Every three years the DBTS faculty collaborate to produce a Basic Library Booklist for pastors. Of course, books come out more frequently than every three years, so I thought it might be helpful to reflect publicly on the “must haves” in systematic theology from 2011. Here’s my list, in the order I bought them:
- John Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2010). For years I’ve been frustrated in my search for a comprehensive, seminary level textbook on bibliology. John Frame has finally given us one. And not just a good one–a truly outstanding one.
- Michael A. Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011). A conservative and scholarly confessional system of theology from the J. Gresham Machen professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, CA. A major contribution.
- Gregg R. Allison, Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011). I don’t plan to read this one through, but it has already come in very handy in exploring the range of historical options on theological questions. A companion to Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
- Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What Is the Mission of the Church? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011). A refreshing break by two leading evangelicals from the longstanding NeoKuyperian/evangelical alliance on practical ecclesiology.
- Andrew D. Naselli and Collin Hanson, eds. Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011). A multiple-perspectives volume that offers four takes on evangelicalism–and one that made me wonder (to turn a phrase) if there really is an “evangelicalism worth saving.”
- C. John Collins, Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Who They Were and Why You Should Care (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011). OK, so I wish this had been written by a young-earth creationist. Still, Collins deserves credit for correctly answering the question that is likely to become the next big crisis in evangelicalism.
- Robert A. Peterson, Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012). A fine contribution on the doctrine of Christ. The date says 2012, but I bought it in November of 2011. One of those rare and happy occasions when the publisher is ahead of schedule.
There are others…but these topped my list for 2011. Tolle lege.