Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Books We Need Most

Stephen Seamands, professor of Christian doctrine at Asbury Theological Seminary, is the author of Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service which I received in the mail today. In the opening chapter he states that his reason for writing the book was "to demonstrate the significance of the doctrine of the Trinity for the vocation of ministry."

Seamands says that while there has been a resurgence of interest in trinitarian doctrine on the part of theologians over the last century, many of their writings are so abstract, dense, and theoretical that they are regarded as irrelevant by those engaged in pastoral ministry. "As a result, when they reflect theologically on their ministerial practice, they do so with very little reference to the doctrine of the Trinity." Seamands goes on to tell of a luncheon he attended years ago at which Martin Marty was the guest speaker. When asked by a faculty member what kind of Christian books are needed today, Marty replied, "So many Christian books written today are either 'theologically theological' or 'practically practical.' What we need most are books that are 'theologically practical.'"


Anonymous said...

I wonder if you might be interested in my Bible Reading Notes, covering the whole of Scripture www.christinallthescriptures.blogspot.com www.theologyofgcberkouwer.blogspot.com http://chascameron.spaces.live.com
Best Wishes.

M. said...

What we need is more people reading the Bible for themselves and letting the Holy Spririt illuminate the Scripture for them instead of listening to the fallable teaching of other men.
It seems that people are to eager to just have someone explain the meaning of the Bible to them instead of sitting down and studying the Scriptures and learing what God has revealed to us. Christians have become lazy and this is evident if you walk into many churches around the country...lots of entertainment...passivity. How many of these people sit down and study doctrine for themselves? It's no wonder that the Church is becoming culturally insignificant in places like England and the US.
The Church has been to eager to chase the secular world and keep up with it and bend it's teachings to pander to non believers. Some day we are going to look at ourselves and wonder how the body of Christ has moved so far away from Biblical teaching and living.
We don't realize it's being done with small steps here and there.

standrews said...

Update to my earlier comment (the first one) - The third site is no longer available. The first two can still be found here and here.