Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday School Reading - May 17, 2009

Here are some recommended readings based on our discussion yesterday. This week we covered the last two attributes of the church, metaphors for the church in the New Testament, and the Presbyterian structure of the church.


Book recommendations:
  • The Church by Edmund P. Clowney - Again, I want to highlight that this is probably the best single book that you will find on the doctrine of the church. Next week we will discuss women in the church and I do have some disagreements with Clowney on this topic. However, aside from that I do think that Clowney's work is fantastic. He is very good on metaphors for the church.
  • On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, and Stories by Sean Michael Lucas - I have recommended this book in the past and want to mention it again here, especially for those who want to save money and want books that cover a number of topics. Chapter 8 of Lucas' book deals with Presbyterian church government. I think that this is a very helpful overview and introduction and I think that this is a great book to have in general.
  • The Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic by Richard Phillips, Philip Ryken, and Mark Dever - Another repeat from last week. This is a good short book from three pastors on the attributes of the church as set forward in the Nicene Creed.
  • The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America - I want to highlight this since we did discuss the structure of the church and it can be good to know what our Confession documents, and BOCO is one, say about our church order. This may also be available to read as .pdf from the PCA website but I'm not certain.
  • Discussions in Church Polity by Charles Hodge - This is obviously an older book but is interesting for some of the deeper aspects of the structure of the church. It largely came out of some debates with James Henley Thornwell over specific topics and provides some interesting context to present church polity.

Presbyterian and Reformed systematic theologies:
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin - In book four, Chapters 3-12 all deal with various aspects of the structure or governance of the church, particularly in the context of the Reformation and the conflict with the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck - Bavinck discusses out topics from yesterday at the end of Chapter 5 and in Chapter 6 of Volume 4, Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation.
  • Concise Reformed Dogmatics by J. Van Genderen and W.H. Velema - The discussion in Chapter 13 is helpful on church government and the attributes of the church.

Online essays and articles:

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