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The Gospel and Green Library
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The Gospel And Green Library

Version 1.6 – revised 1/9/2013

by Glen Davis – Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship -

One of my deepest wishes for you is that your studies will become an expression of worship so that you will see God's hand at work in your academic life.

There are lots of ways this can happen. One is so simple that it is often overlooked: you frequently have the ability to choose your research topics in a way that will allow you to consult edifying books. Since you have to do research anyway, why not take the opportunity to find out what fellow believers who have attained expertise in your area of inquiry have to say?

I’ve collected a list of books that might be helpful to you as you seek to think about all of life in light of your faith. All books are in the Green stacks unless otherwise indicated. They are presented in three categories: books that might help you on papers, books that you might find personally beneficial, and books that will help you understand the Bible better. I am open to suggestions – email me books you think I should add/remove.

Aaagh – Too Many Books!

If this list is overwhelming, start with these:

Books That Might Help You On Papers

These books will stimulate you to integrate your studies with your faith, particularly your studies in IHUM and other fuzzy classes. Most of these are academic works written by Christians (although not all are evangelicals). You will not (and should not) agree with everything within them simply because you share the authors’ faith.

Anyabwile, Thabiti. Not a professor anywhere, but a penetrating thinker.

The Decline of African-American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity. BT82.7 .A59 2007.

Barr, Stephen. A professor of particle physics at the University of Delaware.

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith - BL265 .P4 B37 2003

Bauckham, Richard. A research professor at Cambridge, Bauckham offers a strong defense of the fundamental reliability of the gospels.

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony - BT303.2 .B36 2006  

Beckwith, Roger. Was the president of the California Graduate School of Theology. This book contains a wealth of data on why certain books are in the Bible and others are not.

The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church And Its Background In Early Judaism - BS1135 .B43 1985  

Berger, Peter.  A professor at Boston University, Berger is one of the most important living sociologists.

The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. BL60 .B42 

The Precarious Vision: A Sociologist Looks At Social Fictions and Christian Faith. 261.6 .B496 and BL60 .B4 (must page for)

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. BD175 .B4 1966

A Far Glory: The Quest For Faith In An Age of Credulity. BV4637 .B38 1992

Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations. BL2747.8.B47 2008

Brams, Steven. Not a Christian, but has written some flawed and fascinating books blending game theory and theology.

Biblical Games: A Strategic Analysis of Stories in the Old Testament - BS1171.2 .B7 
                                           (it is also available in the math library at
QA269 .B7).

Superior Beings. If They Exist, How Would We Know?: Game-Theoretic Implications of Omnipotence, Omniscience, Immortality, and Incomprehensibility - BT130 .B69 1983 (also available online through the library)

Brooke, John. Former Oxford prof, now retired.

Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives - BL245 .B77 1991

Heterodoxy in Early Modern Science and Religion - BL240.3 .H48 2005

Brown, Michael.  Has a Ph.D. In Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, currently engaged in evangelistic ministry.

        A Queer Thing Happened To America - HQ76.3 .U5 B77 2011         

Carson, D. A. A professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Carson is one of the most prolific and insightful New Testament scholars.

Scripture and Truth - BS480 .S346 1983 

Hermeneutics Authority and Canon - BS540 .H37 1986

The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism - BT118 .C37 1996

Clouser, Roy. A professor at the College of New Jersey, Clouser has written an important work on how all our beliefs (even mathematical theories) are ultimately theological. Read it.

The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories. BL240.3 .C56 2005

Gagnon, Robert. Gagnon is a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This book is the definitive work on the subject – he leaves no stone unturned and no argument unaddressed.

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics - BS680 .H67 G34 2001

Gilkes, Cheryl. A professor at Colby college and an ordained Baptist pastor.

If It Wasn’t For the Women: Black Women’s Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community. BR563 .N4 G54 2001 

Gingerich, Owen. A professor astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard.

God’s Universe - BL240.3 .P64 2005

Hatch, Nathan. President of Wake Forest University.

        The Democratization of American Christianity.  BR525 .H37 1989 

Hauerwas, Stanley. Professor at Duke. Widely-cited.

The Peaceable Kingdom : A Primer in Christian Ethics. BJ1251 .H327 1983 

Truthfulness And Tragedy : Further Investigations in Christian Ethics.  BJ1251.H33 

Character And The Christian Life; A Study in Theological Ethics.  BJ1521 .H355 

Against The Nations : War and Survival in a Liberal Society.  BJ1131 .H38 1985 

Suffering Presence : Theological Reflections on Medicine, the Mentally Handicapped, and the Church.  R725.5 .H38 1986 

Unleashing The Scripture : Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America.  BR115 .P7 H365 1993 

Dispatches From The Front : Theological Engagements with the Secular. BT738 .H32 1994 

In Good Company : the Church as Polis.  BV600.2 .H364 1995 

Christians Among The Virtues : Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics. BJ1012 .H347 1997

Wilderness Wanderings : Probing Twentieth-Century Theology and Philosophy.  BT28 .H333 1997 

A Better Hope : Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity. BJ1275 .H36 2000 

Performing The Faith : Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence. BX4827 .B57 H35 2004

Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary. BR115 .P7 H3645 2008 

Harrison, Peter. Oxford professor of science and religion.

The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science. BS650 .H37 1998

        The Fall of Man and the Rise of Science. BL245 .H37 2007

Holder, Rodney.  An Oxford astrophysicist turned Anglican priest.

        God, The Multiverse, and Everything: Modern Cosmology and the Argument From Design. BT103 .H65 2004

Hurtado, Larry. One of the very best scholars on early Christian history. Read these books if you’ve been hearing theories that somehow the later church revised its theology to retroactively make Jesus divine. It’s absolute piffle, as Hurtado shows. He teaches at the University of Edinburgh.

The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins - BR62 .H87 2006.

Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity - BT198 .H87 2003

How On Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions About Earliest Devotion To Jesus BT198 .H86 2005.

Johnston, Robert. A professor at Fuller Theological Seminary who has a lot of say about movies.

        Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue. PN1995.5 .J59 2000

        Reframing Theology and Film: New Focus For An Emerging Discipline. PN1995.5 .R43 2007 

Kostenberger, Andreas. A professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  A prolific author, he has other books in the library, but they tend to be commentaries or otherwise exegetical.

The Heresy Of Orthodoxy : How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity has Reshaped our Understanding of Early Christianity. BT1317 .K67 2010

Kruger, Michael. A professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, he is the most helpful of contemporary scholars when it comes to understanding why certain books are in the New Testament and others are not.

Canon Revisited : Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books. BS2320 .K78 2012

Lindsay, D. Michael.  A very bright young sociologist who portrays evangelicals sympathetically. He is the president of Gordon College. Recommended reading if you are at all ambitious.

Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite - BR1642 .U5 L56 2007 

Martin, David. An Anglican priest and a professor emeritus at the London School of Economics. This book was published by the UK division of Oxford University Press, which I assume is why Stanford only got it online. Oxford UK books are crazy expensive.

Does Christianity Cause War? – available online through the library.

McGrath, Alister. An Anglican priest with two earned doctorates (one in molecular biophysics and one in theology) has many, many more books than these (including some notable ones on the Reformation). But these will get you started.

Christian Theology: An Introduction - BT65 .M34 2001.

Historical Theology: An Introduction To The History of Christian Thought - BT21.2 .M17 1998 

The Reenchantment of Nature: The Denial of Religion and the Ecological Crisis -  BT695.5 .M444 2002 

The Science of God: An Introduction to Scientific Theology - BT77.3 .M34 2004 

The Order of Things: Explorations In Scientific Theology -  BT75.3 .M335 2006 

The Open Secret: A New Vision For Natural Theology -  BL200 .M35 2008 

A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology - BL183 .M34 2009 

Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology  -  BL183 .M335 2011

Morris, Simon Conway. A Cambridge paleontologist.

        Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe. QH360.5 .C66 2003 (in Falconer and also available online)

Noll, Mark, A professor at Notre Dame, Noll is one of the most important historians of the evangelical world.

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. BR145.2 .N65 1997

God and Race in American Politics: A Short History. BR563 .N4 N65 2008 

Adding Cross to Crown: The Political Significance of Christ’s Passion. BR115 .P7 N595 1996 

The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith. BR515 .N743 2009 

America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln: BT30 .U6 N65 2002 

The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. E468.9 .N65 2006 

Numbers, Ronald. A professor of the history of science at UW – Madison, Numbers has edited a serious book with a breezy title.

Galileo Goes To Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion. Q126.8 .G35 2009

Plantinga, Alvin. A professor at Notre Dame, Plantinga is the man who many other philosophers consider to have defeated the argument from evil. Seriously. He’s a big deal. He’s written many more books than I have listed here – these are the three people most commonly point to as his defining works.

God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God - BT102 .P55

God, Freedom, and Evil - BT102.P56 1977

Warranted Christian Belief - BT1102 .P57 2000 

Polkinghorne, John. He was a professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge before he resigned his post to become an Anglican priest.

The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker - BT999 .P65 1994

Beyond Science: The Wider Human Context - Q175 .P834 1996

Belief in God in an Age of Science - BL241 .P56 1998

Science and the Trinity: The Christian Encounter With Reality - BL240.3 .P65 2004

Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science and Religion - BL240.3 .P64 2005

Theology in the Context of Science - BL240.3 .P65 2009

Sanneh, Lamin. A Yale professor and a convert from Islam to Christianity, he is fascinated by missionary work and its impact on culture. He’s got some very positive things to say about the impact of missionary work on indigenous cultures around the world.

Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture -  BV2063 .S23 1989

Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity - BR481 .S26 2008

Sayers, Dorothy. One of the first women to graduate from Oxford, Sayers was a renowned mystery writer, poet, playwright, translator and Christian intellectual.

The Mind of the Maker - B100 .S27        

Are Women Human? - HQ1154.S27

Unpopular Opinions: Twenty-One Essays - 823.7 .S26UP

The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement - 823.7 .S261P

        Creed Or Chaos?  - BT15.S36

        Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World - BT15 .S35 1969

Schloss, Jeff. A professor of evolutionary biology at Westmont College. I met him once and he mentioned that he got saved through Chi Alpha (back in the 80s if I recall correctly). Nifty.

        Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective - BJ1311 .E95 2004 (with Philip Clayton)

        The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion - BL430 .B45 2009

Schnabel, Eckhard. You can learn a ridiculous amount about the historical context of the New Testament from these books. Want to know what Ephesus was like when Paul ministered there? Check this out. Want to know how many villages were in Galilee when Jesus sent the disciples out 2 by 2? Schnabel tells you, and also estimates how long it would take to visit them all.

Early Christian Mission: Jesus and the Twelve - BR165 .S3585 2004 V.1

Early Christian Mission: Paul and the Early Church - BR165 .S3585 2004 V.2

Smith, Christian. A sociologist at Notre Dame, Smith is one of the best observers of religion in America.

        Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want - BR1642 .U5 S623 2000

Divided By Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America - BT734.2 .E48 2000 (with Michael Emerson)

Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture - BD450 .S555 2003

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers - BL625.47 .S63 2005 

Sommerville, C. John. A historian at the University of Florida.

        The Decline of the Secular University - LC383 .S66 2006 (in the Cubberly Stacks as well as available online)

        Religion In The National Agenda: What We Mean By Religious, Spiritual, Secular - BL51 .S62188 2009

Stark, Rodney. These books follow a pattern – examine the contemporary consensus of historians and then reexamine the evidence using sociological models to see if it holds up. Frequently it does not and Stark is often able to demonstrate convincingly that the academy has major blind spots when it comes to the Church throughout history. His scholarship is uneven, but at his best he is simply brilliant. He got his Ph.D. at Berkeley, and so was hardly socialized to be sympathetic to the church. Stark was not a believer when he began his research on the history of Christianity and is only now a believer in a very loose sense. Read these if you’re being bombarded with the message that the Church has been an instrument of oppression and violence throughout history.

The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History - BR166 .S75 1996

One True God: The Historical Consequences of Monotheism -  BL221 .S75 2001 

For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led To Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and The End of Slavery - BL221 .S747 2003

The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led To Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success – available online through the library

God’s Battalions: The Case For the Crusades -  D157 .S736 2009 

Storkey, Elaine. Most recently a research fellow at Oxford, she has now moved on to advocacy work emphasizing relief and development aid and stopping violence against women.

        Created or Constructed: The Great Gender Debate. HQ1075 .S77 2000

Swinburne, Richard. An emeritus professor of philosophy at Oxford, he has written many influential works.

        The Coherence of Theism. BT130 .S94 1993

        Providence and the Problem of Evil. BT135 .S95 1998

        The Resurrection of God Incarnate. BT480 .S95 2003

The Existence of God. BD555 .S95 2004

        Faith and Reason. BT50 .S96 2005

        Is There A God? BT102 .S96 2010

        Was Jesus God? BT220 .S95 2010

Taylor, Charles. These are some of the most important works of contemporary philosophy and they are written by a thoroughly convinced Christian.

Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity - BD450 .T266 1989

A Secular Age - BL2747.8 .T39 2007

Vanhoozer, Kevin. A professor at Wheaton. This book rebuts a lot of contemporary nonsense about how texts can mean whatever you want them to. He spends a lot of time interacting with Derrida, Fish, and Rorty.

Is There Meaning In This Text? The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge. BS476 .V34 2009 

Vitz, Paul. Professor of psychology at New York University.

        Psychology As Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship. BF51.V57 

Volf , Miroslav. If you wonder whether the world has a better framework than the gospel for addressing questions of identity and marginalization, get these books now. They can be particularly helpful if SLE or some similar course of study is jacking you up. Volf teaches at Yale. He has many other books as well, but these are where you need to start.

Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation BV4509.5 .V65 1996.

The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World. BV4597.565 .V65 2006

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. A professor at Yale, Wolterstorff has written extensively on his faith and how it intersects with art, political philosophy, education, and whatever else interests him at the moment. He’s one of those people who seem to be good at everything.

Reason Within The Bounds Of Religion - BD215 .W65 1984

Divine Discourse – Philosophical Reflections On The Claim God Speaks - BT180.W67 W65 1995

Justice: Rights and Wrongs - BR115 .J8 W65 2008

Art In Action – Toward A Christian Aesthetic - BR115.A8.W64

Works and Worlds of Art - BH39 .W65

Wright, N. T.  These works (together called Christian Origins and the Question of God and part of an anticipated six-volume series) are a magisterial interpretation of the gospels as well as a robust defense of the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. His doctorate is from Oxford and he until his retirement served as a bishop in the Anglican Church.

The New Testament and the People of God - BS2398 .W75 1992 V.1        

Jesus and the Victory of God - BS2398 .W75 1992 V.2

The Resurrection of the Son of God - BS2398 .W75 1992 V.3 

Yong, Amos. A professor at Bethel College, Yong is a prolific and creative author.

The Spirit Poured Out On All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology. BR1644 .Y66 2005

Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity.  BT732.7 .Y66 2007 

Books You May Find Personally Helpful

These books tend to be non-academic books written by Christians with academic credentials. I suppose they might prove helpful on papers, but they are more likely to be personally enriching.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. His book on community makes me cry. It’s a magnificent study of the nature of true Christian community. Also, Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who was involved in a nearly-successful plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. Really.

Life Together - 248 .B714GA (must page for delivery).

Chesterton, G.K. One of the great Christian thinkers of the previous generation. Exerted a huge influence on Lewis.

Orthodoxy. There are several copies in the library under different call numbers for some reason. Well worth reading.

Craig, William Lane. This guy is the bomb when it comes to laying out the arguments in favor of the faith clearly and compellingly.

        Reasonable Faith – Christian Truth and Apologetics -  BT1103 .C74 2008 

Hart, David Bentley. Hart has taught at Duke and at the University of Virginia. His essays are a delight to read.

The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth - BT55 .H37 2003 

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies -  BR162.3 .H37 2009

Jacobs, Alan. He’s a professor at Wheaton. You have probably never heard of this guy. Read him anyway.

A Theology of Reading: The Hermeneutics of Love - PN98 .R44 J33 2001 

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age -  BR115 .C8 J33 2001

Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant - PN49 .J3147 2010 

Keller, Tim. A pastor and Christian thinker in New York City, Keller is extremely helpful.

The Reason For God -  BT1103 .K45 2008 

Knuth, Don. Yes – this is Stanford’s own computer science legend. In this text he combines two of his loves – numerical analysis and the Bible. This is also available in several special collections in the library.

3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated -  BS511.2 .K58 1990 

Lewis, C. S. Read him.

        Mere Christianity - BT77 .L348 2001 (there are more copies available by paging)

        The Screwtape Letters - BR125 .L67 1950 

        Miracles - BT97 .L43  (must page for delivery)

        Reflections on the Psalms - BS1433 .L4

        The Weight of Glory - 204 .L673 (must page for delivery)

        The Great Divorce - 237 .L673 (must page for delivery)

        The Abolition of Man – (in Cubberly at LB41 .L665 or page for delivery)

Moreland, J. P. A professor at Biola University, Moreland is very helpful when it comes to thinking about the reasonability of the Christian faith.

        Scaling The Secular City: A Defense of Christianity BT1102 .M656 1987

        Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview BR100 .M68 2003 

        The Recalcitrant Imago Dei: Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism  B828.2 .M673 2009

Nicholi, Armand. A Harvard professor and fellow Christian, this is the book form of a class he teaches at Harvard.

The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex and the Meaning of Life. BT101 .L49 N53 2002

Willard, Dallas. This is the UK edition of Willard’s Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge (which the library does not carry). Willard is a professor of philosophy at USC and a really nice guy. I’ve met him twice and he is amazing.

Personal Religion, Public Reality? - BT50 .W474 2009.

Books That Will Help You Understand The Bible

Green Library has an adequate collection of commentaries. A commentary is a scholarly work that thoroughly explains one book of the Bible. Gordon Wenham’s excellent commentary on Genesis is at BS1235.3 .W36 1987 and Robert Mounce’s commentary on Revelation is at BS2825.3.M69. Other commentaries will be mostly between those two call numbers.

Commentaries vary greatly in quality. If your phone can browse the web, you should have it open to while you select your volumes. If not, you should consult John Glynn’s Commentary and Reference Survey ( Z7770 .G59 2007 ) and Tremper Longman’s Old Testament Commentary Survey (Z7772 .A1 L64 2007) (both in the Green Library InfoCenter) and also the New Testament Commentary Survey by D. A. Carson (BS2341.2 .C33 2007).  You will often be unable to find one of the best commentaries in Green Library (the library is disappointingly thin in this area). In that case, I might have a copy. Ask me.