Advice for my reading list

Status
Not open for further replies.

Sola Gratia

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey PB!
So my last post dealt with books that would help me with my wife predominantly, but I have been diligently searching for some good book lists and I have come across three.

The first is from RTS found here: RTS Recommended Reading List

The second is from Westminster found here: Westminster Seminary California - Preparing for Seminary - Recommended Reading List:: Westminster Seminary California

The third is from Monergism found here: http://www.monergismbooks.com/skin1/readersguide.html

So, I think all three of those are obviously great lists. However, I am quite new to Reformed theology and don't have a lot book-wise. Most of my reading has been done online and I'm looking to learn more/build a library. Granted, all three lists will take quite a while; however, which list should I start with. I anticipate that this may take a few years and I'm fine with that, but is there a certain order that I should read through these lists?

I was thinking
1.Monergism
2.RTS
3.Westminster
Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
Maybe I am misunderstanding, but I don't think you should necessarily aim for reading through each of the lists in order. Find an area that is of interest, such as beginning level on mongerism and start reading. As you go, you will probably find other books that are useful, instead of sticking to a list.
 
Last edited:

Sola Gratia

Puritan Board Freshman
My problem is that I have OCD (not literally) and if I do not finish the list at some point it will drive me insane. As in... forever:lol:
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
Don't drive yourself insane by reading redundant lists then. Just pick one and work your way through it. I like the mongerism list for what that is worth...
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
I did the exact same thing you did when I first began studying reformed theology - I took the WSC list and i was determined to read through it all. Never happened. Instead, I would just find myself desiring to learn about different topics so I'd read random books. Don't be in a hurry to plow through some list. To be honest, if you do that, you probably won't retain much. Take your time. Enjoy theology. Allow it to grow you closer to God. Your library will slowly build and you will gradually gain knowledge. Remember, the Christian walk is more of a marathon than a sprint.
 

Sola Gratia

Puritan Board Freshman
I did the exact same thing you did when I first began studying reformed theology - I took the WSC list and i was determined to read through it all. Never happened. Instead, I would just find myself desiring to learn about different topics so I'd read random books. Don't be in a hurry to plow through some list. To be honest, if you do that, you probably won't retain much. Take your time. Enjoy theology. Allow it to grow you closer to God. Your library will slowly build and you will gradually gain knowledge. Remember, the Christian walk is more of a marathon than a sprint.

I know... I just hate to believe something that's not true. Perhaps that is pride, I'm not sure. I just believe that the more we know about God the better we can worship Him and so I don't want to have a wrong idea about God because that would seem to be worship of something that doesn't exist. Not that I think I can fully comprehend God, but knowing more seems... better I suppose. I just end up praying all the time that God would help me to worship Him as He truly is and not how I imagine Him to be. I hope that makes sense and if I am wrong someone please correct me.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
Take your time, read slowly, enjoy topics other than Theology (and relate it back to Theology). Read the Christian (particularly Reformed) "classics", Augustine's Confessions, Luther's On Christian Liberty and Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Calvin's Institutes, a collection of the sermons of Jonathan Edwards, the Early Church Fathers. If your interested in learning about a specific topic, Covenant Theological Seminary offers the transcripts of their classes on Church History, Ethics, Apologetics, Books of the Bible, etc. for free.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't know why I didn't think to mention this when I replied to you a couple of days ago, and I know it's not the purpose of this thread, but if I may say so, I'd encourage you to make becoming really familiar with the Westminster Standards a priority. They are the most complete and mature of any of the Reformed standards and confessions (not to take away from the good that's in the others), and will benefit you tremendously.
 

Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
I don't know why I didn't think to mention this when I replied to you a couple of days ago, and I know it's not the purpose of this thread, but if I may say so, I'd encourage you to make becoming really familiar with the Westminster Standards a priority. They are the most complete and mature of any of the Reformed standards and confessions (not to take away from the good that's in the others), and will benefit you tremendously.

:ditto: to this. It's actually really important to get the basics down so that your theological growth is balanced. This is where the confessions and catechisms really help. However, even more than the reading is simply being a part of a faithful church that makes all the difference in the world, because theology is deeply practical and it's helpful to see it in practice.

Don't feel the need to too quickly rush into the deep or the "hot issues." I did to my detriment, as I over-focused on narrow or contemporary issues and missed out on some pretty basic stuff (for example, I had a pretty good understanding of the various Reformed positions on church-state relations (important but something requiring a lot else to be coherent) within my first year of being Reformed but it took almost 3 years for me to get covenant theology (much more foundational), largely due to excess focus on the former and not enough focus on the basics.

Regarding the fear of error, two points.

1st, In this life just as your moral conduct will fall far short, so too will your ability to perfectly formulate and accurately hold theological truth. Both are covered by the blood of Christ. Focusing on coherent growth will help give you a frame to address thorny or vexing issues in line with your confession.

2nd, You're going to struggle with wondering how on earth you ever believed some things, as you grow - not just now, but even way down the line. What I've generally found in both myself and in others is that the thorny issues or the lingering errors end up being some of your strongest suits once you get a handle on the issue and get a sound perspective. Looking in the long term, He uses them for your benefit
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
If you are new to Reformed theology, start with this. It is also available in Kindle format. Afterwards let your interests drive you elsewhere.

AMR
 

Sola Gratia

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know why I didn't think to mention this when I replied to you a couple of days ago, and I know it's not the purpose of this thread, but if I may say so, I'd encourage you to make becoming really familiar with the Westminster Standards a priority. They are the most complete and mature of any of the Reformed standards and confessions (not to take away from the good that's in the others), and will benefit you tremendously.

:ditto: to this. It's actually really important to get the basics down so that your theological growth is balanced. This is where the confessions and catechisms really help. However, even more than the reading is simply being a part of a faithful church that makes all the difference in the world, because theology is deeply practical and it's helpful to see it in practice.

Don't feel the need to too quickly rush into the deep or the "hot issues." I did to my detriment, as I over-focused on narrow or contemporary issues and missed out on some pretty basic stuff (for example, I had a pretty good understanding of the various Reformed positions on church-state relations (important but something requiring a lot else to be coherent) within my first year of being Reformed but it took almost 3 years for me to get covenant theology (much more foundational), largely due to excess focus on the former and not enough focus on the basics.

Regarding the fear of error, two points.

1st, In this life just as your moral conduct will fall far short, so too will your ability to perfectly formulate and accurately hold theological truth. Both are covered by the blood of Christ. Focusing on coherent growth will help give you a frame to address thorny or vexing issues in line with your confession.

2nd, You're going to struggle with wondering how on earth you ever believed some things, as you grow - not just now, but even way down the line. What I've generally found in both myself and in others is that the thorny issues or the lingering errors end up being some of your strongest suits once you get a handle on the issue and get a sound perspective. Looking in the long term, He uses them for your benefit

Thanks, I actually got my Westminster Confession of Faith in the mail today. I had read it online, but wanted to be able to write in it as well. And thank you so much for your advice - sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top