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What should young pastors today be studying? (Thomas Schreiner)

Earlier this year TGC asked a series of scholars this question:

In addition to Scripture and sound doctrine, what should young pastors today be studying? Is that any different from what you would’ve recommended 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago?

schreinertomOne of them was Credo Magazine contributor Thomas Schreiner. Thomas Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Among his many books are RomansPaul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ, Magnifying God in Christ: A Summary of New Testament Theology, and Galatians.

Here is Schreiner’s answer:

I don’t think my answer is different from what it would’ve been 10 or 20 years ago. So, I would say:

be sure to read the classics. In particular, read Augustine’s Confessions and his anti-Pelagian writings.

I would especially recommend John Calvin’s Institutes. They model how to do systematic theology and are full of pastoral wisdom.

When it comes to Martin Luther, I would read The Bondage of the Will and his 1535 commentary on Galatians. Luther understood the gospel so well because of his experience, and his 1535 commentary is full of gems.

Finally, I would recommend broad reading in Jonathan Edwards, including his Religious Affections, Freedom of the Will, his work on original sin, and many of his sermons.

Of course, there are many helpful works by others we should read. But those in pastoral ministry and in biblical studies should not neglect our ancestors who thought deeply about the faith long before we were born.

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