The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Bruce Little

This series at Between the Times highlights Southeastern faculty members as they share about books which they are enjoying now, books which have shaped them personally, and books they consistently recommend to others.

This week, we interview Dr. Bruce Little.

Dr. Little is Senior Professor of Philosophy and is the Director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are some books you are reading right now?

 What are some of the books which have had the largest impact on your life, thinking, or teaching?

 What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

 Are there any books which you re-read on a regular basis and why?

Not as a rule—only the ones I use as textbooks. That is to keep the content fresh in my mind.

The only one that I turn the pages occasionally would be The Tapestry by Edith Schaeffer

What are some books which you would recommend to a church member and why? 

  • Fool’s Talk, Os Guinness. It is most helpful in sharing the Gospel today and it is most readable.
  • Making Sense of God, Timothy Keller. Very helpful in speaking Christ into modern man.
  • Reclaiming Conversation, Sherry Turkle. It reveals the harmful effects of the misuse (or over use)  of media technology on the humanness of humanity. This is important because most Christians simply lack the courage to restrict the use of media technology either in their own lives, or the lives of their children if they have any. This book as well as a number of others reveal that fact that media technology is not morally benign. The book is very readable and is written by someone highly qualified.

 What are some books which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

I know that my student’s will encounter these books, but just in case others don’t I recommend:

Both of these books do intellectual history on the development of the western mind which is something often lacking in the reading of most Christians. If we do not, however,  understand the ideas behind what has been and is happening in the western world, it is most probably we will fail in understanding truly where the conflict lies (to steal a phrase from Alvin Plantinga. That means, any thought of  how to move forward with the truth claims of Christ will probably be short-sighted or miss the target altogether crippling the best of intentions. The unfortunate reality about these books is that their analysis only goes through the 1970’s, but at least these two books show the importance of  intellectual history.

In Case You Missed It

In a recent article at his personal blog, Dr. Bruce Ashford asks: “Is it true that Jesus was not ‘political’ during his time on earth?”

As a political opinion writer, I am generally amused by many of the critical comments people leave on my website or my Fox News Opinion pieces; sometimes I am amused because the comments are insults, other times because they are patently inane.

 

Yet, other times, the critical comments should be taken seriously because the commenter intends them seriously; one of the most serious and recurrent criticisms is that, “Christians should not be involved in politics and public life at all. Jesus wasn’t political, and he never asked us to be political.” In effect, they are saying “Withdraw from politics and public life.”

 

So, was Jesus “political” during his time on earth?

 

In a continuing interview with the Intersect Project Dr. Jim Shaddix shares three pitfalls to avoid when preaching for cultural engagement.

In a rapidly changing culture, more and more Christians are discussing the importance of cultural engagement. Yet what role does preaching play in cultural engagement and cultural formation? What dangers should we avoid?

 

To help us answer these questions, we turned to Jim Shaddix. Dr. Shaddix is the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching at Southeastern Seminary. In addition, he is an accomplished preacher and author.

 

In part one of our interview, Dr. Shaddix explained why and how preachers can engage culture. Here’s part two of our conversation.

 

At the Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook explains how global cities are the Roman Roads of the 21st Century. Keelan writes:

I recently ran across a quote I would like to share concerning the significance of global cities in the mission of the church. It is from Jared Looney, who wrote Crossroads of the Nations:

While it is unlikely that this status will remain static, global cities such as New York City, London, Tokyo as well as Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Houston, and many other key urban centers are of strategic importance for the present and future church. Such cities are centers of global influence and points of connection between nations and cultures. As the Gospel moved along the Roman roads through the cities of the Mediterranean world and people gathered at wells in ancient villages, global cities are now nodes in a global network and are of strategic importance for the mission of the church (Looney, Crossroads of the Nations).

There are two or three things I want you to see in this one. First, certain cities are rising to a new level of significance for the Great Commission. Looney compares these “global cities” to the significance of the Roman roads for the spread of the gospel. Honestly, I think he is right.

 

In a recent article at the Intersect Project, Nathaniel Williams discusses Lin-Manuel Miranda, ‘Hamilton’ and the value of work.

Two years ago, few people knew who Lin-Manuel Miranda was. Today, he’s a household name. Why? Because of Hamilton.

 

Miranda wrote and starred in this hip-hop musical about the brilliant but abrasive founding father. The show became an instant sensation. Tickets are sold out months in advance. It won Tonys, Grammys and even a Pulitzer. The musical may have even kept Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

 

Yet translating Alexander Hamilton’s story from the history books to the stage was not an easy task. Miranda wrote the musical’s first song in 2009. The show did not premier until six years later. Hamilton is the fruit of Miranda’s years of hard work.

 

In retrospect, the years Miranda spent crafting his historical hip-hop masterpiece were well spent. The show has been a runaway success. But what if the show had flopped? Would his work still have been worth it?

 

In a guest post at Thom Rainer’s blog, Jonathan Howe discusses five reasons why he, a millennial, still likes using hymnals.

I might lose my Millennial card for admitting this, but:

 

I like hymnals. A lot.

 

Yes, I realize I’m supposed to want to worship with fog machines and song lyrics on projector screens with cool moving backgrounds. And sometimes I enjoy that too—but not all the time.

 

So why would a 36-year old Millennial enjoy hymnals? Here are my five reasons.

 

Chuck Lawless recently shared ten fears of young church leaders. Dr. Lawless writes:

Almost every day, I work with young people preparing for ministry. They are some of the most gifted, committed young adults I’ve ever met in 20+ years of serving as a professor. At the same time, though, they have fears that my older generation must recognize.