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Top Ten Books

Top ten minus one (daughter Lauren has Creation Regained at Providence Christian College for use in HUM 101 with Prof Ryan McIllhenny).

What books have I found most influential to or representative of my reformational thinking?  Glad you asked!  Probably not much of a surprise, but here goes:

  • Abraham Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism (the old standard)
  • James K.A. Smith, Letters to a Young Calvinist (I read this as recently as September 2012 and was impressed by its rich and concise synthesis of Augustinian, Calvinian, and Kuyperian thinking)
  • Gordon Spykman, Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm for Doing Dogmatics (unfortunately not very tightly argued or concisely written, but Spykman often puts into words for me concepts, especially about God’s Word, that I find difficult to communicate to others)
  • Calvin Seerveld, Rainbows for a Fallen World (“culture is not optional”!)
  • Richard Mouw, He Shines in All That’s Fair (perhaps one the of the most influential; I certainly resonated with much of what Rich had to say here and he echoed thoughts I’d been having since I was a teenager and tried to wrap my mind around popular music appreciation as a Christian)
  • Richard Mouw, When the Kings Come Marching In (this is my list and I decided I get to repeat an author, if I like)
  • C.T. McIntire, ed., The Legacy of Herman Dooyeweerd (one of the first books I read on my own after my initial introduction to Dooyeweerd at Dordt College)
  • Al Wolters, Creation Regained(I was fortunate

    Daughter Lauren on Thanksgiving Break returning my book after writing a short paper on it.

    to read this in ms form in college and often refer it to others)

  • Roy Clouser, The Myth of Religious Neutrality (thanks to Roy, I have a ready answer for people who try to tell me that presuppositions may be important in some areas, but they certainly don’t apply to the abstract sciences.  Come to think of it, Kuyper could have benefited from this book . . .)
  • Os Guinness, The Call (what a marvelous synthesis of traditional Christian thinking about calling and vocation with the more holistic and Biblical reformational understanding of the creation order)
  1. Paul: concerning your comment on Roy Clouser: “Come to think of it, Kuyper could have benefited from this book . . ” What follows is a brief formulation of an issue I have been thinking about for some time. An ironic “application” of “sphere sovereignty” to science would seem to suggest that science is NOT sovereign in its own sphere. This is not a trick. Nor is it giving room to a creational antinomy. But to clinch this let us briefly think about the application of the Kuyperian idea to the task of science itself. One might very easily assume that “sovereign in its own sphere” as applied to scientific reflection means constituting a separated sphere of thought that is either autonomous, or semi-autonomous with respect to any pre-scientific assumptions. But that would be to assume that science is both an independent and dependent variable in the ongoing development of human knowledge. The PCI’s critique of such views, left unresolved in Kuyper’s “science”, involves an investigation of whether science’s “sphere sovereignty” can be confirmed by this essentially neo-Kantian view of science. Instead, Dooyeweerd took the path of a “transcendental critique of theoretical thought” by which he meant “a critical inquiry (respecting no single so-called theoretical axiom) into the universally valid conditions which alone make theoretical thought possible, and which are required by the immanent structure of this thought itself.” (A New Critique of Theoretical Thought Vol. 1 p.37). In this case the concept or “so-called theoretical axiom” to be subjected to critical inquiry would be the “sphere sovereignty” or “autonomy” of science itself. The term “distinctive integrity”, that is of science and philosophical reflection coram Deo is, I believe, a better term. All terms have their limits of course.

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