A year of time-tested theology

It’s easy to get stuck in a reading rut. When you read the same kind of stuff, over and over, year after year… you get a bit worn out, y’know? That’s why, each year, I put together a new project to keep my reading from becoming stale. In 2014, I had the re-reading project, going back to a book I’d read in the past—some Christian, some non—to add a little more variety.

In 2015, one of the new projects I’m taking on is a fairly big one:

A year of time-tested theology. 

Beginning January 1, 2015, I’ll be reading (and in some cases, re-reading) a number of time-tested, trustworthy works of theology. My goal is to read four major works in the year, the first two being:

The remaining two I’m still deciding on, but I’m open to recommendations. One I’m considering, though, is Augustine’s Confessions.

This is going to be a fun project for a few reasons:

1. 2014 was a pretty dry reading year for me. There were a lot of really good books, but I felt pretty “meh” about the year overall. But old books are a lot of fun. I like seeing how people used language in the past and seeing how it’s evolved over time.

2. I really need to reconnect with theology that predates the Internet. I’ve been spending a lot of time with books written in the last 60 years or so, to some degree at the expense of far too many older, time-tested works. It’s time to correct that, lest I become guilty of chronological snobbery.

3. The reading is spread out. I’m not trying to set myself a crazy goal of reading one of these every couple of weeks or anything like that. These works take time to digest. My schedule for this project means I’ll be reading each work over the course of three months, on average. In some cases, this will still be fairly aggressive, but in others, it’ll lots of space. And with school coming up, I’ll need to make sure I have that space.

Some of my reading will inevitably be discussed here over the course of the year (but I’m not committing myself to a strict weekly series or anything like that). I really want this to be an enjoyable project for me—and if you’d like to join me in it, let me know what you’re planning on reading!

8 thoughts on “A year of time-tested theology”

  1. An interesting idea. I notice that the three books you mention fall into different time periods. Confessions – ancient. Institutes – early modern. Dogmatic – modern. How about something from the medieval period to round out your reading program? Thomas Aquinas’so Summa Theologica comes to mind as an option.

  2. What about Pilgrim’s Progress if you need something shorter? I recently learned that Spurgeon read it over 100 times. Edit: which is something you knew of course, if it’s true.

  3. Aaron,

    Do you own Bavinck’s 4 volume Reformed Dogmatics or the Abridged version? I currently have his abridged version, and I have been considering reading through it this coming year as well. I am also planning to work through Calvin’s Institutes, and I have plans for reading and study this coming year is to work through the WCF standards. May the Lord bless your reading and studies. Grace and peace be with you brother.

    Best regards,


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