Top 10 List: Authors I’m Not the Least Bit Interested in Reading

1.    Slavoj Žižek

2.    John Piper

3.    Stanley Hauerwas

4.    Rob Bell

5.    Greg Boyd

6.    Wayne Grudem

7.    Rick Warren

8.    Joyce Meyer

9.    John Howard Yoder

10.  Tommy Tenney

There’s soooo many more authors that I’m not the least bit interested in, but these are the first ten that came to mind.


34 thoughts on “Top 10 List: Authors I’m Not the Least Bit Interested in Reading

  1. I have to ask:

    John Piper – why?
    Greg Boyd – why?
    Wayne Grudem – why?

    the others I get, and some I don’t even know, but I was curious about these 3 ;-)

  2. Bell is about as boring and lame as they come. It’s all “So I was reading Luke the other day and found this really interesting…” Boring BS. McLaren – the same. Warren and Meyer, blech. Osteen is the same person with better hair. but Creflo Dollar dresses the sharpest.

    Never did like Hauerwas because he has a big talk, but he is so unpragmatic with his “radical” vision of things. It always looks like a sect, but he says it is not. So who cares?

    Tried to sift through a little Shane Claiborne but the text is in a shade of brownish-red and was giving me a headache. That was a genius move – what if I happen to be color blind? Besides it looked, again, boring.

    I could pretty much take the entire Christian Inspiration section and B&N and burn it. Very few redeemable books there. Just killing trees not only with production, but with overstock. Claiborne must be a hypocrite then. I will make my own clothes, but kill trees with my book sales and publisher overstock.

  3. I’m going to have to disagree with Drew. Bell was a great read, you should give it a shot.

  4. “I could pretty much take the entire Christian Inspiration section and B&N and burn it.”


  5. Robert: The short answer is that they all have too many groupies, and that alone is enough to turn me off. But from the little I’ve heard Piper say, he disgusts me. I think Boyd is flakey, and after reading his blog post on being a vegetarian I have vowed to never read him. And Grudem, well, c’mon… It’s Grudem! ;)

    Drew: I absolutely hate Barnes & Noble! And thanks for your insights on all those authors… I’ve never read any of them, but I agree completely! ;)

    Nathan: I saw one of his videos and was wholly unimpressed, in fact, he annoyed the heck out of me. What did you enjoy about him?

    Sam: Exactly! ;)

  6. Well, I only have Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and to be honest, the one I recently reviewed from B&H Publishing is better in my opinion as an introduction to Systematic Theology.

  7. I can understand your not wanting to read any of them. It’s nice though when you don’t know anything about an author and haven’t heard them and then you read so your not expecting much from them and then they open up your world to all kinds of new ideas and ways of looking at things. That was the case with me when I first read Boyd. I read his God at War book and Satan and the Problem of Evil and was blown away. Ever since then he’s been at the top of my list (#3). The same goes with some you didn’t put on your list like N.T. Wright or Gordon Fee. I didn’t really know anything about them and hadn’t heard any hype so I came to them fresh and my world was rocked. But after something has been built up and has a lot of groupies as well as detracters then it’s harder to want to read/see/hear it and your view of them.

    Anyone you haven’t read or heard that you really want to? I can think of a few like Colin Gunton, the Neiburhs (sp?), Christopher Seitz, Stanley Hauerwas (thanks for the comment Drew that seemed enlightening) Stanley Porter, Leander Keck, Beverly Gaventa, Walter Bruegemann, James Barr, Alisdair Mac Intyre, etc. I could go on and on.


  8. Nick,

    Rob Bell is just worth reading. People don’t like him but his first book influenced me tremendously. Speaking of his Nooma vids… They are not quite as good as this one.

  9. Robert: I don’t have any Grudem, but I’ve read a few select essays. Never been a fan. BTW, thanks for that guy from B&H’s email address, I requested a book and he said he’d send it along. Hopefully it will get here soon.

    Bryan: Yeah, that’s how it was with Hurtado for me. I didn’t know anything about him and then I read Lord Jesus Christ and it changed my life.

    As to the other thing, I’m looking forward to reading T.F. Torrance, Hans Ur von Balthasar, Yves Congar, and Eberhard Jüngel. I’ve already scratched (or more technically, am scratching) Barth, Moltmann, and Bultmann off my list.

    Nathan: Thanks, but I’ll pass anyway. :)

  10. I guess my problem is that I’m a theology major and I work in a ghetto baptist church, a coffee shop/bookstore, a middle to upper class methodist church (they call it the biggest southern baptist church in their denomination), and for a homeschool co-op on the side. So I’ve found myself obligated to read loads of stuff by loads of people to be able to recommend or disagree politely with stupid ideas.

    Anyhow I’d have to say of some of these authors:

    Piper: He wrote “Don’t Waste Your Life” which is a book that I will ever recommend to young college students because it casts a radical vision for discipleship. I disagree with Piper on a load of issues, but I appreciate a lot of his books.

    Yoder: His essays are brilliant, and Politics of Jesus only takes about 2 hours to read. To sum it up: Jesus’ work started on the Jubilee Year, it was political in nature, and the household codes are not concessions to empire as some accuse them of being.

    Warren: Church growth is a good thing if it means gospel preaching, this seems to be his approach. Also, the purpose driven life may be good simply because it has quotations from better authors.

    Hauerwas: I think his Brazos commentary on Matthew is great, I have more to say but will hold off.

    Zizek: I have a book that I have not read.

    Meyer: I just want to find somebody to recommend to readers of her that isn’t her.

    Boyd: Somewhat provacative, but I’d have to read more and probably will since I keep finding young folks reading his stuff.

    Grudem: Anybody who puts hymns and diagrams in a systematic theology is at least trying to be clear.

  11. “Bell is about as boring and lame as they come. It’s all “So I was reading Luke the other day and found this really interesting…” Boring BS. McLaren – the same.” – drew…

    i guess that should make me re-think the way i write… seeing as how thats basically me to the letter…

    as for some of the others nick… i bet there is at least one author in there that turns out to be a REALLY good person and you’ll someday regret not reading… but until then… meh. i understand

  12. Geoff: Yeah, I’ve heard plenty of good things about all of these guys. I’ve seen most of them quoted on various blogs. I’m just not interested in any of them. To shell out money to read something they have written is unthinkable, and I wouldn’t want to waste a review book request on any of them.

    Roger: They can all be great people, most of them probably are… but being a good dude or dudette doesn’t make me want to read em’.

  13. i admittedly have a harder time reading good dudette’s
    dunno what it is… just find it harder to hear their authority.. definitely exceptions to this.

    eg. Total Truth by Nancy R Pearcey… fantastic… but not the rule

  14. Roger: You know, it’s funny, but now that I think about it, I hardly own any books written by dudettes. I guess they should write more, or write better, huh?

  15. Glad to see you’re crossing Barth off your list.

    What a wonderful world this would be if *nobody* read Barth, Hauerwas, or Yoder!

  16. John C. Poirier, I totally disagree with your comment re: Barth. There is a commenter (well now she is allowed to write entire posts) at called Mary Louise who writes the most beautiful stuff and is obviously influenced by Barth. My small non-reformed world would be poorer is she wasn’t. As for myself, I find him incomprehensible.

  17. Paul,

    “Beautiful”, yes, I don’t doubt it. But “beautiful” isn’t the same as “true”, and if your worry about what is “true”, then stay far, far away from Barth!

  18. John: Wonderful indeed! But to be clear, I’m scratching Barth off my list of authors I wanted to read. I’ve been thumbing through his Romans commentary for a couple of months now. Nothing too Earth shattering yet.

    Paul: You never know, her writing might be more beautiful if she weren’t influenced by Barth.

  19. The only one I’ve read on your list is Yoder (The Politics of Jesus). I was expecting a politically biased judgmental book, but his writing style was great. Very humble and didn’t try to make unwarranted proclamations without hedging and exploring nuance.

    The only other one I’m actually intrigued by on your list is Boyd for his “God at War”. The subject matter really interests me and I’d like to hear his take.

  20. Thanks Nick and John. I fear I have already gone to far astray in my embracing of Barth-ian ideas contra natural law. I was also interested in reading Barth on the ministry esp. his ‘Homiletics’, but while your heads up is welcome, I am still unsure how far his being untrue goes in your impression.

  21. Paul: I’ve read just enough Barth to know that I won’t be reading too much Barth in the future, but I absolutely have to get my hands on his CD I/1 sooner or later.

  22. Nick,

    Saw your contribution on Modalism. You made some helpful comments.

    I don’t get your “begging the question” assertions about Piper and Grudem. You state that Piper disgusts you – why? You say about Grudem, “And Grudem, well, c’mon… It’s Grudem!”

    I think these guys deserve a bit more than that. Personally, I think that Piper and Grudem have contributed greatly to personal piety, pastoral theology (esp. suffering) and well-written systematics. I recommend both with all my heart, no matter if they have ‘groupies’. Jesus had thousands coming to hear him.

    You talk about wasting time and then talk about reading Barth?!

  23. Timothy: Thanks, I’ve read a couple of your posts as well, and I thought they were good.

    Concerning Piper, his theology disgusts me. From the bits and pieces I’ve gleaned from various internet articles and blog posts, I’m not the least bit interested in reading anything he’s written. I also saw him preach a sermon that I didn’t care for.

    As to Grudem, he’s a little too invested in the gender debate for me to care about him. But I’m equally uninterested in reading those who fall on the opposite of that debate. Plus, there’s a running joke amongst many of us bibliobloggers as being part of the Anti-Grudemite International Association.

    And I wouldn’t compare them (or any other author) to Jesus. Sure, he had groupies, but he had them for the right reason. And what’s wrong with Barth (other than the fact that he can be confusing like most other German theologians)? I’m sure in 100 years we’re not going to be hearing about how Piper or Grudem were the most influential theologians of the 21st century, but we’ll still be hearing about how Barth was the most influential of the 20th.

  24. I’ve really enjoyed reading John Polkinghorne’s work; don’t know if you’re familiar, but he was a particle physicist who became a priest. The only book I’ve read of his is called “Exploring Reality” and if you don’t mind scientific talk then I’d recommend it. Not sure if I agree with everything he’s saying, but he presents some interesting ideas and the man is superiorly intelligent. As far as Science/Faith books go, he puts Strobel, Collins, and the like to shame.

  25. Blake: I believe that God created everything that has been created. I’m just not sure how exactly he did it. To date I’ve only read two books on Intelligent Design (I reviewed one here).

  26. Who is Slavoj Žižek, and why are you not interested in Him?

    I can understand your loathing of John Piper. He’s basically adopted the God of Johnathan Edwards and made him to be his own. More could be said on Piper, but I move on.

    Who is Stanley Hauerwas, and why are you not interested in him?

    Rob Bell? I’ve heard of this guy. What are your thoughts on him?

    That vegetarian blogging of Greg Boyd kind of turned you off, eh? To bad you’ve vowed not to read any of his stuff. Does that mean you wont be reading his book against Oneness Pentecostalism?

    I feel you about Wayne Grudem. His systematic theology book is making some rounds. In fact, both CrossMovement & Reach Records are encouraging this book to be read to learn the bible. Consequently, a lot of young Christians are embracing Calvinism.

    The purpose driven Rick Warren. I wouldn’t have guessed that this guy would be a least interested one. I would have thought he would not have even made it on your list to consider. What’s your uninterest in him about?

    And Joyce Meyer? Please explain!

    Who is John Howard Yoder, and why arent you interested in this character?

    Finally, Tommy Tenney. This is the God Chaser right? Many pentecostals and charismatics love this guy. Since you are pentecostal (I assume), what it with him you are not interested in?

    Thanks for your explanations Nick.

  27. Troy: Slavoj Žižek is some philospher or something, and I saw a video on YouTube of him talking about toilets and comparing them to societies. It was the stupidist thing I’d ever heard.

    Stanley Hauerwas is some theologian from Duke Divinity School that people seem to love, but I can’t figure out why. Every quote I’ve ever read from him made me want to call him an a-hole.

    My thoughts on Rob Bell are that he’s wholly unimpressive. I watched one of his videos and he came off as a little bit too whiney for my liking. A couple of other guys said the video and message really hit home for them, but it didn’t minister to me at all.

    I’ve actually read some of his stuff on Oneness Pentecostalism, and I don’t think he was a vegetarian when he wrote it, so I can stand at least that. ;)

    I’m not interested in anything Warren has to say. But his popularity is probably what makes me so uninterested in him.

    Joyce Meyer, aside from saying some stuff that I couldn’t disagree with more (like if you don’t believe that Jesus went to hell and suffered then you can’t be saved), writes mostly popular level self-help stuff. Not my area of interest.

    John Howard Yoder is some guy that pacifists love to talk about, and since pacifists tend to annoy the begeezus out of me, I won’t read the guy.

    Tommy Tenney also writes popular level drivel, and he’s a Oneness believer (who tries to hide this fact), and he’s a bit rude (I tried corresponding with him some years back). So that’s what will keep me from his books.

  28. No really, Norelli, say what you really feel about these guys.

    Systematic theologians… Well, I confess my systematic theologies spend most of their time propping up a too-short bedroom lamp I bought.

    Joyce Meyer… Amplified Bible. Why?

    Rick Warren… Get a better shirt and maybe I can listen. Right now I’m too distracted.

    John Polkinghorne… Interesting, maybe a bit Deist for my taste. Or is that Anglican? And his writing style is advanced and tough to get into.

    Nancy Pearcey’s _Total Truth_ was one of the better “I don’t like the culture and here’s why” books I’ve read, actually. Don’t tell my more conservative fellows because they’ll think I’m being taught by a woman and that’s a no-no even if she’s forgotten more about a subject than you know. (Which is probably why I don’t see Kren Jobes’ 1 Peter commentary in certain bookstores much, come to think of it.)

    Oh, and the vast part of the Christian Inspiration book business is a horrible waste of trees, if you ask me (which you didn’t. There’s you lagniappe for the day.)

  29. Chuck: Repressing my thoughts/feelings has long been a problem of mine. Next time I’ll try to let out a little bit of what I really think about these guys/gal. ;)

    And I have to agree about systematic theologies. I use my Geisler set to catch dust bunnies. BTW, welcome back! Did you forget that blogging and commenting on blogs is like the most important thing in life?

  30. Irritating days at work have had me coming home and unwinding with DVDs most nights this week. I’ve also been trying to get ahead with the Sunday School notes, in order to have time to work out how to fit three major commentaries and the most textual variants in the NT into the notes.

    OTOH, I have been listening to more classical music lately. Bach for the mind and Correlli for the heart. Ahhh….

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