Standing in his study, talking about doctoral studies, Southern Seminary professor Dr. Mark Seifrid commented that the doctoral degree is much like climbing a mountain. In every discipline, there is a mountain of scholarly literature that must be traversed. It is the academic responsibility of every student to summit that mountain. Standing at the base of that mountain with sparse climbing gear in hand, I am daunted by the task.
So walking by faith, and not by sight, I have uploaded a new page on Via Emmaus that lists the systematic reading list at Southern. I include this page in order to record comments about these resources as I study and to share with others who are interested in theological studies. Its intent is to help me catalog thoughts about the material as I go through, and I hope it may help others who love God and enjoy theology.
A little explanation of the list: First of all, I cannot take credit for its compilation, that goes to the systematic professors at Southern Seminary. It is the comprehensive examination list of books for which every doctoral student is responsible. It is sub-divided according to theological loci, and it contains some of the best reading material in each area of systematic theology. It is not a beginners list, but if you are looking for detailed works in an area of theology, this is a good starting place. I hope to update these lists over time and to include more basic works. Stay tuned.
The Molehill is simply my attempt at climbing the mountain. In the months to come, I hope to add notes and comments evaluating these various resources and others. More extended interaction will take place in blog posts; while links to the books will be found on the doctoral reading page, as well as, links to reviews of the materials. But, I hope that, this is not a individual endeavor…
I would love to hear your comments about any of these works (and/or others) and their benefits or dangers to the church and the study of the Bible. Maybe you are thinking about doctoral studies. If so, I would encourage you to read John Stackhouse’s blog, “Thinking about a PhD?” which has some great evaluative questions and to pray. Even as I begin, I am reminded that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1). I pray that your theology and mine will fuel our love for Jesus, for the church, for one another, and for the lost.
To see the reading list check out “The Mountain and the Molehill.”
Sola Deo Gloria, dss