Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Book Meme

I begged Bryan L to tag me with the "One book meme" that started a year-and-a-half-ago. I'm like the pathetic kid on the playground, running up to whoever is it and yelling, "Tag me, tag me!" just to get some attention. (This will all change January 1 when I join the cool kids at Wordpress. Then people will tag me without me asking. Oh yes, they will tag me.)

1. One book that changed your life:
N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (1992)

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Stanley Grenz & Roger Olson, Who Needs Theology? (1996)

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
John Lofty Wiseman, SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea (2004)

4. One book that made you laugh:
Anders Henriksson, Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students (2001)

5. One book that made you cry:
John Perkins, Let Justice Roll Down (1976)

6. One book that you wish had been written:
The author of Matthew, I Acts (Matthew's version of the history of the early church, with Luke's version becoming II Acts)

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon (1830)

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Kevin Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine (2005)

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite (2004)

10. Now tag five people:
I tag Jessie, J.K., Brian, Tom, and Daniel


Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan L said...

You know Jesus and the Victory of God was actually very life changing for me. I read it before NTPG and I didn't get as much out of NTPG because I wasn't as interested in methodological issues and historical/cultural background issue at the time.

What do you think about the Olson Grenz book? I have it but have never read it. Is it a good introduction? What purpose would you see it serving?

I tried to read both Vanhoozer and Hart and found them both confusing. I'm going to give Hart's Tsunami book a chance though. I remember reading Vanhoozer' Is There Meaning n the Text and wondering what the meaning was of his book. : )

Bryan L

Ryan Jones said...

Tom, gotcha.

Bryan, I read NTPG and JVG back to back, so they were almost like a single book in my mind. JVG probably comes in at a close second. I think it was that whole Wrightian experience in general, but if I have to pick, the weight falls on NTPG.

I really like the Olsen/Grenz book. It was probably the first theology book I ever read, and it was a good one to start with. It is basically a simple treatment of prolegomena (the "introductory matters" of theology, for those not versed in all the obnoxious terms theologians come up with to confuse non-theologians. Grenz and Olson themselves never use the word, if I recall correctly). They have some great insights, and although it is written to a popular audience, I find myself coming back to it from time to time to see how they approached certain issues, like the purpose of theology.

Vanhoozer and Hart are on a whole different plain. They are steeped in academic language, so it takes awhile to bridge the gap between them and me. I mostly want to read Hart on the recommendations of Ben Myers and Chris Tilling in their blogs. I had Vanhoozer last year as my theology professor and his lectures were filled with a lot of material from the book. Those lectures have been like training wheels, especially to understand the positions of those he interacts with, like George Lindbeck. Nevertheless, I had to put the book down for a few days while I went to read Lindbeck's The Nature of Doctrine so that I can really track with Vanhoozer's argument. It's a lot of work, but I hope the payoff at the end will be worth it.

Brian LePort said...


I responded on my site.

Tom said...

My response is here:

J. K. Jones said...


I have been out-of-pocket here lately, but I am honored to be "tagged."

I will respond this next week.

J. K.

Jessie said...

Cool! I got tagged, too! I'm gonna post mine today, as soon as I think of 5 other people to tag. My responses will be at

izzy99 said...

I too felt left out of the tagging fun, until I realized I would be clueless as to who I could tag in return.