Friday, January 12, 2007

The Year's Best Non-Fiction: 2006 (Honourable Mentions)

1. Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking by Darrell Bock (2004). A suprising: best of the DVC debunkers.
2. Covenant Theology: The Key of Theology in Reformed Thought and Tradition by Peter Golding (Mentor, 2004). A nice, concise, overview both historical and theological of Covenant Theology. A recommended primer (but, for first year, post-secondary).
3. The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys by Mark Noll (IVP, 2004). The first in a projected five volume series dealing with the history of Evnagelicalism (to date, only vols.1 and 3 are in print). Although many would conclude that Noll has gone over to the dark side (ie: his defection to Notre Dame and his irenic Is the Reformation Over?: An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism with Carolyn Nystrom), he shows his historical prowess in this and other histories.
4. The Lord's Day by Joseph Pipa (Christian Focus, 1997). I needed to see the arguments for Lord's Day observance this year. This was beautifully written and argued!
5. A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani (MJF Books, 1991). Another brick in the edifice of my ongoing attempt to understand Islam and History in general.
6. War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin by Carlos M. Eire (Cambridge University Press, 1986). Part of a recent study I am doing on images. Excellent!
7. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels (Vintage, 1979). Had this laying around for over 10 years, and finally got to it during the DVC craze. Excellent seminal work for understanding modern spirituality and the neo-gnostic movement (in the churches, as well). Easily refutable by minimally learnèd individuals.
8. The Ecumenical Mirage by C. Stanley Lowell (Baker Book House, 1967). Impressive, scholarly earlier examination of ecumensim by a Methodist. Grist for another hobbyhorse of mine.
9. This is Music: A Guide to the Pleasures of Listening by David Randolph (McGraw-Hill,1964). Excellent intro to classical music. His intriguing thesis is that music is music (sensual/emotive); and it does not tell stories. The 90+ author still occasionally conducts, and his book was still in print as late as 1997.
10. Twelve Discourses Upon the Law and the Gospel [1836] by William Romaine(Old Paths/Gospel Press, nd). A clear delineation betwixt the two, with a Preface worth the price of the book alone! Should be in this year's top five!
11. Human Nature in its Fourfold State [1712] by Thomas Boston (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002). What can I say? A Classic! To be read in conjunction with Pink's The Total Depravity of Man.
12. The Covenant of Life Opened [1654] by Samuel Rutherford (Puritan Publications, 2005). These last two I have been reading/comparing in tandem (yet unfinished), in a continuing exploration of historical Covenant Theology. Though initially this volume appeared to be the more promising of the two minimal translation for ease of modern reading, newly typeset I have been disappointed, so far, with Dr. C. Matthew McMahons editing (ie: it is harder to follow than Ball's, below).
13. A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace (Facsimile Reprint from the 1645 edition) by John Ball (Peter & Rachel Reynolds, 2006). Despite the trepidation when I began reading this ancient text - I foresaw trouble with the print quality (facsimile), esp. w/side column references, and f/s-type archaisms, etc. I found it, actually, quite easier to read and understand than the McMahon edition of Rutherford (#12, above). Not only that, but I appreciated the original language as, I am sure, most more scholarly (than me) types will. (It seems odd that a 1645 printing would read better than a modernized 1654.)

1 comment:

Peri said...

Well written article.