Summer Plans

I just turned in my last MDiv papers. One was on Schleiermacher and the other was on Yves Congar, in case anyone is interested. But, now that this whole seminary thing is over (at least academically - we still have the commencement thing), I can’t help but look ahead to the summer and to the next academic year. You’ll notice, if you look at my profile, that it no longer makes mention of my MDiv status, but now proudly proclaims that I am an entering first year PhD student in systematic theology here at Princeton Theological Seminary. The admissions committee in their collective wisdom (or folly!) offered me a position (not before first putting me on a waiting list just long enough for all my other schools to reject my applications). Since my status changes as of today (not technically, but go with me here), I’m expecting to witness a categorical leap in my academic skills and my capacity for clear thinking, although this might not show up until after graduation. There is really no telling with these things.

“Well, then? What of the summer?” I’m glad you asked! I’ll be spending the next few weeks working at the Barth Center, preparing for the upcoming Barth conference at the end of June. A couple days after the conference is over, my wife and I will be taking our first real vacation. Well, it is more like a series of vacations encompassing three weeks and three different locales. But, it will be lots of fun. After we return from our gallivanting, I will be taking a kamikaze course that will (supposedly) prepare me for reading academic French. That course will be followed by about two weeks of freedom, PhD orientation, and the beginning of classes.

“No, no, no, you idiot! I meant, what can we expect to see on your blog this summer?” Ah! Another good question!

  1. I’m sure that David, Chris and I will blog the Barth conference to some extent.

  2. Also, I still owe my philosopher friend Shane a post on ‘Creation, Covenant and the Knowledge of God’ that I hope to get done soon.

  3. I have an exciting multiple author collaborative project in the works that I am eager to get posted, hopefully before the Barth conference. Keep an eye out for it, because it will come fast when it comes.

  4. My goal is to finish writing the current series on Turretin’s ecclesiology, as well as to finish writing the current series on Calvin’s interpretation of 1 Peter (although I’m probably not going to get all the Calvin material posted before September).

  5. I am going to be co-leading a Karl Barth reading group leading up to the Barth conference. We will be reading the prolegomena material in Church Dogmatics I/1. I imagine that some posts will develop out of that, both here at DET and elsewhere.

  6. Last but not least, below are a list of books that I hope to read this summer, some for the first time and some with (hopefully) new eyes. I will likely post quotes from almost all of them, but I’ve put asterisks (*) next to the ones that I would like to engage in a bit more depth. These are listed in no particular order:

    • Hans Küng, The Church

    • Timothy Renick, Aquinas for Armchair Theologians

    • *Christopher Elwood, Calvin for Armchair Theologians

    • *Richard Jungkuntz, The Gospel of Baptism

    • *Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther

    • Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity

    • *World Council of Churches Faith and Order paper #111, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry

    • *Avery Cardinal Dulles, Models of the Church

    • *John Webster, Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch

    • Donna Bowman, The Divine Decision: A Process Doctrine of Election

    • Eleonore Stump, Aquinas

    • *George Hunsinger (ed), For the Sake of the World: Karl Barth and the Future of Ecclesial Theology

    • *Thomas F. Torrance, Theological Science

    • Daniel J. Treier, Virtue and the Voice of God: Toward Theology as Wisdom

    • *Hugh Ross Mackintosh, Types of Modern Theology: Schleiermacher to Barth

    • Thomas F. Torrance, Scottish Theology: From John Knox to John McLeod Campbell

    • Jürgen Moltmann, Experiences in Theology: Ways and Forms of Christian Theology

    • Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives

    • Thomas F. Tracy (ed), The God Who Acts: Philosophical and Theological Explorations

    • Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson (eds), Marks of the Body of Christ

    • Heiko Oberman, Luther: Man Between God and the Devil

    • *St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

    • *Wolfhart Pannenberg, An Introduction to Systematic Theology

    • Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Trier (eds), Justification: What's at Stake in the Current Debates

    • John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

    • Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline

    • Arvin Vos, Aquinas, Calvin, and Contemporary Protestant Thought: A Critique of Protestant Views on the Thought of Thomas Aquinas

    • G. C. Berkouwer, The Triumph of Grace in Karl Barth's Theology

    • Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination

    • *Thomas F. Torrance, Theological and Natural Science

Suffice it to say, it is going to be a busy (but, I hope, productive) few months. Stay tuned for all the excitement. I’m going to go rot my brain with videogames for a while…

UPDATE: I will indicate which projects have been accomplished as the Summer progresses by changing them into bold type.


JohnLDrury said…
just so you know, Wesley's "Plain Account" is not that great. I would recommend selected sermons in its place, or at least as a supplement. Start with "Scripture Way of Salvation," "The End of Christ's Coming," and "Christian Perfection."
Jon said…
Academic French ISN'T that bad!
JLD: Do you have a few sermons in mind that I should look at instead?

Jon: I'm not a language person!
millinerd said…
Congrats WTM! I have regained some faith in PTS's decision making.
Ben Myers said…
Congratulations, and good luck with the PhD!

Meanwhile, it looks like you've definitely got your holiday reading cut out for you! If you could read only one of these books, I'd recommend Hans Küng -- I reckon The Church is perhaps his best book.
Thanks Matt and Ben! When I applied for this PhD thing, it sounded like a fun thing to do - sit around talking and writing about theology. Now that I have been accepted, I am forcibly reminded of a little thing called comprehensive (or "qualifying," as they are currently styled) examinations...

Re: Ben's comments on Küng - I recently made a study of Yves Congar and feel like I have his basics under my belt, so I wanted to move on to Küng. The Church, which I have dipped into in the past, seemed like the right place to start. I'm glad to know that you agree!

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