Books I’m Reading

May 1st, 2013 / 4 Comments

It has been a while since I posted a list of the books I have been reading lately. So here is an update.

As usual, I’ve finished reading some of these books, am in the midst of reading others, and have only skimmed a few. But this reading list is as rich as it is varied!

Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace, by Keith D. Stanglin and Thomas H. McCall. Arminians like me have long needed an exposition of Arminius’s own theology. Stanglin and McCall do this well in their book. One of the book’s assets is that it helps reader find those points in Arminius they can embrace and those they cannot. And that’s an important gift to readers like me!

Philosophy, Science, and Divine Action, edited by F. LeRon Shults, Nancey Murphy, and Robert John Russell. This Brill book is a tour de force on the topics of the book’s title. Most of the major participants in science and religion discussions of God’s activity have essays in this gem of a book. It’s a great resource for me in my own work on divine action.

Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology. Al Truesdale and his associate editors have been working for some time to gather scholar to write entries for this new dictionary. The result is a great resource for those entering theological education and Christian leaders generally.

A Force of Will: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief, by Mike Stavlund. This is my new “go-to” recommendation for those thinking theologically about their own personal grief and sadness. Stavlund is brutally honest, and he promotes a view of God’s suffering with us that I find helpful.

Women Who Lead: The Call of Women in Ministry, by Mary Rearick Paul. The author, Mary Paul, offers a strong defense not only for why women should be ministers but also a description of the difference women in ministry can make. She weaves her personal experiences with biblical insights in a winsome way. I especially recommend this book to women exploring the possibility of a call for Christian leadership. Look for a God21 podcast featuring an interview with Mary.

Religions in the Making: Whitehead and the Wisdom Traditions of the World, by John B. Cobb, Jr. This collection of essays explores process theological and philosophical themes from the perspective of various religious traditions. Being a Protestant, I wasn’t surprised to find Marjorie Suchocki’s essay, “Grace as Enablement” as especially persuasive. But I also liked many other essays, including Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson’s essay, “Divine Power and Responsiveness.”

Quantum Mechanics: And the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, by Michael Epperson. I’ve only started reading this book, but I like what I’m reading thus far. At least what I am able to understand! Epperson offers a Whitehead interpretation of quantum mechanics I find persuasive.

Cleansing the Cosmos: A Biblical Model for Conceptualizing and Counteracting Evil, by E. Janet Warren. As the title suggests, Warren uses Scripture to argue her views on creation, sin, and evil. In particular, the author argues against popular “warfare” models for thinking about good and evil

Free Will: Sourcehood and its Alternatives, by Kevin Timpe. One of my life’s joys is having Kevin Timpe as my colleague. I consider him a major player in philosophical discussions of free will, so I picked up this book to get a more complete understanding of his views on the subject.

A Pentecostal Hermeneutic and The Gospel Revisited: Towards a Pentecostal Theology of Worship and Witness, by Kenneth J. Archer. I have had an ongoing interest in Pentecostal theology. But I only recently came across the work of Ken Archer. In these books, Archer offers persuasive arguments for Pentecostal perspectives on issues I find in important. I’m also happy to find that Archer and I agree on many doctrine of God issues.

A Seat at the Table: A Generation Reimagining Its Place in the Church, by Shawna Songer Gaines and Timothy R. Gaines. This wife-husband team tackle issues of ecclesiology and young people. They do it often by sharing stories, and these narratives draw the reader into probing answers to difficult questions. I highly recommend this book! I also recommend the God21 podcast featuring an interview with the authors.

Creation and the God of Abraham, edited by David B. Burrell, Carlo Cogliati, Janet M Soskice, and William R. Stoeger – I picked up this book, because it offers essays on creation – especially creation out of nothing. I’ve been disappointed with most of the essays, however. There are not very many new ideas, and the authors don’t see the problems with creatio ex nihilo that so many other scholars are seeing these days.

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Cody Marie Bolton

I must ask: are you reading all of these at the same time, or have you completed some? It just seems like my head would swim reading those books. (They do sound amazing though.)

Ben Duarte

Have you ever read “Epistemology,Becoming Intellectually Virtuous” by W. Jay Wood? I found this enjoyable. The books you listed seem interesting. Thank you for posting. Jay Wood teaches Philosophy at Wheaton College, IL.

Thomas Jay Oord

Ben – I’ve read reviews of the book and some excerpts, but I can’t say I’ve read the entire thing.


Dr. Oord, I enjoyed it. I’ve come to enjoy several areas of philosophy. Most of my research was restricted to historical and systematic Theology, I was intimated by both philosophy and Science. In the past 2 years or so, I have become more acquainted with Natural Theology. It seems that Natural Theology interacts well with science and philosophy. Thank you for your blog and for allowing discussion.

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