Members of my congregation know I love history. It often creeps into my sermons. Particularly I love studying church or Christian history. I've recently really benefited from the ministry of Theology Network and Michael Reeves teaching ministry. Church history was not always a love but my studies in seminary- specifically under one of my professors, Dr. Miles Mullin- really sparked this desire to study more and learn from those who have gone before me.
There's always a new (fad) book that makes the rounds and everyone gets in a stir about these books- some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly. Rather than hopping on the latest band wagon I've been challenged to sit under the tutelage of time-tested writers and theologians and study their historical context. After hearing about Mark Dever's (pastor- Capitol Hill Baptist, DC) "canon of theologians" he reads through each year I'm picking up that challenge and want to encourage you to do the same. Here's the list I've picked out for 2011. I'll blog on what I read. You can read along or make your own list but I hope you'll be challenged to benefit from these men who God has used over history.
January: The Epistle to Diognetus (Apostolic Father/ 2nd cent)... find here.
February: On Idolatry by Tertullian (Latin Church Father/ 2nd-3rd cent)... find here.
March: On the Incarnation by Athanasius (Greek Church Father/ 4th cent)... find here.
April: Confessions by Augustine of Hippo (Latin Church Father/ 4th-5th cent); reading portions
May: Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther (Reformer/ 16th cent)
June: Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (Refomer/ 16th cent); reading portions
July: The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes (Puritan/ 16th-17th cent)
August: The Holy War by John Bunyan (Baptist preacher/ 17th cent)
September: A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God by Jonathan Edwards (Pastor/ 18th cent)... find here.
October: Only a Prayer Meeting by Charles Spurgeon (Pastor/ 19th cent); reading portions
November: The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (Theologian/ 20th cent)
December: The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (Theologian/ 20th-21st cent)