Required Reading List For Graduating Seniors at Pittsburgh Seminary

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Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I received an e-mail today (that somehow came to me as I am not graduating) sent out to all the graduating seniors of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary telling them 116 books they should read after graduation. I am giving you this list to show you what your average PC(USA) and UMC Pastor is being told to go for theological learning. This should be no real surprise to those acquainted with the mainlines.

1. Achtemeier, Paul J., ed., The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1996). [“This one volume resource, prepared under the aegis of the Society of Biblical Literature, is a great place to go for quick and dirty info on biblical texts and topics, and a great first stop for exegesis.” – Dr. Tuell]

2. Anderson, Herbert and Robert Cotton Fite, Becoming Married, (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

3. Augustine of Hippo, City of God, (multiple editions in print; also available online @ NPNF1-02. St. Augustin's City of God and Christian Doctrine | Christian Classics Ethereal Library). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

4. Ayling, Stanley, John Wesley, (Cleveland: Collins, 1979; Abingdon, 1982, 1997). [Recommended by Prof. Tutwiler]

5. Barth, Karl, Church Dogmatics, (New York: T&T Clark, 1936-62; 2004). [Dr. Burgess Recommends: Vol. 3, part 4 (his theological ethics) & Vol. 4, part 3, 2nd half (his theology of mission); Dr. Purves Recommends Vol. 4, part 1]

6. Bass, Dorothy, ed., Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 1997). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

7. Benedict, Phillip, Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002). [Recommended by Dr. Wilson]

8. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990). [Recommended by Dr. Hainsworth]

9. Brown, Peter, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967, 2000). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

10. Brown, Sally A. and Patrick D. Miller, eds., Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

11. Brunner, Emil, Dogmatics, 3 vols., (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1950-70; James Clarke Company, 2002). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

12. Brunner, Emil, The Scandal of Christianity, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1951). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

13. Buber, Martin, I and Thou, (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1937; New York: Scribner, 1970) [Recommended by Dr. Purves]

14. Buttrick, David, Preaching Jesus Christ: An Exercise in Homiletic Theology, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988). [Recommended by Dr. Stricklen]

15. Calloway-Thomas, Carolyn and John Louis Lucaites, eds., Martin Luther King Jr. and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse, (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993). [Recommended by Prof. Chapple]

16. Calvin, John, The Institutes of Christian Religion, 2 vols., (multiple editions). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

17. Campbell, Charles L., The Word Before the Powers: An Ethic of Preaching, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002). [Recommended by Dr. Stricklen]

18. Cannon, Katie Geneva, Black Womanist Ethics, (Atlanta: American Academy of Religion, 1988). [Recommended by Dr. Peters]

19. Cooper-White, Pamela, Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

20. Davies, W.D., Paul and Rabbinic Judaism: Some Rabbinic Elements in Pauline Theology, (London: S.P.C.K., 1948; 1967; 1980). [“Still the best book on Paul” – Dr. Allison]

21. Davis, Ellen F. and Richard B. Hays, eds., The Art of Reading Scripture, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003). [Recommended by Dr. Creach]

22. Dawn, Marva, Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995). [Recommended by Prof. Tutwiler]

23. Dodd, C.H., The Founder of Christianity, (London: Collins, 1979). [Recommended by Dr. Allison]

24. Dunn, James D.G., The Theology of Paul the Apostle, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998). [Recommended by Dr. Gagnon]

25. Edwards, Jonathan, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, (multiple editions; also available online @ Religious Affections | Christian Classics Ethereal Library). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

26. Farley, Wendy, The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

27. Fee, Gordon and Douglas Stuart, How To Read the Bible For All It’s Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982, 1993). [Recommended by Dr. Humphrey]

28. Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity, (multiple editions). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

29. Fields, Doug, Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide to Starting Right, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002). [Recommended by Prof. Son]

30. Frank, Thomas Edward, The Soul of the Congregation: An Invitation to Congregational Reflection, (Nashville: Abingdon, 2000). [Recommended by Prof. Tutwiler]

31. Fretheim, Terence E., The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective, Overtures to Biblical Theology Series, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984). [Recommended by Dr. Creach]

32. Friedman, Edwin H., A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, (New York: Seabury Books, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Barnes]

33. Friedman, Edwin H., Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue, (New York: Guilford Press, 1985). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

34. Gagnon, Robert A.J., The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001). [“At the risk of laying myself open to some snide remarks, if the question is a list of 5 books that I think every pastor should read, I would be lying if (given the importance of the issue in the church today) I didn't say my first book. If I didn't wish all pastors would read it, I wouldn't have written it (given the great risks involved in writing it).” – Dr. Gagnon]

35. Gilligan, Carol, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982). [Recommended by Prof. Son]

36. Gregory of Nazianzus, On God and Christ, (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002). [Recommended by Dr. Purves]

37. Hawthorne, Gerald F., Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993). [“Obviously as a series of entries by different authors this is not the kind of book that is normally read cover-to-cover; but as a resource on Paul that can be consulted on an ad hoc basis, it is very helpful.” – Dr. Gagnon]

38. Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter, (multiple editions). [“To promote the kind of introspection that I believe all pastors (indeed, all persons) should possess.” – Dr. Tappy]

39. Hick, John, Evil and the God of Love, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

40. Hick, John, Faith and Knowledge, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

41. Hunsinger, Deborah van Deusen, Theology and Pastoral Counseling: A New Interdisciplinary Approach, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

42. Hutchison, William R., Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). [Recommended by Dr. Taylor]

43. Irwin, Dale and Scott Sunquist, History of the World Christian Movement, 2 vols., (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2001). [Recommended by Dr. Taylor]

44. Jeeves, Malcolm, ed., From Cells to Souls - - and Beyond: Changing Portraits of Human Nature, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004). [Recommended by Dr. Cole-Turner]

45. Jeremias, Joachim, New Testament Theology, vol 1: The Proclamation of Jesus, (New York: Scribner, 1971). [Recommended by Dale Allison]

46. Jewish Publication Society, The Jewish Study Bible, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). [“This is an edition of the Tanak, the Jewish Publication Society's excellent English translation of the Hebrew Bible, with extensive introductions and footnotes by Jewish scholars, referencing rabbinic resources and Jewish traditions not commonly accessed by Christian readers.” – Dr. Tuell]

47. Johnson, Luke Timothy, Scripture & Discernment: Decision-Making in the Church, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

48. Jungmann, Josef, The Early Liturgy: To the Time of Gregory the Great, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

49. King, Martin Luther, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991). [Recommended by Dr. Hainsworth]

50. King, Philip J. and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001). [Recommended by Dr. Creach and Dr. Tappy]

51. Kornfeld, Margaret Zipse, Cultivating Wholeness: A Guide to Care and Counseling in Faith Communities, (New York: Continuum, 1998). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

52. Labberton, Mark, The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God’s Call to Justice, (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Barnes]

53. Lathrop, Gordon. Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993). [Recommended by Dr. Stricklen]

54. Levenson, Jon D., Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible, (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1985). [“An excellent resource on the theology of the Hebrew Bible by a leading Jewish scholar.” – Dr. Tuell. Also recommended by Dr. Creach]

55. Luz, Ulrich, Matthew, 4 vols., Hermeneia Series, (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989). [Recommended by Dr. Allison]

56. Marsden, George M., Jonathan Edwards: A Life, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003). [Recommended by Dr. Carl and Dr. Taylor]

57. Mays, James L., ed., The HarperCollins Bible Commentary, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000). [Recommended by Dr. Tuell – see his comment above under the entry for Achtemeier]

58. McClure, John S., Other-wise Preaching: A Postmodern Ethic for Homiletics, (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2001). [Recommended by Dr. Stricklen]

59. McClure, John S., The Roundtable Pulpit: Where Leadership and Preaching Meet, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995). [Recommended by Prof. Chapple]

60. Meeks, Wayne A., The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983, 2003).

61. Miller, Patrick D., They Cried to the Lord: The Form and Theology of Biblical Prayer, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994). [Recommended by Dr. Creach]

62. Moltmann, Jürgen, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, (New York: Harper & Row, 1974; Fortress, 1993). [Recommended by Dr. Cole-Turner]

63. Moltmann, Jürgen, The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981; Fortress, 1993). [Recommended by Dr. Cole-Turner]

64. Moo, Douglas, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Gagnon, who also suggests, as an alternative, Moo’s “condensation” in Romans: The NIV Application Commentary, (Zondervan, 2000).]

65. Morris, Robert Corin, Suffering and the Courage of God: Exploring How Grace and Suffering Meet, (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

66. Neill, Stephen, History of Christian Missions, (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1964). [Recommended by Dr. Taylor]

67. Newbigin, Lesslie, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1989). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

68. Niebuhr, Reinhold, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1990). [Recommended by Dr. Carl and Dr. Hainsworth]

69. Niebuhr, Reinhold, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001). [Recommended by Dr. Wilson]

70. Oberman, Heiko Augustinus, Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, 2006). [Recommended by Dr. Wilson]

71. Pannell, William, Evangelism From the Bottom Up, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992). [Recommended by Dr. Peters]

72. Pannenberg, Wolfhart, Systematic Theology, 3 vols., (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991). [Recommended by Dr. Cole-Turner]

73. Partee, Charles, The Theology of John Calvin, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008). [Recommended by Dr. Wilson]

74. Peterson, Eugene, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology, (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Barnes]

75. Pohl, Christine D., Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, (Grand Rapids: WB Eerdmans, 1999). [Recommended by Dr. Hainsworth]

76. Rahn, Dave, Contagious Faith: Empowering Student Leadership in Youth Evangelism, (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2000). [Recommended by Prof. Son]

77. Ramachandra, Vinoth, God’s That Fail: Modern Idolatry and Christian Mission, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

78. Reardon, Patrick, Christ in the Psalms, (Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000). [Recommended by Dr. Humphrey]

79. Richardson, Don, Peace Child, (Glendale: G/L Regal Books, 1974; YWAM Pub, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

80. Ricoeur, Paul, Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995). [Recommended by Dr. Stricklen]

81. Robert, Dana, American Women in Mission: A Social History of Their Thought and Practice, (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Taylor]

82. Robinson, Marilynne, Gilead, (New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004). [Recommended by Dr. Barnes and Dr. Tappy – see comment under entry for Hawthorne]

83. Routley, Erik, Church Music and the Christian Faith, (Carol Stream, IL: Agape, 1978). [Recommended by Prof. Tutwiler]

84. Sacks, Jonathan, The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations, (New York: Continuum, 2002). [Recommended by Dr. Carl]

85. Sanders, E.P., Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE – 66 CE, (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1992). [“For understanding the Judaism of Jesus’ and Paul’s day.” – Dr. Gagnon]

86. Sanneh, Lamin, Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

87. Schmemann, Alexander, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy, (New York: National Student Christian Federation, 1963; 2d expanded ed.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997, 2000). [Recommended by Dr. Barnes, Dr. Burgess and Dr. Humphrey]

88. Schreiner, Thomas R., Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001). [Recommended by Dr. Gagnon]

89. Schwarz, Christian A., Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches, (St. Charles, IL: ChurchSMart Resources, 1996, 2003). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

90. Schweitzer, Albert, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001). [Recommended by Prof. Tutwiler]

91. Shanks, Hershel, ed., Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple, (Washington: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999). [“This is a fine, affordable collection of essays by responsible scholars dealing with the history of ancient Israel, particularly sensitive to the archaeological evidence.” – Dr. Tuell]

92. Shelley, Bruce L., Church History in Plain Language, (Dallas: Word Pub., 1995). [Recommended by Dr. Carl]

93. Smith, Gordon T., The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer and the Witness of the Spirit, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

94. Smith, Robert, Doctrine that Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life, (B&H Academic, 2008). [Recommended by Prof. Chapple]

95. Steinke, Peter L., Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2006). [Recommended by Dr. Robbins]

96. Taylor, John V., The Go-Between God: The Holy Spirit and the Christian Mission, (London: SCM Press, 1972, 1975, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Purves]

97. Terrien, Samuel L., The Elusive Presence: Toward a New Biblical Theology, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2000). [“An excellence exercise in biblical theology, reading Scripture as the encounter with God's presence, hidden and revealed.” – Dr. Tuell]

98. Thurman, Howard, Meditations of the Heart, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999). [Recommended by Dr. Peters]

99. Thurneysen, Eduard, A Theology of Pastoral Care, (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1962). [Recommended by Dr. Purves]

100. Tillich, Paul, The Courage To Be, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1952, 2000). [Recommended by Dr. Wilson]

101. Tillich, Paul, The New Being, (New York: Scribner, 1955; Bison Books, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Carl]

102. Troelstch, Ernst, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, 2 vols. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1992). [Recommended by Dr. Burgess]

103. Vandevort, Eleanor, A Leopard Tamed: The Story of an African Pastor, His People and His Problems, (New York: Harper & Row, 1968). [Recommended by Dr. Partee]

104. Van Gelder, Craig, The Ministry of the Missional Church, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

105. Vanhoozer, Kevin, ed., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Humphrey]

106. Villafaňe, Eldin, Seek the Peace of the City: Reflections on Urban Ministry, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995). [Recommended by Dr. Peters]

107. Walls, Andrew, The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Sunquist]

108. Webb, Stephen H., The Divine Voice: Christian Proclamation and the Theology of Sound, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004). [Recommended by Prof. Chapple]

109. Westerholm, Stephen, Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The “Lutheran” Paul and His Critics, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004). [Recommended by Dr. Gagnon]

110. Wheeler, Sondra Ely, Stewards of Life: Bioethics and Pastoral Care, (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996). [Recommended by Dr. Cole-Turner]

111. Wilcock, Michael, The Message of Revelation: I Saw Heaven Opened, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1975). [Recommended by Dr. Humphrey]

112. Wilmore, Gayraud S., Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of African Americans, (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1998). [Recommended by Dr. Peters]

113. Winter, Richard, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002). [Recommended by Prof. Son]

114. Wright, N.T., Paul in Fresh Perspective, (Fortress, 2005). [Recommended by Dr. Humphrey]

115. Yunus, Muhammad, Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty, (New York: PublicAffairs, 2003). [Recommended by Dr. Hainsworth]

116. Ziesler, J.A., Pauline Christianity, 2d ed., (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). [Recommended by Dr. Gagnon]
Tons of bad stuff --to be expected.

A few good choices though. GIlead is actually quite excellent.

It scares me that Purves and Gagnon are the "evangelicals."
Some of these books are important just to know what's in them. I wouldn't recommend them for most laypeople, including myself, but a trained pastor should be able to read opposing views without being swayed. Some of them are just useless or course!
Gagnon's recommends are the best of the (uninspired) bunch, maybe Humphrey's next.

Gagnon recommends Dunn & Sanders, however he also recommends Westerholm, which is good antidote. I can't say its clear (certainly nothing conclusive should be drawn from a mere list, and considering the source), but I think he's more interested in making sure the students know "what's out there" than promoting the NPP.
As someone who has taken classes from Dr. Gagnon, he does not promote NPP (However Dr. Humphrey does, she did her Ph.D at McGill under N.T. Wright).
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