Looking to expand my libarary

When I go to book stores it seems that reformed theologians will out weigh any other theological point of view.  Why is that?  Is it because the store owner is reformed?  Is it because there is just plain ignorance on other evangelical theologians?  Is it because they write more than others?  Why is it so challenging to find other theologians that are not reformed?

I am looking to expand my library next year, and I am looking for authors that are evangelical but that don’t write from a Calvinist point of view.  I want to read books on prayer, salvation, commentaries on Romans/Galatians & systematic theology.  I want avoid spending unnecessary money trying to find new (new to me) authors.

In the last year I have worked really hard to find authors that are Evangelical but not Calvinist.  It is a challenging task to say the least.  Here is a list of theologians that I would not consider Calvinist, that I was introduced to in 2008 and have purchased books from them.

  • Thomas Oden (4 books)
  • Roger Olson (6 books)
  • Gordon Fee (5 books)
  • Jack Cottrell (1 on the way)
  • Dallas Willard (2 books)
  • Larry Hart (1 book)
  • Anthony D. Palma (1 book)
  • Ben Witherington (1 book)

I don’t have any problems with reformed theologian I own more books by them (Piper, Sproul, Demarest, Fineberg, Ryrie, Akin, Cole, Ferguson, Macleod, Coppedge, Bottner, Swindoll, Grudem, Pink, MacArthur,Roy, Spiegel, Erickson etc)  than I do any other system of theology.  I especially love to read there theological works on the Trinity, and Christ.

What are others non-Calvinist evangelical theologians would you recommend to me?  Also list what their expertise are and even recommend a book if you have one.  On any subject, it doesn’t have to be what I am particularly looking for.  Even recommend your favorite book or author, so long as they are not from a Reformed Calvinist point of view 😉  Trust me they (reformed) are ease to find.

This will help to build my list of books to purchase for 2009.

14 thoughts on “Looking to expand my libarary

  1. You know the more you start moving away from focusing on strictly evangelical scholars (who wear it as a badge) into just regular theology and biblical studies the less you find scholars identifying with either Calvinism or Arminianism (I think Gordon Fee is an example of this). They might call themselves reformed but it won’t necessarily mean they’re Calvinist or that Calvinist doctrine influences their reading of the Bible and how they do theology (I think N.T. Wright is a good example).

    I would recommend just listing some of the topics you are interested in getting into and asking about good books on those topics.

    Bryan L

  2. Here’s 3 off the top of my head:

    Author: Larry Hurtado
    Specialty: Early Devotion to Jesus

    Author: Craig Keener
    Specialty: All things New Testament

    Author: Michael Brown
    Specialty: Jewish objections to Jesus

    I’d recommend anything written by any of them, but especially Hurtado’s Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity; Keener’s two volume commentary on the Gospel of John; and Brown’s 4 volume series Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.

  3. Bryan, I understand what you are saying and it makes perfect sense. I only used the word Evangelical to play it safe I suppose. I could have just as easily said excellent theologians that are not of Calvinistic thought. Which is what I mean. I made an update to post, as I think your advise was very good. OK, come on I know you have some gems that you have come across other the Fee, so share.

    Nick, Thanks I will add those authors to my list for consideration for next year.

  4. Mich says:

    Olson, Witherington and Fee are great choices.
    I would recommend ANYTHING by N.T. Wright, but as you seem interested in Paul:
    1. Climax of the Covenant
    2. Paul: In Fresh Perspective
    3. What St.Paul Really said

    What do you think of Oden?

  5. Mich,

    thanks for stopping by and sharing. You got me, I totally forgot to mention N.T. Wright. I did purchase Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Thanks for reminding me about him!


    The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, that sounds really interesting. I have to check out the other one.

  6. Other non-Calvinist scholars you might like to read are Gerald O’Collins and Brian E. Daley, both of whom are Roman Catholic and have written quite a bit on the Trinity and Christology. Raymond E. Brown and Joseph A. Fitzmyer are two more Catholics who are more oriented towards Biblical studies.

  7. OK.

    John Goldingay: OT Theolgy

    John Walton: Genesis commentary (NIVAC)

    William Dumbrell: The Faith of Isael

    Francis Watson: Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith
    N.T. Wright: Christian Origins series

    Charles Cosgrove: Appealing to scripture in Moral Debate

    Paul Achtemeier: Inspiration and Incarnation

    Max Turner and Peter Cotterell: Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation

    James Jeffers: The Greco-Roman World

    Everett Ferguson: Backgrounds of Early Christianity

    David DeSilva: Honor, Patronage and Purity

    Jennifer Clancy: Slavery in Early Christianity

    Richard Hays: The Moral Vision of the New Testament

    Lee Martin MacDonald: The Biblical Canon

    William Webb: Slaves, Women and Homosexuals

    Some are more conservative than others so if that’s an issue for you then I would stick with the publishers that are particularly evangelical in their publishing.

    Bryan L

  8. I agree that most theology books tend to be reformed. The reformed movement has done a good job of presenting their theology in written form. TULIP acronomy only helps. I do hope more Arminian books (or simply as you put more non-Calvinist theologians) would publish some good theology reading.

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