Luther Man between God and the Devil
A master historian, Oberman places Luther in the context of late medieval culture and presents him not as the forerunner of modernity but as a prophetic figure who saw his life's work as a harbinger of the last days. This is a book I enjoy reading and rereading.
Augustine the Theologian
A good primer for every theological student, this book should be read alongside Peter Brown's Augustine of Hippo, the definitive biography of the most prolific and consequential theologian of the early church. TeSelle traces with clarity the development of Augustine's mind through the major controversies and themes of his work.
Karl Barth His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts
Drawing on Barth's letters and memoranda as well as his published writings, Busch tells the story of a person who lived through the great turning points of the 20th century and whose work as seen in Church Dogmatics demands attention from every serious student of theology.
Spurgeon Prince of Preachers
We still await a definitive biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Baptist preacher and self-taught theologian, but Drummond's lengthy study is the best to date. He presents Spurgeon as a latter-day disciple of another Baptist saint, John Bunyan, and shows how his pastoral work encompassed "an all-round ministry."
Saint Thomas Aquinas The "Dumb Ox"
There are longer and better biographies of the doctor angelicus, but this is my favorite. Chesterton is at his brilliant best in writing this vivid portrait of the great Dominican saint, whose work continues to edify evangelicals as well as Catholics despite his student reputation as a dull, "dumb ox."
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Previous articles from Christianity Today and its sister publications on these theologians include:
Augustine's Origin of Species | How the great theologian might weigh in on the Darwin debate. (May 8, 2009)
Celebrating Advent with Martin Luther | The Protestant reformer loved Christmas, as these excerpts from his sermons show. (December 4, 2008)
Karl Barth | Courageous theologian. (Christian History, August 8, 2008)
Thomas Aquinas | The brilliant "dumb ox." (Christian History, August 8, 2008)
The Secrets of Spurgeon's Preaching | Why would thousands come to hear him speak? (June 3, 2005)
Previous Top 5 lists have featured orphans, prayer, doubt, community, sports, parenting, Advent, life ethics, emerging movement, Islam, loss, Calvin, spiritual memoirs, neglected doctrines, spiritual memoirs, marriage, Lent, fiction books for the soul, managing your money, devotionals, how character shapes belief, food, atheism, China, presidents, world Christianity, ancient-future faith, the civil rights era, social justice, church history, popular culture, the Civil War, apologetics, atheism, and sex.
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