Saturday, June 02, 2007

Question of the Day

If you were building a pastor's library from scratch and you had only $2,000, what would you get?


David said...

I would go begging for a list of clergy retiring in the conference and area churches asking for their castoffs, or the chance to pick through their library...

After that - Six must haves for my library
- Harper Collins Study Bible
- New Interpreters Bible
- The Writings of the New Testament , By Luke Timothy Johnson
- The Gospel According to Biff: Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore
- The Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2004)
- The United Methodist Hymnal

Knapsack said...

I'd just add to the wisdom previously commented: Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols., $60 each (go online and find used, total $400 or less). I think the annotations in the old Oxford Annotated RSV are superb for preaching and study; online used (since it's been supplanted by a new version which is all lit-crit) for under $20. All of N.T. Wright's Fortress series on Jesus, Resurrection, the NT church, say $100, and pay $30 for the leather bound "A Reader's Greek New Testament."

Then scavenge for paperback copies of Susan Howatch's Starbridge and St. Benet's series (get over the high church stuff, i'm low church evangelical myself), Gail Godwin's "Evensong," and an oldie but goodie, "The Minister," by Charles Mercer (publ. 1969); plus even older, but still worth sorting through the dated rhetoric: Harold Bell Wright's "That Printer of Udell's," and "The Calling of Dan Matthews." They're sympathetic responses to "In His Steps," the original WWJD novel of 1896, but looking at what a local church and leadership faces in transforming lives. They are eerily relevant from a hundred years later.

Tack on used copies of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving, and "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson, and you're good to go for a ministry library. You should still have a thousand to spend on a ticket to Tel-Aviv and hitch a ride up to Jersualem, spend a week living in a hostel and walking around, and then return ticket back.

That's how i'd commend the use of $2000 for a minister today setting up some mental furniture and a few books for the practice of parish ministry.

rocksalive777 said...

Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship and Miller's Blue Like Jazz. Old school, new school (speaking of schools, I'd probably have more ideas if I was done with school).

And a piece of paper that said

truevyne said...

mhDear John,
I am not a pastor, but I got some practical stuff for you, man. Each of these books has dramatically influenced my Christian walk.

Strong's Strongest Concordance
Any Bible translation I can get my paws on
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Freire
The Religious Potential of the Child by Cavalletti
Any stories about missionaries Hudson Taylor or Gladys Alyward
How to Talk so Children Will Listen and Listen so Children Will Talk by Farber and Mazlish
Relational Parenting by Ross Campbell
Anything you like on finances such as Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey
Anything you like on marriage like How to Divorce Proof your Marriage
Henry Nouwen
C.S. Lewis including the Chronicles because nothing gets to the heart faster than a story
The Violence of Love excerpts by Oscar Romero
To Know as We are Known by Parker Palmer
The Path by Laurie Beth Jones
How to Read the Bible for all its Worth by Fee and Stuart
Praise Habit by David Crowder

Ken L. Hagler said...

Most of this is in my library now but a few still on the wish list. All of these have proven themselves in my ministry.

-Wesley's Works ($49 @ CBD)
-Adam Clarke's Commentary
-New Interpreter's Bible
-The Wesley Study Bible
-Expositor's Bible Commentary (all @ CBD $149)
-New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, NRSV, ($20 @ CBD)
-Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 Volumes ($149 @ CBD)
-The Book of Discipline
-The UM Hymnal
-The UM Book of Worship
-My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
-Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
-Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl
-The Pursuit of Holiness - Jerry Bridges
-E-sword Software (free)
-Spend whatever is left @ i-tunes!

Tim Sisk said...

I'll sell you my library for $2000 bucks. Really!

Keith McIlwain said...

I'd definitely get a lot of Thomas Oden's books...the "Systematic Theology" trilogy, "John Wesley's Scriptural Christianity", "Pastoral Theology", his "Classical Pastoral Care" series, and at least a few of the "Ancient Christian Commentaries". Invaluable reference works.

tom ream said...

John -

Considering your new appointment, there were a couple books that were recommended to me early in my ministry:

Letters to Lee - a series of correspondence between a young, new pastor and his mentor.
Willimon's Pastor and Character & Calling (both excellent)

Personal favorites:

Bonhoeffer (I think I saw him mentioned already)- Cost of Discipleship and Life Together
NT Wright's - Simply Christian
Kinghorn's 3 vols. of Wesley's Standard sermons in modern english.
Luke Timothy Johnson's Writings of the New Testament.

The list could go on, but I stop before I become overly redundant.



Keith Taylor said...

Since I'm not a pastor, what do I know, but in addition to all the others in this list I'd add:

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Authorized King James Bible
The Journal and Letters of Bishop Francis Asbury
The Autobiography of Peter Cartwright

(I'm old school)

Kansas Bob said...

I really fast laptop, a great wifi internet connection and electronic versions of bible study resources like commentaries/etc. ... of course a membership at a local seminary's library would be good too :)

John said...

There are very good ideas. The question is, by the way, quite hypothetical for me. I don't have $2,000. I mostly do my sermon exegesis from the Asbury Seminary library, or check out circulating commentaries if there are any of value available. But with the money, I would start out my library with:

The Anchor Bible Dictionary

An exegetical commentary series for the entire Bible, such as the NICT.

The Collected Works of John Wesley

Anonymous said...

The whole set of William Barclay's New Daily Study Bible.

John said...

Keith has a good idea about the KJV. This is essential for funerals and hospital visits for the elderly.

greg hazelrig said...

1. I'd start with at least one Bible
2. New Interpreter's Bible Commentaries
3. Barclay
4. Wesley's Sermons (updated translation)
5. (forget the exact name) The UM pastors pocket Book of Worship - Use it for all my funerals and weddings
6. Then maybe another Bible...and another (But I like having different translations of the Bible around)
7. Don't need a concordance because all that can be found online, but what I do like is my book that of pronounciations of Biblical words.

Dan Trabue said...

I don't know nothin' about pastorin' but my pastor is an excellent, best-ever preacher and SHE quotes from:

Wendell Berry
Marcus Borg
Walter Wink
John Howard Yoder
Sojourner Truth
various poets
Oscar Romero
Frederick Buechner
Alice Walker

Among others. She mixes it up a good bit.