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Essential spiritual and devotional writings for theologians

January 28th, 2006
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Oh, boy….now they’ve gone and really done it! The "Essential Paintings" list was interesting. The "Essential Philosophers" was equally so….but….now they dare venture into the treacherous waters of trying to nail down an essential reading list of spiritual and devotional writings for theologians, the brave souls! What do you think of their list?

Link: Faith and Theology: Essential spiritual and devotional writings for theologians.

Here’s my take on it. I like their goal of linking theology with spirituality. We classical Lutherans would think instantly of the necessary understanding that theology is a "habitus" … an inward inclination of the heart, a "habit" formed in us by the Holy Spirit who instills and preserves true faith. I like this emphasis in their list.

They probably don’t know about Johann Gerhard, but he really must be on their list as the finest example of writers of "Protestant" spirituality from the Lutheran confessional tradition. And since, well, how to say these, we were the first out of the chute when it came to the Reformation, John Gerhard’s Meditations on Divine Mercy really needs to be here, along with his Sacred Meditations.

What would you put on their list? Or remove from their list?

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Categories: Books
  1. Jack Kilcrease
    January 28th, 2006 at 20:56 | #1

    Pastor Paul- This is a great volume my father read it.
    Also, I was searching on the Internet the other day for information about Johann Gerhard and I found a posting from you 4 years ago saying that CPH was going to publish and translate Gerhard’s Loci Theologici on CD. What happened to that? I would really enjoy that!
    McCain response: Jack, thanks for your comment. Regarding Gerhard….I have good news. The first volume in the series of Gerhard’s LOCI will be out by this May or June, “On Theology and Holy Scripture.” We decided to go with print, rather than CD only, since so many people said, “We want it in book form!” But a work of this kind also begs for CD treatment, so we will do that as well…eventually…though not right away.

  2. Jean-Martin
    January 30th, 2006 at 02:24 | #2

    I would have added something by Thérèse de Lisieux and maybe the poems of Charles Péguy. I am surprised to see that the Eastern tradition does not appear more cleraly in this list. But it’s true too it’s not strong on Lutherans and Calvinists either. Oh, BTW, Cranmer on the Homilies would have been good, too, although it is not exactly “devotional” reading…

  3. January 30th, 2006 at 17:42 | #3

    OK, here is my list additions, beginning with some recent theologians:
    G. E. Veith– Spirituality of the Cross. He has done some other excellent ones.
    Klemet I. Preus–
    The Fire And The Staff: Lutheran Theology In Practice
    Scott R. Murray–Law, Life, and the Living God: The Third Use of Law in Modern American Lutheranism
    Sanctification, Christ in Action
    That is enough for the moment. I just wish I was strong enough to hold books so I could read them instead of waiting for them to come into the public domain so I can download them to my computer. ;-)

  4. February 1st, 2006 at 19:22 | #4

    Thanks for this nice post — I do know a little of J. Gerhard, and it’s a good idea to include him.
    In case you’re interested, we’ve just added a supplement to the list of “essential paintings” as well.

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