A Little Book for New Theologians: A Recommendation

I’ve recently finished reading a gem of a book by Kelly Kapic titled A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology (IVP Academic, 2012). I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It follows in the train of earlier classics by B.B. Warfield and Helmut Thielicke in encouraging beginning students of theology to exercise humility and cultivate godliness as they study Christian doctrine. Along the way, Kapic offers some introductory thoughts on the method and end of theology. Kapic divides the book into two sections of ten short chapters.

Part One: Why Study Theology

    1. Entering the Conversation
    2. To Know and Enjoy God: Becoming Wise
    3. Theology as Pilgrimage

 Part Two: Characteristics of Faithful Theology and Theologians

    1. The Inseparability of Life and Theology
    2. Faithful Reason
    3. Prayer and Study
    4. Humility and Repentance
    5. Suffering, Justice and Knowing God
    6. Tradition and Community
    7. Love of Scripture

I don’t know that I’ve ever “marked up” a book this short before, but I found myself constantly underlining, adding check marks of agreement, and scribbling thoughts in the margin. A Little Book for New Theologians is just that good.

If you are a college or seminary student interested in studying theology, you need to read this book. If you are a theologically minded pastor (and if you are a pastor, you ought to be one of the theologically minded stripe), you need to read this book. If you are a seasoned professor of theology, you need to read this book. It could easily and profitably be read in a couple of hours. Highly recommended.

B. B. Warfield on John Calvin

This years marks John Calvin’s 500th birthday. Calvin’s life and legacy are being celebrated through conferences, symposia, books, articles, and lectures all over the world. You can learn about how some (mostly Reformed) evangelicals are celebrating Calvin’s legacy by checking out the Calvin 500 website. In the blogosphere, there is also a Calvin 500 blog and the contributors to Reformation 21 are blogging through Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. There is also loads of Calvinalia available at Monergism.com, an online clearing house, if you will, for all kinds of “Reformedish” stuff.

I want to draw special attention to a great introductory resource related to Calvin, especially for those who are collegians, seminarians, or interested pastors. In 1909 Princeton Theological Seminary theologian Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield gave three public lectures to commemorate Calvin’s 400th birthday. Those lectures were subsequently published together as Calvin as a Theologian and Calvinism Today (Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1909). You can read each of the three addresses online by clicking on the following links:

Calvin as a Theologian

The Theology of John Calvin

Calvinism Today