The newer a book is, the more suspicious of it I'm likely to be. God's truth never changes, and while there are times when its ancient foundations must be rediscovered, for the most part the old doctrinal texts are sufficient. I like Polycarp, John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Owen, Cornelius Van Til, Francis Schaeffer, and J. I. Packer.
As a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church,I subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith. The most eloquent expressions of theology are in the ecumenical Church creeds and the writings of the Reformers and English Puritans. Christians are to glorify and enjoy God, spread the Gospel, and repent of our sin; the books we read ought to help us in those endeavours.
When it comes to doctrine, I want books that are precise and rooted in biblical exegesis. Too much jargon is messy; one of the reasons the Puritan writings are so good is that they direct us to spiritual reflection rather than mere intellectualism. At the same time, the study of theology requires good scholarship and logic, and the guidance of men of God who've preceded us.
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