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Disciplines of the Christian Mind

Jeff Waddington, Jim Cassidy, and Camden Bucey discuss the importance of intellectual discipline for cultivating the life of the Christian mind. In addition to speaking generally about persistent study, the panel also offers several practical tips and suggestions for continued learning.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Rick

5 years ago

Jeff Waddington,

Would you please provide the structured reading plan you referenced on this episode.

Thanks

Jeff Waddington

5 years ago

Rich

The reading program I mentioned was suggested to me by Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, president of Asbury University, back in 1985 when we corresponded. This reading program would be operative apart from reading for sermon preparation or paper research or classwork. Basically Dr. Kinlaw recommended reading an OT commentary, a NT commentary, a Systematic theology text, a church history/historical theology/Christian biography text, an apologetics text, a biblical theology text, and practical theology text. Additionally we should be reading secular history (political, military) and books in various disciplines (philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc) and of course good fiction literature. This is a heavy load. Dr. Kinlaw addressed me as a ministerial student, but you could tackle this one book at a time in rotation so that you read in every area. Add to this magazines and journals and online resources.

Blessings!

Jeff

Richard

5 years ago

This was a wonderful discussion for all of us to enjoy. I had pen in hand as you listed the various websites and blogs. Would it be possible to put together a list of non-fiction books that would make good recommendations for those interested? I know everyone has their areas of interest, but it never hurts to stretch our minds. Thanks again.

Richard

5 years ago

I should have said secular non-fiction in the above response.

Jeff Waddington

5 years ago

Richard

Have you read the book “How to Read a Book”? There is an excellent reading list at the end of the book.

Jeff

Benjamin P. Glaser

5 years ago

This was really, really good.

I would love some more “life tips” type episodes like this.

John Mahaffy

5 years ago

Thank you for a very helpful episode. I listened to this one while washing dishes–time can be squeezed in! I appreciated the emphasis on journal reading. One additional reason for subscribing to a good journal is the book reviews. That is one of the reasons I have subscribed to the WTJ since before graduation (I won’t tell you when that was, but John Skilton was the editor and a young Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. was the managing editor). With a limited budget for books and with limited time, the book review section was an important tool in helping me decide which books I had to get, and which I could bypass for the present.

Jeff Waddington

5 years ago

John

Amen! Book reviews in journals (whether printed on paper or available on the web) save us time and money. And it makes us aware of new items that we might not be aware of.

Jeff

Jonathan Boyd

5 years ago

I really enjoyed this episode as well. I have followed a more ad hoc reading program, although it’s worked out that I’ve had a focus on a particular theologian or topic for about a year at a time. For example, one year I focused on Luther, then on John Gill, then on Juan de Valdés, and this year I’m working on the 17th-century Trinitarian debates.

I would emphasize the benefit of working in the original languages each day. I’ve done that with Greek since I graduated from seminary about 13 years ago, and I’ve continued to improve my ability over the years. Last year I received A Reader’s Hebrew Bible for Christmas, and I’ve started reading between about 2-6 verses per day. It’s slow, but in three months my Hebrew is already coming back, and I imagine that if I continue for another year or two I will see major growth.

Since I minister in Colombia in Spanish, I also try to read the paper, novels or magazines in Spanish on a regular basis to continue growing in my vocabulary.

Jeff Lynch

5 years ago

Just finished listening to your latest on strategies for intellectual growth. Very well done, it was an excellent episode. Question: regarding a home library, as I have built up quite a collection of books, are there any particular resources you would recommend as far as how I would group my library and organize it by various subjects or authors ? Would it be as simple as tracking the categories of your recommended reading list? Any advice or insights into the organization of a theological library would be most appreciated. Thanks brothers. Looking forward to October.

Jeff Waddington

5 years ago

Jeff

Greetings brother!

As a general rule of thumb, I arrange my library by subject and then alphabetically within a subject. One exception to this would be multi-authored, multi-volume sets which I try to keep together in which case the set is arranged alphabetically by title in the appropriate subject. You will soon discover that some books can be classified under different categories and so it will be a judgment call.

Does that help?

Jeff

Jeff Lynch

5 years ago

Thank you, Jeff!

Your recommendations are most certainly helpful. It seems like a daunting task, and I agree that many books will require a judgment call as to which category they belong in. But if I can find the time to commit a full day to organizing my library, it will be worth the effort.

I hope you and yours are doing well,

Jeff

Jeff Downs

5 years ago

To keep up with what is being produced in various theological journals, one could subscribe to the feeds, or by Email receive the Table of Contents.

Do a google search on a journal that would interest you (OT, NT, Theology, etc.), and there will generally be a place to subscribe to the TOC.

For example, his the International Journal of Systematic Theology:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-2400
Or the Journal for the Historical Jesus:
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/17455197
or the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament:
http://jot.sagepub.com/

Tim Hopper

5 years ago

I would highly recommend Tony Reinke’s book “Lit!” for thinking more about this and disciplining yourself in reading.

Tim Hopper

5 years ago

Something that didn’t get much mention is audio resources. Much of my theological education over the last 8 years has been from Reformed Forum; RTS, WTS, and Covenant classes on iTunesU, Sermonaudio.com, church podcasts, Christianaudio.com, etc. There are so many great audio resources available, any many for free. I listen while I do chores, exercise, and drive.

Tim H.

5 years ago

Camden, if you come to central NC, I’ll take you out for the world’s best pimento cheese sandwich: http://www.parkerandotis.com/store/lunch/

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