there’s something you think I should be reading, please let me know in the comments section below. JJP

Theology and Religion

The Achievement of Wolfhart Pannenberg by Michael Root (older, but appropriate this week in memorium of Pannenberg)

From Cain to ISIS by R. R. Reno

InterVarsity Christian Ministry In Trouble for Acting Christian by Andrew Walker

The Perspective of Beauty by Jeff Reid

Resurrecting the Dead in America by Mark Regnerus

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

Paul on Jesus’ Resurrection: A New Study by Larry Hurtado

New Testament Studies (Volume 60)

What is Marcionism? by Roger Olson

Early Christians Distinguished from Culture by Michael Kruger

What is the Problem with Q? by Philip J. Long

Worldviews and Culture

Bigotry is Not Conservative by Bradley J.Birzer

What the Rich Give to New York by Nicole Gelinas

America’s Dangerous Aversion to Conflict by Robert Kagan

Success or Failure? by Thomas Sowell

Neil deGrass Tyson Doesn’t Understand Statistics by Sean Davis

Recommended Reading: August 30 – September 5

RingsIf you read only one article this week, read Marriage and Mating Rites by Karen Swallow Prior.

If you’ve got time for a bit more reading, check out the suggested reading links below, which I found to be informative, insightful, and challenging while perusing the internet this week.

Theology and Religion

Round Table: Christian Warfare by Conciliar Post

Evangelical Identity and the Clarity of Scripture by Barney Aspray

Evangelical Superstars and Why They Fall by Roger Olson

Prison, Purgatory, and Heaven by Stephen Webb

Hard Questions We Are Not Asking Francis by John L. Allen Jr.

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

Does Mark Balance Out Matthew? A Canonical Consideration by Nijay Gupta

Thoughts from Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God… by Jeremy Cushman

Did Jesus Christ Actually Exist? by Ben Cabe

Why so many Christians won’t back down on gay marriage by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

The Genre of the Gospels by Phillip Long

Worldviews and Culture

The Conservative Humanist by Bradley J. Birzer

Irresponsible Choices by Thomas Sowell

Jeremiah and the Enlightened Racist by David Mills

Stupid is the New Smart by Daniel Flynn

The Prince Bride Syndrome by Ryan Shinkel

Recommended Reading: August 23-29

If you only read one article this week, check out R. R. Reno’s thoughts on Ferguson, Missouri. I know you’ve probably read lots about Ferguson in the past few weeks, but the overall trajectory of this article is worth your contemplation.

If you’re interested in reading some other thought-provoking articles, visit the suggested links below. As always, if you think there’s something I ought to be reading, please let me know in the comments section below.

Theology and Religion

Mark Bauerlein reflects upon how rhetoric, liberty, religion, and culture all interact in How Deep Is Your Faith, Really?

Over at Conciliar Post, Jeff Reid ponders human relationships and the Safety of Love through the lens of C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken.

Check out George Weigel’s Knowing the Trinity, on how the Trinity is known through the history of the people of God.

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

This week Larry Hurtado weighs in on YHWH in the Septuagint in a post that’s worth your read, especially if you’re interested in Second Temple Judaism and/or Christian origins.

In response to Peter Enns recent (and popular) series on the ‘aha moments’ of Biblical scholars, this week Michael Kruger kicked off a series entitled Does the Bible Ever Get It Wrong? Facing Scripture’s Difficult Passages. The first perspective is that of Greg Beale of Westminster Theological Seminary.

Worldviews and Culture

Peter Strzelecki Rieth remembers Father Jerzy Popieluszko (friend of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II) and his message of Overcoming Evil with Good and true Christian love, a message worth our reflection in today’s often violent context.

Recommended Reading: August 16-22

prayers81714If you only read one article from this week, look at Jonathan Storment’s Every Now and Then, A Disciple Break Out, about the faith and actions of Dr. Kent Brantly, he of Ebola fame.

There are lots of other interested article which have been circulating the internet this week which are worth reading as well. I’ve broken them down by category below. As always, if you think there’s something I should be reading, feel free to let me know in the comments below (self-promotion is allowed).

Theology and Religion

Daniel Wallace reflects upon the goal of the Christian life, critiquing from his own life how many American Christians assume that we are called to become Christ-Like.

You should also check out Weep for the Dead by John Mark Reynolds, who delves into the situation in Ferguson with candor and much needed theological compassion. And while you’re at it, please #PrayforFerguson, our new neighbors to the north.

At Conciliar Post, George Aldhizer begins a series examining Christ and Consumer Culture, offering some important thoughts about the need to order human freedom.

On a Dante kick this past week, I found Stephen Webb’s article on Dante’s Heavenly Idealism to be a stimulating read.

Stephen Sutherland delves into the sometimes murky area where faith and politics collide, asking if Christians Should Look Like Satanists. (My answer? Probably not.)

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

If you need some fall reading material, Tim Henderson suggests five upcoming Biblical Studies/Theology related works that you might add to your reading list.

Michael Kruger reminds us of the importance and value of studying Biblical languages, no matter how busy we are.

Over at Many Horizons Eva asks some important questions about the boundaries of “church tradition” that is worth pondering over.

In case you haven’t noticed already, I am a huge Larry Hurtado fan. Thus, you shouldn’t be surprised when I recommend his article on Writing and Pronouncing the Divine Name in Second-Temple Judaism. Read and learn.

Aaron Renn’s piece on the differences between Protestant and Catholic architecture is also an interesting read.

Worldviews and Culture

Last week we were shocked to learn about Robin Williams’ death, and Ryan Hunter offered some important words on Loss, Depression, and Mental Health. If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please talk to someone, anyone at all. Even if you don’t believe in God, please don’t hesitate to visit your nearest church and speak to the clergy there. Caring therapists and doctor-prescribed medication can also work wonders. If you prefer anonymity and are having thoughts of suicide, please feel free to call The Suicide Hotline at 1-800-784-2433. There is someone in your life who loves you.

On a rather different note, Brian Miller reflects upon minimalism and the need for meaningful items (and their connections  to memories and people) in our lives.

Over at Ethika Politika, Luke Foster reflects upon the merits of the Ivies, asking us to consider the place of true education and the pursuit of virtue.

Don’t forget to read Thomas Sowell’s latest Random Thoughts on a passing scene. My favorite: “Too many people in Washington are full of themselves, among other things that they are full of. ”

Finally, Brian Brown thoughtfully argues that Harry Potter is Great Literature. A good read if you’ve read the series; not a good read if you’re my wife (who is still finishing the series).

Recommended Reading: August 9-15

St. Louis at NightBelow are this week’s recommended readings from around the internet. We moved this week from Winston-Salem (NC) to Saint Louis (MO) – there will be more on that later – so I apologize for the relative lack of suggestions. Things should return to normal this coming week. As always, if there are any blogs that you think I need to be reading, please let me know in the comments section below. Cheers, JP

If You Only Read One Article, Read The Foolishness of an Ebola Doctor by Collin Garbarino

Theology and Religion

A Hermeneutic of Trust by Chad Chambers

The Evangelical Academy by Richard Mouw

Unto What Then Where Ye Baptized? by Stuart Kerr

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

Pre-Adamite Populations by RJS

Past Tense Christianity by Chris Smith

The Septuagint: Some Scholarly Resources by Larry Hurtado

Worldviews and Culture

How to Survive Demonization by Pete Spiliakos

Conservative Ideas Still Rising by TJ Whittle

Forgetting the Christians by Mark Movsesian

The Imitation of Socrates by Christopher Nelson

Recommended Reading: August 2-8

New College CloistersBelow are this week’s suggested readings from around the internet. If you think there’s a blog I need to be reading, please let me know in the comments section below. As always, I hope you find these suggestions thought-provoking. Cheers, JP

If You Only Read One Article, Read Advice to Young Scholars by Robert P. George

Theology and Religion

The Idol of Truth by George Aldhizer

Understanding Christian Eschatology by Chris Smith

Being Imago Dei by Jody Byrkett

Tradition and the Individual Theologian by Peter Leithart

Round Table: Christian Unity by Conciliar Post

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

Why Church History Matters by Mike Skinner

How Many Books Does the Bible Contain? by Wesley Hill

The Loss of Pastoral Accountability in the Age of the Internet by Alastair Roberts

Textual Variants and Ancient Readers by Larry Hurtado

Worldviews and Culture

When Tragedy Trumps Comedy by Stephen Sutherland

Is Thinking Obsolete? by Thomas Sowell

Whom Would Jesus Shoot? by Mark Tooley

Christians and the Death Penalty by John Turner

Recommended Reading: July 26 – August 1

Below are this week’s collection of recommended blog posts from across the internet. As always, feel free to suggest other things I should be reading in the comments section below. May these links be as thought-provoking for you as they were for me. Cheers, JP

Theology and Religion

We have all seen (or been a part of) vicious internet “discussions” that are more vitriol than informed and meaningful dialogue. Laura Ehlen reflects upon how Writing can be an Act of Charity, especially online, by examining the life and practice of Catherine of Siena.

Amid the (too often) lopsidedness of dialogue concerning the current Israel-Gaza conflict, J. R. Daniel Kirk offers a Liturgy for Peace, which is both honest and reflective, calling Christians to respond to conflict with charity, wisdom, and compassion.

Lest our theology become too abstract, Elizabeth Scalia invites us to put ourselves in the shoes of our Christian brothers and sisters who are being forced from their homes by the ISIS.

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

After several teaser posts, Larry Hurtado (finally) offers his review of N.T. Wright’s massive work on the Apostle Paul. Thankfully the review is shorter than Wright’s two volume, 1600+ page behemoth.

Also of importance are Hurtado’s remarks about the relationship of blogging to scholarship, and the need to read whole books (and not just blog posts and comments) in order to be fully informed about the intricacies of scholarship.

Worldviews and Culture

In a world full of sin and conflict, it’s easy to focus on one or two of the most “important” current events. Over at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg comments upon the media’s Obsession with Gaza while simultaneously ignoring Syria (and almost everything else going on). Yes, it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. But no, that doesn’t mean it’s alright to put blinders on to certain forms (or locations) of evil.

How should we go about doing “history?” Dale M. Coulter writes about a the late great medievalist Jacques Le Goff and how a truly Good Historian Resembles an Ogre.

From last week but worth your read this week, Stephen Sutherland reflects upon the benefits of smoking (you read that correctly), especially whilst thinking and writing. Worth reflecting upon over a beer at least.

“It is beyond question that if any man was ever born to play the role of Hercules, it would be Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, whose very presence in a movie is an inspiration to do more bench-presses.” Inspired to catch the latest summer blockbuster yet? Check out John Ehrett’s review of Hercules before you go – you’ll be glad you did (and you just might learn something).