Pastor/Theologian Pick For Lifetime Study

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Brother John, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. Brother John

    Brother John Puritan Board Sophomore

    If you were to pick one pastor/theologian above all the rest to become your lifetime study who would it be and why?
     
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Many would and have picked either Owens or Edwards. I'm not up to such challenge. Edwards is too philosophical, and Owens, while great, is too obtuse. Even if you do understand what he's saying, who else you gonna find to discuss it with? :D

    For me, it used to be Flavel, but of late I'm finding Sibbes to be much more edifying.
     
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Andrew Fuller, Willliam Carey, Patrick of Ireland or some obscure guy who hasn't been written on too much, like Angskar (missionary to the Norse, "Apostle of the North").
     
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    John Calvin; the greatest theologian of all time

    contemporary- Dr RC Sproul; ability to communicate the profound doctrines of Scripture to both seminary and the layman
     
  5. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

    :ditto:
     
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If you were studying for the sake of the wider church and not merely personal benefit, there would be a greater need for us to pick neglected theologians or unpublished theologians who really impacted the church and let the world know more about them.
     
  7. lukeh021471

    lukeh021471 Puritan Board Freshman

    Jonathan Edwards
     
  8. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    My first thought was Edwards.

    But upon reflection, it might be either Sibbes or Horatius Bonar. Both of those guys have a way of drawing us out of morbid introspection and into seeing Christ and relying solely on him.
     
  9. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Well, right now I seem to be on the Augustine/Calvin path. Both of them delight me and refresh my soul as I read.
     
  10. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Ebenezer Erskine :)
     
  11. bpkantor

    bpkantor Puritan Board Freshman

    I would pick Edwards or Charles Simeon.
     
  12. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Doesn't that depend on the presupposition that there were such? No doubt there are many theologians who are less well known and who were valuable in their own way. But for all their usefulness, did a Melanchthon, Amsdorf, Bugenhagen or Chemnitz really have an impact comparable to Luther's? No doubt Luther's impact would have been less, or different, without them; but that doesn't mean that their table talk would have been worth preserving. Not everyone ought to be consulted beyond their own time.

    Dabney, in his "Theology of the Plymouth Brethren" takes Dr. Bonar to task for a few points. I'm a mere neophyte in Bonar, but though I found his little booklet, "Not Faith but Christ" to be an amazing cordial, in a book of selections I also found points that made me consider Dabney's criticisms well founded.

    Overall, I think taking one person for perpetual study may tend to make such a person the ruler of our faith, instead of the helper of our joy. And some theologians are better in small doses than in large. As with composers, there are very few who can be listened to every day without ever inducing weariness. But what Bach is to music, Calvin is to theology: someone you are never sorry to hear, and someone you miss when you're away too long, no matter how much you've enjoyed the other offerings. Other theologians, to vary the figure, may provide fascinating and stimulating dishes, but Calvin is your bread, your tortillas, your potatoes, your rice: the staple that never grows old and without which all meals seem unfinished.
     
  13. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    just thought I'd tell you, his claim to the title Apostle of the North may not be uncontested. Dr M'Donald in the Scottish Highlands is the one I knew of, but there's also Bishop Bompas (Canada I think) David Brainerd and maybe some more. Pere Lacome, or is that a mountain...?

    Of contemporaries at least, I would choose Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Schaeffer
     
  14. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I would pick either Calvin or Owens. I truly feel that I would grow the most studying one of these two men.
     
  15. Ulster Puritan

    Ulster Puritan Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow... what a really unfair question! However, I could see how putting this into practice could help a lot of us grow spiritually. We tend to jump from book to book in reference rather than trying to understand one line of thought. Maybe that's just me!?

    I assume we are talking about a desert Island kind of scenario; stranded there with no-one but one theologian to keep you refreshed and at the same time your mind active in deep theological endeavour. I take it we have our pocket sized Bible there already!

    This is how I see it: you need someone who has written enough to keep you occupied, but also someone who can drift from devotional to more complex doctrine. I can think of one who fulfills this and is a man after my own heart in his views. That man is Thomas Boston!
     
  16. goodnews

    goodnews Puritan Board Freshman

    If you included all his theological works, sermons, etc., it would have to be Calvin. He's still the greatest mind in the last few hundred years. I doubt you could ever read it all.

    But, I owe a great debt of gratitude to John Murray and his works for helping me understand the great themes of the Reformed doctrine.

    I also very much like, Edwards, John Frame, Lloyd-Jones, Owen (as long as you're not in a hurry), Horton, Keller, Eugene Peterson.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  17. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Surely all of you are speaking of John Owen?

    Why? It doesn't seem like Edwards is the best in any given area.
     
  18. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Wow! No Osteen?! Amazing!
     
  19. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Because that's who John Piper picked, and who wouldn't want to be John Piper?
     
  20. Ulster Puritan

    Ulster Puritan Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, that's what I was thinking. Is "Owens" on of your weird American spellings? :confused:
     
  21. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I can agree with you, Ruben, about the danger of making one theologian the ruler of your faith. However, I don't know that I can go with you on your assessment of Melanchthon and Chemnitz, especially Melanchthon. His Loci Communes was the first systematic theology of the Reformation period. It greatly influenced Calvin's own Institutes. The LC was the single most reprinted Lutheran dogmatics. In its time, it was more forming than Luther's own writings were, even though Luther was the spark. Melanchthon was the systematizer who "cleaned up" what Luther left behind and didn't deal with. Chemnitz was probably the most incisive critic of Trent who ever lived. His Loci Communes were nearly as influential as Melanchthon's.
     
  22. Jared

    Jared Puritan Board Freshman

    George Whitefield, even though he seems to be rough around the edges in a way that I can't quite put my finger on.
     
  23. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I am loving Jeremiah Burroughs right now. I vote reading him and studying him. I also have loved William Symington the Reformed Presbyterian for his work theologically and as a Pastor. The great Missionary John G. Paton was a disciple of his. I just bought his autobiography so I will read it this year along with Burroughs.
     
  24. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Lane, I didn't mean to undervalue the impact of Melanchthon or Chemnitz (or anyone, really): I was just drawing a few examples present to my mind from reading Steinmetz's Reformers in the Wings. And of course a subtle influence may be all the more pervasive for its subtlety. They don't seem like they have the bombshell impact of Luther or Calvin, or like they enjoy the same kind of enduring status as a persistent influence and catalyst beyond confessional/organizational/local/temporal associations that might give someone a particular interest in them. But I can limit my examples to Bugenhagen and Amsdorf, and I think the point still stands that just because someone was very useful in his own time, or very influential in certain structural ways (as Bugenhagen certainly was) doesn't mean that their thought will be a fountain of theological dynamism for all time.
     
  25. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I can definitely go with that. :cool:
     
  26. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    :handshake:
     
  27. Joseph Scibbe

    Joseph Scibbe Puritan Board Junior

    Paul
     
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Puritan Board Freshman

    Thomas Watson would be at the top of my list.
     
  29. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    Tough one, and I hope nobody is going to hold us to these opinions. As of now I would have to go with Farel or Bucer. These were pastor/theologians.
     
  30. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Scandalous! Not picking Joel Osteen is like not picking Benny Hinn! Outrageous!!
     
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