Over at New Leaven, in the comments on TC’s Ten Random Beliefs, Richard suggested that I check out Michael Horton’s 4-volume set on covenant theology. He did so in light of TC’s question if I was reading Horton’s Introducing Covenant Theology for review.

This prompted my thinking–what areas within/out of your general field of preference/specialty are you content to remain at roughly the introductory level?

We all have books and articles on various subjects or aspects of a particular issue that we may have read, but have not delved deeper into that subject, whether for lack of time, interest, or something else.

Here are few areas of study that don’t interest me much (in no particular order):

  1. Evolution vs. creationism – This once interested me, but I don’t have a mind that wraps easily around technical scientific discussions. I believe in creation ex nihilo (though not based on Gen. 1), and I am not even close to persuaded that evolution is true, but I pretty much lost interest in studying this issue beyond the occasional article or blog post.
  2. The Synoptic Problem – I don’t know if there is an aspect of Gospels study that interests me less, to be frank. I see value and benefit in studying it, but it does not capture my attention.
  3. Philosophy – This is an especially general category, and there is no question as to the importance of philosophy in general, but again, it just doesn’t capture my attention.
  4. Textual Criticism – This is a very important field and I have actually done some course work in it, but I didn’t find it to be a subject to which I would devote more time and energy than I did.

I should say that though I don’t find these particular areas of study terribly fascinating, it doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in them. I’m just glad there are plenty of others who makes these areas their life’s work!

What areas would you list?

Αυτω η δοξα,



7 thoughts on “Introductory”

  1. I’m definitely with you on #2 and I would expand it to include source criticism in general. I absolutely cannot stay awake when someone starts in on hypothetical sources behind a text.

  2. I’m not particularly fond of eschatological discussions. Put Calvinism vs. Arminism there too.

    But I see to be particular fond of philosophy, since I wanted to out-reason everyone else. 😀

  3. TC: I don’t mind discussing eschatology, so long as the participants are not so dogmatic that anyone not inclined to their position is a heretic! The Calvinism vs. Arminianism gets old, too. I enjoy listening to philosophers lecture if it’s on an aspect I enjoy, such as immortality or resurrection, but when it gets too speculative I tune out.

  4. I did a top 10 list last year that’s somewhat similar to what you’re asking about here, only in that list I named topics that bore me and I have little interest in. If we’re talking about stuff that’s worth knowing that I’m content to have a surface level understanding of then I’d say:

    1. Textual Criticism
    2. Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek
    3. Medieval (and later) Church History

    Textual criticism is important, but the work that goes into mastering the field isn’t something I’m inclined to put in when there’s others out there who can do it for me. I’m content to be able to read a critical apparatus with the key and to know a few choice terms.

    Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek is great to know, but as long as I can read the characters and use a variety of lexical aids then I’m fine with that. I’d like to know all the languages well one day, but if it never happens I’m content knowing that I’m able to use a number of resources that will better inform me.

    And I have little interest in church history after the 5th century, but it’s good to know in a broad sense what’s gone on, but I’ve no real interest in getting bogged down with the details.

  5. Nick: I’m with you on #s 1 and 3, but I’ve given myself wholly over to option 2. I’ve put too much into it to turn back now! I’m with you on church history, too, though there are always flashes of excitement and intrigue in every era.

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