Acts (Belief Series) // Willie James Jennings.

What prophetic roar, what fiery witness! This, Willie James Jennings’s commentary on Acts, is without a moment’s hesitation one of the best theological works I have ever read. “The revolution of the intimate is here!” Jennings heralds. And how profound is this unseemly way of flipping the world right-side. It is not one of violence,Continue reading “Acts (Belief Series) // Willie James Jennings.”

Till We Have Faces // C.S. Lewis.

Personally, I think C.S. Lewis is at his best when he writes fiction. (I was underwhelmed by Mere Christianity, perhaps because I recognized his theological influences, such as Augustine and Aquinas, and thought them more magisterial than he. Exceptions are A Grief Observed and The Weight of Glory.) Not just his celebrated Narnia Chronicles—a literaryContinue reading “Till We Have Faces // C.S. Lewis.”

Dune // Frank Herbert.

Perhaps it was the production crew comprised of stellar voice actors and sound engineers that made L.A. traffic somewhat enjoyable. Or it was Dune itself, a masterpiece by Frank Herbert, that captivated me so thoroughly that I would take one-to-two hour walks—an unlikely and unusual exercise for those who know me—just to hear a bitContinue reading “Dune // Frank Herbert.”

Parable of the Sower // Octavia E. Butler.

Gripping, absolutely gripping. In post-apocalyptic California, not too far in the future, 2020s, climate change has taken its destructive toll: ravaging “the most powerful nation” and making ravenous people—cannibalist, rapists, scavangers, and druggies who love to see things on fire. Parable of the Sower follows the black heroine, Lauren Olamina, who grew up somewhat protectedContinue reading “Parable of the Sower // Octavia E. Butler.”

Luther: Man Between God and the Devil // Heiko A. Oberman (trans. by Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart)

We are beggars before God! Martin Luther Martin Luther: Who was this man? He was, by all accounts, one of the most influential figures of Christian history — perhaps of world history. He is attributed to be the pioneer of the Protestant Reformation — something he failed to see the fruition of. Even at hisContinue reading “Luther: Man Between God and the Devil // Heiko A. Oberman (trans. by Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart)”

The Cross and the Lynching Tree // James H. Cone.

There were many theological giants in the 20th century. But no list is complete without James H. Cone — the father of Black Liberation Theology. For decades, Cone, with Barth-like audacity, fought against (white) theological academia, denouncing their racist theological-red-lining — which is declaring what is or isn’t acceptable. Cone instead advocates for different sourcesContinue reading “The Cross and the Lynching Tree // James H. Cone.”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? // Philip K. Dick.

For good or for ill, A.I.’s are shaping the future — indeed, they are shaping the present. But what are the costs? The benefits? Is this the end of humanity as we know it, or the rise of the next, inevitable step? These might be pertinent questions now, but decades before A.I. became a tangible reality, PhilipContinue reading “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? // Philip K. Dick.”

Revisioning Christology // Oliver D. Crisp.

Reformed theologians are known for being Christocentrists — or Christ-obsessors — in their systematic theology, and Revisioning Christology is no exception! Oliver D. Crisp puts his analytic theology to task as he tackles six pillars of christology with six divines of the Reformed tradition. They are as follows: (1) the paradox of incarnation with DonaldContinue reading “Revisioning Christology // Oliver D. Crisp.”

Trauma and Recovery // Judith Herman.

I dare say that this is one of the most important books I’ve read this year – maybe ever. The matriarch of trauma theory and studies, Judith Herman is incredible – simply incredible – in her clarity, depth, and empathy. She is one of those rare writers that presents ideas so concisely yet with soContinue reading “Trauma and Recovery // Judith Herman.”

Three Mile An Hour God // Kosuke Koyama.

Whimsical, witty, and down-right just good, Kosuke Koyama is truly a one-of-a-kind theologian. Koyama is, along with Jung Young Lee and C.S. Song, a trail-blazer and an inspiration to young, aspiring theologians like me — an Asian American. Though Western trained (Princeton and Union Theological Seminary), Koyama is unapologetic of use of Buddhism, Japanese heritageContinue reading “Three Mile An Hour God // Kosuke Koyama.”

God Incarnate // Oliver D. Crisp

I’ve grown to appreciate analytic theology, especially in the hands of someone like Oliver D. Crisp. Or, perhaps, I like God Incarnate just because it is a volume of Christological topics — and I very much like Christology. Either way, Crisp sharpens his analytic clarity (and charity) to explore, refute, and defend various Christological positions.  Crisp’s Christological standard,Continue reading “God Incarnate // Oliver D. Crisp”

Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism // Nancey Murphy.

Wonderfully short — roughly 150 pages — Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism by Nancey Murphy makes a scandalous claim: conservatives and liberals are closer than one might think! Indeed, they share a common philosophical ancestor: foundationalism of a Cartesian bend. Foundationalism is best understood, I think, with a building imagery: just like how every building floor is groundedContinue reading “Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism // Nancey Murphy.”

The Nature of Doctrine // George Lindbeck.

Very few theologians spark a generation(s) of scholarship, much less just one work of those theologians. Yet George Lindbeck’s The Nature of Doctrine accomplished such a feat in less than 150 pages. The Nature of Doctrine is, as Lindbeck confessed, an introduction to what he calls “postliberal theology.” Unfortunately, Lindbeck never got around to publish a fuller treatment onContinue reading “The Nature of Doctrine // George Lindbeck.”

The Wounded Healer // Henri Nouwen.

In this deeply moving short, Henri Nouwen displays pastoral sensibility’s at its best. Wounds are real and painful but worthy of contemplative scrutiny. In fact, contemplative scrutiny exposes wounds — possibly deepens and intensifies them — but it also starts their healing: wounds are healed through knowing the wounds, feeling the wounds, and sharing theContinue reading “The Wounded Healer // Henri Nouwen.”

Pachinko // Min Jin Lee.

Pachinko’s very first words are… “History has failed us, but no matter.” Who is the speaker? Is she one of the main characters? Is she the narrator? Or is she the author, Min Jin Lee? Personally, I think it makes the most sense if this is the author’s aside: a statement even beyond the scope ofContinue reading “Pachinko // Min Jin Lee.”

Double Particularity // Daniel D. Lee.

Theology is a saturated academic field, yet there is a dire need for constructive Asian American theology. Double Particularity is a commendable attempt to fill a part of that enormous need. And, no, this is not “Asian theology,” though it very much appreciates and stands on the shoulders of Asian theologies. Demarking the difference between Asian andContinue reading “Double Particularity // Daniel D. Lee.”

From Nothing // Ian A. McFarland.

From Nothing is an impressive work of constructive and systematic theology: Ian A. McFarland, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University shows his creative craft and meticulous scholarship in this original work on the theology of creation. Prior to this, McFarland has made significant contributions to theological anthropology. Actually, the impetus for From Nothing came from his wrestling with howContinue reading “From Nothing // Ian A. McFarland.”

The Drama of Doctrine // Kevin J. Vanhoozer.

During Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s itinerant time at Wheaton, word of this book, his magnum opus, was buzzed as the book to read for eager students of theology. So, desperately wanting to learn more, I bought the book, read the first few pages, and closed the book. I thought, “What in God’s name is he talking about?” His verbosity dwindledContinue reading “The Drama of Doctrine // Kevin J. Vanhoozer.”