Recommended Reading

2015-08-20 11.52.03There is only so much that you can accomplish with a blog. Much of what I write here can only provide a glimpse of what I have learned from some of the church’s most gifted teachers. If you are looking to go deeper, here are some resources that I would encourage you to explore. This page will be updated frequently.

Holy Scripture 

I know this should go without saying, but I know well the temptation to spend more time reading about Scripture than actually reading Scripture itself. This is the first and last Word regarding everything that the church needs to say and do.

Resources on Evangelical Calvinism

Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church (Myk Habets and Bobby Grow)

There is not much literature on Evangelical Calvinism per se, so this is a great place to start. Although not exhaustive, the essays in this book provide a sense of the overall ‘mood’ that characterizes the still-developing Evangelical Calvinist trajectory within Reformed theology.

Scottish Theology: From John Knox to John McLeod Campbell (T.F. Torrance)

Although I have specific recommendations of Torrance’s works below, this is particularly critical for understanding Evangelical Calvinism. Not only is this the book in which Torrance coins the term ‘Evangelical Calvinist’, but it offers an excellent overview of the development of Evangelical Calvinism within Scottish Reformed theology since the time of the Reformation and helps to clarify its distinguishing features in contrast with federal/classic Calvinism as embodied in the Westminster Standards.

Resources on/by T.F Torrance

A Passion for Christ: The Vision that Ignites Ministry (T.F., J.B., and D.W. Torrance)

Torrance’s corpus is massive, and it is sometimes difficult to find an entry point. Although some may disagree, this book is, in my opinion, the best place to begin for a number of reasons. First, I think it is Torrance at his most accessible and practical. Second, it includes a biographical sketch to help the reader become familiar with Torrance himself. Third, it also includes some chapters written by T.F.’s brothers that help to fill out the overall picture of the Torrancean vision.

The Mediation of Christ (T.F. Torrance)

This relatively short book also provides a good entry point into Torrance’s theology, offering a good overall idea of the basic contours of his thought. This book also has one of the most beautiful expositions of the gospel that I have ever come across. Don’t let its small size deceive you; this is meaty material!

How to Read T.F. Torrance: Understanding his Trinitarian and Scientific Theology (Elmer Colyer)

Although well worth the effort, moving further into Torrance’s work is not easy. I recommend this book because, as its title suggests, it provides a great preparation for anyone looking to engage with Torrance on a deeper level.

Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ and Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ (T.F. Torrance)

If you truly want to get a firm grasp on Torrance’s theological project, these two volumes are the place to go. Torrance never succeeded in writing the dogmatics that he had intended, but these two books give us the next best thing. Edited by Robert T. Walker, they contain the dogmatic lectures that Torrance delivered to his students in Edinburgh over the course of many years. These volumes are a veritable treasure trove.

The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T.F. Torrance)

Some think that this work is Torrance’s magnum opus. It very well could be. This book is Torrance’s exposition of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, the orthodox touchstone of all Christian traditions. More than simply a magnificent survey of patristic doctrine, this book reveals the deep rootedness that Evangelical Calvinism (though Torrance does not call it such here) has in the history of orthodox Christianity.

The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons (T.F. Torrance)

It is difficult to think of a sustained treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity that surpasses this one. Many theologians claim that in a very real sense, the doctrine of the Trinity is the only Christian doctrine insofar as it grounds and comprehends the totality of that which the church has to believe and proclaim. I love this book not only because of its solid exposition, but also because its beauty moves me to doxology.

The Ground and Grammar of Theology and Theological Science (T.F. Torrance)

Although different in many respects from Torrance’s other works in that these focus on his theological method, they are essential reading. It can be difficult for some people to really grasp where Torrance is coming from because he operates in many ways with a fundamentally different approach to Scripture and theology. These books lay bare that approach and thus shed light on everything else that he has written.