The Courage to Be // Paul Tillich.

Selected as one of the Books of the Century by New York Public Library, there’s something profound and particularly piercing about The Courage to Be that sized thousands. Paul Tillich touched a nerve by diagnosing modern humanity’s central problem as anxiety, particularly the anxiety of doubt and meaninglessness. Paul Tillich stands as one of theContinue reading “The Courage to Be // Paul Tillich.”

Remember Unto Life (Deut 1-4)

Deuteronomic theology in a nutshell is remember, remember, remember! Memories are tricky things. It comes as no surprise that memories often change: they twist and produce ill-feelings; they blossom and touch tenderly; they recede into “I forgot” or “I don’t care” mental boxes; or they glue themselves at the forefront of our minds. Memories playContinue reading “Remember Unto Life (Deut 1-4)”

A Gift of Love // Martin Luther King, Jr.

An orator with few peers, Martin Luther King, Jr. towers as a shining example of speech and homiletics (the art of preaching). What I would give to hear him speak in the flesh! I remember in elementary school watching a recording of his famous “I Have A Dream” speech before MLK holiday. Despite my barelyContinue reading “A Gift of Love // Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Perelandra // C.S. Lewis.

I’m embarrassed to admit that the first time I read Perelandra I did not enjoy it. I would like to fully recant my previous sentiment with wholehearted repentance: Perelandra is a brilliant stroke of theological rumination. I think before I was on the heels of Out of the Silent Planet‘s more adventurous narrative that IContinue reading “Perelandra // C.S. Lewis.”

Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism // Kathryn Tanner.

What has Wall Street to do with Jerusalem? What has the stock exchange to do with the Great Exchange? What has economics, specifically finance-dominated capitalism (FDC), to do with Christianity? Well, when the stakes are this high, a whole lot. Lives and the very fabrics of societies are being undone at the seams by theContinue reading “Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism // Kathryn Tanner.”

Telling the Truth // Frederick Buechner.

How is it that I only just read Frederick Buechner? What captivating prose! I must read more by him. Telling the Truth is a short work on the art of preaching. It’s a sort of manual, but it reads like literary time-travel that highlights critical points of telling the truth. We muse with Pilate andContinue reading “Telling the Truth // Frederick Buechner.”

Theology and the End of Doctrine // Christine Helmer.

In 1984, George Lindbeck, professor of theology at Yale University, published The Nature of Doctrine, a short manifesto that succinctly summarized a new way of doing theology: the so called “postliberal theology.” The proposal is simple: theological formation is best modeled after cultural-linguistic development. In other words, learning theology is like learning a language: oneContinue reading “Theology and the End of Doctrine // Christine Helmer.”

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.”

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.”

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”

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.”

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.”

Theology: Luxury, Tool, or Worship?

As I’ve been encouraged to envision myself as a theologian, a common question arises: “What does a theologian do?” A tempting response would be: “a theologian theologizes theology.” It has just the right amount of obscurity and tongue-in-cheek wordplay that hints both the elitism and self-delusion so often criticized of the theological academia. Instead, aContinue reading “Theology: Luxury, Tool, or Worship?”

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.”