Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Remembering Influential Authors (updated--again)

Although it may not concern many, upon rereading Bernard Ramm's, The God Who Makes a Difference: A Christian Appeal to Reason (a work I first read in the late 1970s), I am compelled to list some of the authors that significantly contributed to my Christian faith and witness, such as it is. I am thinking specifically of my first ten years or so as a Christian.

This list does not mean I endorse everything written by them or that I have read everything written by them necessarily. For example, while I list Rushdoony, I am not a reconstructionist (although I did read most all of his plethora of books); nor should listing Kierkegaard be taken to mean that I am a fideist. These authors are not listed in ranking order.

1. Francis Schaeffer
2. Carl Henry
3. Os Guinness
4. Rousas John Rushdoony
5. James Sire
6. Bernard Ramm
7. Soren Kierkegaard
8. Blaise Pascal
9. John Stott
10. Gordon Clark
11. John Calvin
12. St. Augustine
13. C.S. Lewis
14. Arthur Holmes
15. G.K. Chesterton
16. John Warwick Montgomery
17. Herman Dooyeweerd.

Thanks be to God and to these authors, his servants.

12 comments:

Fletcher said...

If you had to pick, what is the #1 Schaffer reccomendation you'd make to someone like myself?

DLE said...

I had Art Holmes at Wheaton. He and I got into an epic debate that since a Christian has died at the cross, he cannot make any claim of rights before God. Holmes claimed that to be untrue.

While I respected Holmes for his intellectual prowess, I thought his argument that Christianity instills inherent rights was American, but not necessarily Christian.

Douglas Groothuis said...

Fletcher:

The God Who Is There.

Yossman said...

Exciting to find Dooyeweerd on the list.

Douglas Groothuis said...

Yo:

I haven't read him for years, but In the Twilight of Western Thought and Roots of Western Culture were very insightful. I read big chunks of the massive New Critique of Theoretical Thought, but never finished it. I also read a lot of secondary sources, since he was so tough to read. Of course, there was a significant influence from Dooyweerd to Schaeffer--perhaps mediated by Rookmaaker (another Dutchman).

Yossman said...

As to this date there are philosophical reading and discussion groups in the Netherlands that meet regularly to discuss Dooyeweerd's (and Vollenhoven's) thought.

I never read anything by him, but briefly touched on the subject in philosophy class in Bible College. It was Dooyeweerd I think who argued that any worldview - including the non-transcendental - has a religious motive behind it. Also his classification of everything into aspects (i.e. material aspect, biotic aspect, economic aspect all the way to religious and moral aspects) I find quite useful in explaining both the diversity of this world and the defining quality that gives a thing or entity its true identity.

I was not aware of the Dooyweerd - Rookmaaker - Schaeffer connection.

The Trousered Ape said...

Since I do not know you I suppose I cannot say that I am surprised to not see any Ravi Zacharias there - but can I ask why he is absent from the list? Was he later and therefore not influential?

I typically put Schaeffer, Lewis, Chesterton, Stott, and Zacharias all about the same level of enjoyment.

Shawn

Douglas Groothuis said...

Ravi has done good work, but I have only read a few of his books, and they were not formative for me. That doesn't mean they aren't worthwhile, however.

Douglas Groothuis said...

PS: Those authors were not put there for providing "enjoyment." SK is not enjoyable (even at this best), but he is edifying. Lewis and Chesterton, however, do tend to delight with their style.

Paul said...

Ah, I see that you've added Dooyeweerd!

In addition to the groups Yossman mentions, there is a new English language MA programme at the VU Amsterdam called "Master Christian Studies of Science and Society".

PS. If anyone is interested: I'll be at the LSE next year, and hope to start a reformational philosophy study group in London.

psalm8510 said...

Dr. Doug, it is strange but good to find another who loves both Schaeffer, and the 2 greatest movies, and in the correct order! Psalms85:10 speaks volumes to me and is done by my hand in calligraphy and framed at my desk. Longing to hear Schaeffer's voice but can't find it. Can you direct me to ANY recordings? Call me
ANOTHER LONELY CHRISTIAN FEMALE INTELLECTUAL

Papa Giorgio said...

Many of the mentioned authors I have read as well. But there is a more recent generation of thinkers that have influenced us younger bucks.

One of my favorites is Francis Beckwith. His CD presentation on Relativism from Summit Ministries is a riot! (He makes little girls cry.)