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Reading Update

So now that all the graduation and wedding craziness is over, I thought I’d finally update my “currently reading” section.  

My goal is from here on out (and this will be easier said than done) is to be reading four things all at the same time.   1) Something from Karl Barth 2) Something contemporary in theology 3) Something classical in theology 4) Something related to Youth Ministry.

So, currently here’s what I’m working on

  1. Karl Barth – Church Dogmatics 1.1
  2. Jurgen Moltmann – Theology of Hope
  3. Hilary of Poitiers – On the Trinity
  4. Starting Right – Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry.

What I’ve found is that I actually do better reading multiple books at the same time rather than trying to focus on just one book and read that all the way through.  Of late I’ve spent more time with the Starting Right book.  It’s a book that was assigned for my Foundations of Youth Ministry class so I’ve read sections of it, but never the whole thing.  I thought it was pertinent for my situation.

I started Church Dogmatics 1.1 last spring but it got shelved during the school year.  My goal is to finish the whole church dogmatics by the time I’m 40.  I’ve read all of 4.1 and significant chunks of 1.1 and 3.4 so I think I have a chance of making it.  

Theology of Hope my Moltmann is part of a larger project through which I’m trying to get a grasp of eschatology.  I’ve found that eschatology seems to be a neglected area of thought in the reformed tradition, at least the part in which I’ve come out of it.  But, if “eschatology is the orienting factor for the mission of the church”, as Grenz and Franke contend it’s an importa area of study.  I’m actually prefacing Moltmann by reading a number of articles on eschatology from various biblical and theological dictionaries.  

Finally, since I don’t think just because something is newer that it’s better, Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity makes the list.  I was introduced to Hilary through my study of T.F. Torrance, and more recently through my good friend Matt Bell who relied on him extensively in his Masters’ Thesis work.  

So, you might ask what does this have to do with real life?  After all, I certainly don’t expect that my parishioners (including teenagers) will start reading Karl Barth right?  Of course not.  However, my “field of study” has a living subject, The Triune God and regardless of “cool” I am or regardless of what techniques I use to teach, or how fun an event is – If I’m not faithfully bearing witness to the God who is, my participation in God’s ministry will be severely hindered.

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