A Top Ten List

This Tuesday will mark the last time ever that I will sit in a class as a student (maybe that’s why they call the Ph.D. a “terminal degree”). I’ve read an enormous amount over the past two years, so I thought I’d look back and try to rank which books have been most influential on my thinking. Since I couldn’t narrow it to ten, here’s my shot at the top eleven:

11. Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church by Kenda Creasy Dean

10. Simulacra and Simulation by Jean O. Baudrillard

9. Making Social Science Matter: How Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again by Bent Flyvbjerg

8. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel Huntington

7. The Logic of Practice by Pierre Bourdieu

6. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God by Jürgen Moltmann

5. Democracy and Tradition by Jeffrey Stout

4. The Resources of Rationality: A Response to the Postmodern Challenge by Calvin O. Schrag

3. Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

2. The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology by Jürgen Moltmann

And the most influential book I’ve read in the past two years…

1. Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer

  • Dan Kimball

    I don’t see “The Emerging Church” by Dan Kimball on this list. You shared with me how this is the book that helped you overcome a poor self-image and discover your true identity in Christ. I remember you crying when you shared with me how it helped your marriage and it helped you develop better parenting skills. I know that you were going to quit Princeton and even discard the thought of being a pastor – but this book helped you overcome those feelings and gave you renewed purpose. I thought for sure, it would make your top ten somewhere for being the life changing book in your life that it was.

  • jimmy

    I’ve got a feeling that Dan was saying that toungue in cheek, but anyway, personally I have felt that “The Emerging Church” has definitely been one of the most influential books for me. I was about ready to bail on ministry and now I’ve decided to dedicate my time to trying to influence the church I work at towards being real with people and being relevant to the people of our city. Thanks Dan.grace and peace, jimmy

  • Bill Arnold

    You mean you’re not going to get your second Ph.D.? I don’t really respect people who only have one.

  • Anonymous

    mark riddle saidwhat????you are a promoting a book you didn’t write!?!?btw… Kenda Dean’s book may be the best book on youth ministry i’ve ever read.

  • clave

    I agree on Kenda Dean. IMO Practicing Passion (#2) along with Godbearing Life (#1) are the two best youth ministry books in the biz.

  • bob

    Hi, just a visitor. It’s sad to not see the Bible in your top 11 list. Not much of an impact?

  • Anonymous

    Bob,Think you might need to get off your high horse. I think the Bible can be assumed, ie read and heard as foundational. Lighten up, live in grace, it’s Easter!

  • denise

    I meant to leave a name on earlier comment–sorry–this is the first time I’ve done this, just getting the hang of it.

  • Ecclesial Dreamer

    Tony,looks like a really good list. I can’t wait to read some of these. Thanks!James

  • Anonymous

    For all your talk re: transversal rationality (which I think you understand, more or less), I am surprised not to see “Shaping of Rationality” by WvH on the list…

  • Sivin Kit

    ah at least I have Practicing Passion in my library! :-)

  • Todd H

    Being and Time – blech!but, there’s no question -Gadamer’s the man!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe that Making Kingdom Disciples by Charles Dunahoo didn’t make the list. Mark

  • Anonymous

    I’m partial to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. and the 2003 Consumer Reports Annual Buyer’s Guide.


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