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Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Brother John, Jan 26, 2011.
Martin Luther...or maybe John Gill...or perhaps C.F.W. Walther...can't pick just one.
We could upscale it a bit...Barth!
Perhaps M'Cheyne, because of his unbending pursuit of personal holiness for the benefit and blessing of the souls entrusted to his care. He was a true shepherd.
Currently I'm reading Ichabod Spencer's Pastor's Sketches. We have much to learn from a godly man such as him. Paul Washer comes to mind as well as a man who is focused on the souls of men and has good theology to back it.
I'm reading Bavinck at the moment so I am going to have to go with him- for the time being at least.
Pastor, I'm only aware of a few writings by M'Cheyne. What of his works would you suggest? And ditto on brother Paul; he is the real deal and a friend of our church. Of course, because of what he has published at the moment it would be difficult to follow him for lifetime study. There is still time.
Thanks for asking Andrew,
The most well known work of his was compiled by Andrew Alexander Bonar, Horatius Bonar's brother. It was written a year after his death and includes many of his own writings as well as a biography. In addition M'Cheyne (M'Cheyne, depending on who's writing) has a 3 volume set published. You can read about them on the Logos website. Incidentally, the memoir that Bonar provided for us is available for free download at the Logos website right now. You can read more about him at Wholesome Words. I found this while looking for quotes. Here are a couple of his quotes.
Okay, more than a couple. Here are some more.
As for Paul, it's rather difficult. We really have very little from witnesses. A physician turned historian wrote extensively about his travels and many of his encounters in volume two of his extensive historical account of the life of Christ and the early church. In addition many of Paul's own writings to fellow believers have been preserved for us and ordered mainly according to size in the New Testament, available in a book store near you or through internet search. Other than these sources you'll find a smattering here and there from early church fathers. I know Peter mentions him once in one of his epistles as well. If it was something more specific you were looking for I'll be more than pleased to assist you in any way I can.
Paul is by far more quotable. Perhaps one of his greatest quotes we can hear echoed in many of those from Brother M'Cheyne.
Thanks for the info on M'Cheyne! Your insight on this Paul fellow was helpful too; I think he is a friend of Paul Washer.
Jonathan Edwards. His blend of philosophy and theology answers the question, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?". He literally unifies east and west. I also find in his theology a full recognition of the role of the Holy Spirit as the tie that binds the physical and spiritual. All to ofter we, in our awe of God, make him out to be a kin to Barth's "wholly other" God, or reside too squarely in a natural theology. Either slide slips toward deism. It is both Plato's universals and Aristotle's particulars that the HS illuminates.
I believe Edwards view of the Trinity secured his spirituality, recognizing the role of he HS. Remember Edwards spoke of a "new" Christianity that lied on his horizon because of just these issues. He didnt know it but it was deism he saw. We see so much practical deism in our churches today, a transcendent God, but not an immanent..
I love this observation, and agree. My deal, though, is that if I had to pick just one food to eat for the rest of my life, it wouldn't be potatoes. It'd be something more like ice cream. That choice wouldn't necessarily be well-rounded, complete or best for me. But it would be most delightful and interesting.
Likewise with theologians, Calvin is probably the "right" choice in terms of who's best and most complete. But I find some others more delightful and fascinating, even if they're best read as a dessert rather than the main dish.
The OP question is a fun one. It not only reveals our tastes, but also whom among us is inclined to eat our dessert first.
JC Ryle would be another one worthy of this lifelong study.
I would choose RC Sproul, for someone like me with little or no education and a fairly new Christian, He is very to understand but at the same time he is straightforward with some depth to him..
I would choose John Calvin for obvious reasons and plus I have a LOT of his books already!
Calvin is an excellent choice as well. His personal letters show a true pastor's heart.
C.H.Spurgeon. I identify with him partly because we suffer from some of the same physical struggles. His sermons also show his love for God and love for his people. I also appreciate his wit and humor.
I thought the question had to do not with picking just one to read, but picking one to become expert in. Either way, it is a fun question. The next one would be, "Which theologians most consistently spoil your dinner?"
I'm torn between Warfield, James P Boyce, and Calvin. Dabney is growing on me as well. If he had more theological or sermonic material out there, John Broadus would rank up there as well. For sheer volume, hard to beat Calvin and Warfield.
What about a guy with whom we would all have many disagreements theologically with, but is yet, in my mind, the greatest living pastor-theologian: John MacArthur. Though I disagree with him on his dispensationalism and eschatology, I still think that he attempts to do all that he does from scripture alone. He has an almost Lloyd-Jonesian presence in the pulpit, and commands my respect and admiration on all that he has to say, whether or not I agree with him on everything. Also, his theology is gospel driven, which is most important. So, as far as contemporary men, I think MacArthur deserves some mention.
Seriously,my own Pastor,he is a personal hero in Christ,but if I couldnt pick him,it would be Edwards, he has the ability to translate for the simple and the learned,he has a Pastors heart as well as a theologian (a rare blessing) and he did it all here in Massachusetts,may the Lord again pour out His Spirit though the faithul preaching of His Word as He did with Edwards.
Augustine of Hippo. I like his blog