Each year I’m asked to put together a Christmas list for family members to make gift buying a little easier on everyone. I figured since we’re close to that time again this year, some of the things on that list might help give some of our readers ideas of unique items available they might not otherwise know of. The challenge that is often presented is in finding good, quality items for loved ones without giving away what you plan on giving them, especially if you are not necessarily the theology nerd they are! Hopefully this short list below will help you in that regard. There is a fairly wide assortment of things below that you can choose from, but all of them are sure to be a hit with the person in your family that loves theology.
I know this is a bit early yet for some to even think about Christmas—but for the ones that like to plan ahead, this one’s for you. Here they are in no particular order (links are embedded in the headings):
This is a really cool gift idea for the bibliophile, especially the Bible-bibliophile. Here you can find antique Bibles, leaves, manuscripts, and engravings, all set within beautifully done portfolios, accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity.
These hit a rather wide gamut on price, so if you get sticker shock at first glance—take some time to look through the various options they have (i.e. the $59 or less section still has some neat stuff). I don’t care who you are, even your Covenanter friends would love to receive a page out of the King James 1611—just be kind and give it to them after the 25th.
I didn’t know there was an entire sub-culture built around luxury bibles until I went hunting for a good preaching Bible—but there is one. Aside from the pretentiousness and snootiness of some within this crowd, I will say that there is a world of difference between natural Goatskin and imitation leather that I’ve come to appreciate.
These are a bit pricey, but in my opinion, if you’re looking to get someone a really beautifully done Bible that will last for years, there are several you can choose from.
Let’s say that you have someone who has a well-trodden, but well-beloved Bible with their handwritten notes that they simply cannot part with. Perhaps they’ve inherited a Bible from a loved one that’s falling apart at the seams, but contained within it are the notes of the deceased in the margin. Even still, perhaps it is the preaching Bible of a faithful pastor who has shepherded, married, taught, and counseled countless men, women, and children with.
No matter how you stretch it, this is a worthy investment to bring new life to an old friend. The craftsmanship and quality of the rebinding done at Post Tenebras Lux is truly top notch.
Have someone in your family who would love to own a slice of church history? This small company aims to provide just that, with sermon manuscripts, pulpit notes, outlines, letters, and signatures from the Reformed, Calvinistic, and Particular Baptist movements. Here you can find personal artifacts from people like Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, among other things.
The Reformed Sage has a conglomerate of items at your disposal to choose from. From clothing and apparel to drinkware, phone cases, artwork, bookmarks, and even “Heretical Nonsense: For Research Purposes Only” stamps, you’ll find some unique gift ideas here. For the caffeinated theologian, visit their sister-site Reformed Roasters.
Sola Gratia is another one of those hidden gems where you can find an assortment of gift ideas for all members of the family (even newborns). As a guy who did graphic design before, I simply want to tip my hat at the beautifully done typographical work here. Much of it is simple, but with typography: less is always more.
To round out the websites devoted toward clothing, drinkware, and other accessories, you’ll find plenty of unique items here as well. This is another one I give a great deal of credit to in the beautifully done graphic design, especially the items designed by Peter Voth. His is a style that truly stands above everyone else and would be a welcome addition to anyone who appreciates good, clean, yet excellently detailed line-work.
Banner of Truth has been at work offering various reprints of classic works from the traditionally Reformed tradition since 1955. The essential goal has to been to bring a new light on old works of dead theologians whose works have stood the test of time.
The thing I genuinely appreciate about Banner of Truth, which is unlike most publishers in today’s consumer-driven world, is that for a book to be considered for publication, “It must be a book worthy of publication irrespective of its likely commercial success; it must pass theological and doctrinal scrutiny; it must promote practical Christian living; it most likely has enduring application and will be as relevant in 100 years as it is today; it must be well written and carefully edited; it must be well produced.”
This is a generic category and doesn’t have any particular websites hyperlinked for the reader. The reason for this is simple—find out what books your theology nerd is looking for! I know it seems silly to give someone a fat stack of books and nothing else as a gift, but if they’re a theology nerd at heart, they will love this more than anything else you can get them.
To the theology nerd, the experience goes well beyond the simple pleasure of reading the books you get them. There is an aesthetic value to having and holding a book, and while they may not express it, the thought of adding it to their collection is a cherished part of the process. It is another piece to the library-building puzzle, at some points, even involving the labor of reorganizing their entire library. While this may seem like an utterly foreign and unenjoyable task to you, they really do enjoy the whole part of the process.
If you have any suggestions for gift ideas to add to the list, drop a comment below!