Resources for Theology

Conversations about leadership often begin with the pragmatic. How does the conversation change when we start with our underlying theological convictions?

Our resources, while not exhaustive, will allow you to explore this topic more fully. The foundational resources are important for the development of transformative leaders. The formational resources are of a different sort. These are meant to spark your imagination by introducing you to stories and ideas that have surprising insight into the practice of Christian leadership.

Foundational Resources

  • Body Politics by John Howard Yoder – Presents the church as having its own internal politics
  • Confessions by Saint Augustine – Augustine’s autobiography is perhaps the most influential book in Western Christianity
  • The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Poignant thinking from a Christian who opposed Hitler’s Nazis
  • Freedom for Ministry by Richard John Neuhaus – Presents ministry as having a necessary awkwardness because ministers are ambassadors of a “disputed sovereignty”
  • God's Companions by Samuel Wells – Argues for an ethics of abundance where God gives everything that is needed. (For further reflection, see F&L content by Samuel Wells.)
  • The Hauerwas Reader by Stanley Hauerwas (edited by John Berkman and Michael Cartwright) – A collection of the writings of one of today’s most significant and prolific theologians. Also consider A Community of Character
  • John Wesley’s Sermons – This website offers 141 of Wesley’s published sermons. Begin with The Scripture Way of Salvation
  • Mañana by Justo Gonzalez – A reflection on Christian doctrine that has pioneered a whole field of Hispanic contextual theology
  • The Nature of Doctrine by George Lindbeck – Claims that Christianity cannot be reduced to right doctrine or right feelings but is culturally and linguistically embodied in a worshipping community
  • The New Measures by Ted Smith – A historical, theological and ethical exploration of how Christianity has helped forge democratic practices
  • Praise Seeking Understanding by Jason Byassee – Reads the psalms with Augustine by reclaiming allegory, Christology and beauty. (For further reflection, see recent F&L content by Jason Byassee.)
  • Race by J. Kameron Carter – Argues that the modern development of theology cannot be separated from issues of race
  • Responsible Grace by Randy Maddox – A reflective overview of Wesley’s characteristic theological activities and convictions
  • Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich – Recounts a vision she had of Jesus as she lay near death
  • A Secular Age by Charles Taylor – A philosophical account of the rise of secularism in the modern age
  • Suffering Divine Things by Reinhard Hutter – Argues for a renewed understanding of theology as church practice
  • Worship As Pastoral Care by William Willimon – Looks at how worship can be seen as a broad context for pastoral leadership in the church. (For further reflection, see F&L content by Will Willimon.)

Formational Resources

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – A classic novel that explores the impact of America’s original sin on the life of one black slave
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky – Provides an unsentimental fictional exploration of the realities of sin and grace in the life of one 19th century Russian family. Also consider Crime and Punishment and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
  • Collected Works by Flannery O’Connor – An unflinching gaze at sin in the lives of fictional Southern outcasts with glimpses of the grace found in Christ and the church