Special thanks to Crossway publishers for sending me a copy of this book for review! Michael Reeves, president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Oxford, is known to us from his books Delighting in the Trinity and Rejoicing in Christ released a book this year called Theologians You Should Know. His aim in writing a book like this is to “explore and appreciate roots, to sense some of the refreshment (and challenge) available.” (pg. 318) While only being able to choose a handful of theologians, Reeves has done a remarkable job choosing which ones to write about and writing about them in such a way that they are accessible to anyone who truly desires to learn more about our theological past. He does not want this book to simply be a discussion concerning “irrelevant dinosaurs” but rather that “old books can rescue us from bumpkinery and enlarge our vision.” (pg. 15) He argues that theology is something that must be done by the Church together and if we ignore what the church has said throughout history then “we act as schismatically as if we ignored the church on earth today.” (ibid.) All thirteen chapters and the theologians discussed within are not meant to be a grand narrative or somehow to be the top theologians of all of history but rather what Reeves has done is choose what he thinks are theologians “who are influential or significant especially for the English-speaking world.” (pg. 17) This book includes introductions to theologians such as Karl Barth, J.I. Packer, Martin Luther, John Owen, and Friedrich Schleiermacher just to name a few.
Reeves has made a very accessible source for those who desire to learn more about our theological history. He has chosen some very important theologians from the past. I believe that this book will wet the appetite of anyone seeking a good intro to church history. I hope that this book will encourage people on to read more deeply into our history as the Church. I applaud Reeves for writing such a phenomenal book for lay and professional theologian alike!
Quality rating: 5 stars
Recommended Reader: All Theologians!
Price: $14.34 (Amazon)