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January 04, 2008



Happy Birthday!

Is it a year already? Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

I look forward to seeing what this year brings by way of posts. I've really enjoyed the diversity of what you post and I lurv the picture of those wonderful old books, she says drooling all over the keyboard!

Also suitably honoured and humbled to remain in your sidebar! That and hoping to see you in Manchester in August (unless you're in Prague in July of course)

Jason Goroncy

Twentieth century classics? It's probably too early to tell for the latter decades, but pride of place must go to Dr Barth's Church Dogmatics. Everything else is a way second (and possibly will be for centuries, short of the Lord's return). After Church Dogmatics, probably Balthasar's Theo-Drama, Jenson's Systematics Eberhard J√ľngel's work, and Rahner's Theological Investigations - basically those trying to come to terms with Barth's work. But I'd also like to see the following: Zizioulas' Being in Communion, Thielicke's A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, TF Torrance's The Mediation of Christ and The Trinitarian Faith, Bloesch's Christian Foundations (7 vols) and, of course, Forsyth's The Cruciality of the Cross, Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind, The Soul of Prayer. Unless all the Anglicans and Catholics die off, unfortunately Forsyth's The Church and the Sacraments stands no chance of making the list.

Jim Gordon

Thanks Catriona how could your blog not be on my sidebar when skinny fair trade latte is my wife Sheila's preferred comfort drink. (I do the fair trade bit). And your blog is a pastoral narrative in two important senses - the narrative of a pastor, and reflection on what it means to share the life of a community as a theological companion whose calling is to care thoughtfully and think carefully!

Now Jason. Barth, Von Balthasar, Rahner, Jungel, Jenson. This is where it gets hard to use the word classic at all, or without some helpful qualification. So let's say 'single volume classic'. And I'd have been disappointed if you didn't suggest a few Forsyth nuggets of Australian gold. I do agree about Zizioulas whose new book is on my must get round to it soon. And Thielicke like Moltmann wrote out of profound political disillusion trnasmuted into theological passion about the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation. Have you read his Man in God's World, which like Dogmatics in Outline by another theologian, was delivered as lecture / sermons to a congregation of stunned and bewildered people on the brink of despair, gathered in the bombed out shell of their church. It ranks alongside his When the World Began as a remarkable collection of sermons which do what a good sermon always should - save people by pointing them to a grace and mercy that transcends our human capacity for self destruction

Jason Goroncy

OK then Jim. Single volume classic' it is. Since I'm primarily a IV and not a I, II or III guy, I'd have to take my hat off to 'Church Dogmatics IV/1'!

Regarding Thielicke, I've read everything of his in English ... and would be happy to do it all again. My favourite: 'How to Believe Again'.

Ian Thomson

I've been reading your blogs with interest and enjoyment for months now! They're so often thought-provoking and stimulating - and I, for one, would welcome longer essay-type posts from time to time.


Happy first year, and ta much for all posts, it's been good to look in, like Catriona I also like the pictures but have got to say in agreement with Margaret the one with the wee face and pointy wooly bunnet cracks me up every time :) Books eh...........what would we do without them, I love them too although compared to your good self I'm still at the Janet and John stage of reading christian classics. I look forward to your essays.

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