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.

The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Ken Keathley

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. Ken Keathley.

Dr. Keathley is Senior Professor of Theology and is the Director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture and holds the Jesse Hendley Chair of Biblical Theology
at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are some books you are reading right now?

Thank You for Being Late” by Thomas Friedman; “Original Sin” by Alan Jacobs; Just finished (science fiction) “The Thing Itself” by Adam Roberts; “The Theological Origins of Modernity” by Michael Allen Gillespie; and “The Day the Revolution Began” by N. T. Wright. I recently read Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech.” What a hoot.

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

How Should We Then Live?” by Francis Schaeffer opened up a whole new world for me. He was the first author to challenge me to think “Christianly.” I love Millard Erickson’s “Christian Theology.” He presents the great truths of the Christian faith with such clarity. I go back to it again and again. As a young pastor I read John Piper’s “The Pleasures of God.” It challenged me to take pleasure in whatever pleased God. And then anything written by C. S. Lewis.

What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

I like to read good science fiction. Not long ago I enjoyed reading Michael Faber’s “The Book of Strange New Things.”

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

I read and re-read J. I. Packer’s “Knowing God.” It reminds me of what great writing looks like, and it simply blesses my soul.

What is one book which you would recommend to a church member and why?

Probably C. S. Lewis’ “Surprised by Joy.” His account of how he came to faith in Christ is genuine and encouraging.

What is one book which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

John Stott’s “The Cross of Christ.” He presents the work of Calvary with a remarkable balance of learning and devotion. After reading, one will understand salvation better and love Christ more.

The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Scott Hildreth

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. Scott Hildreth.

Dr. Hildreth is Assistant Professor of Global Studies and is the Director of the Center for the Great Commission Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are some books you are reading right now?

I am reading Apostolicity by John Flett for the Southeastern Seminary journal, Southeastern Theological Review. I am also reading several books on the missions in the Reformation in preparation for our upcoming trip to Germany for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For fun, I am reading G.K. Chesterton’s mystery novels about “Father Brown.”

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

The first time I read Michael Green’s Evangelism in the Early Church I was challenged in the idea of the importance contextualization in missions and this has become a major point of my research, writing, and teaching.

I have also been impacted by reading biographies of missionaries such as: William Carey, Hudson Taylor, and Jim Elliot, for example. These stories allow me to see how God uses different people and be encouraged by their faith

On the teaching front, Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman shapes my thinking. I see my classroom (and students) as those that will carry the faith forward and it is a disciple making process.

What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

One book that haunts me is John Grisham’s A Time to KillIt exposes the racial inequities in our country and also accidental racism in me.

I like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series because of the insight into real life walking with God.

I am a huge mystery/thriller fan. Many of the books are not necessarily recommendations, but I enjoy the stories and I also enjoy watching authors struggle with evil and good through these novels.

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

One book that I read regularly is Eugene Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable PlantI do this because I am always challenged by his understanding of spiritual formation and the role ministry plays in growing in godliness.

I also come back to, though not regularly, Desiring God by John Piper, Knowledge of the Holy and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, Knowing God by J.I. Packer, and other books that feed my soul with deep thoughts about God and spirituality.

What is one book which you would recommend to a church member and why?

Other than the books listed above, I would recommend all church members read Prayer: The Cry for the Kingdom  by Stanley Grenz. This book completely transformed my understanding of prayer. It is a theological discussion of a very mystical discipline.

What is one book which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

I wish all my students would read Elements of Style and How to Read a Book  (Ha Ha Ha!  Just kidding – kind of)!

Seriously, I love John Piper’s Brothers We are Not Professionals. Though it is written to pastors, I think all staff members and even laypersons can benefit from his insights on ministry.