No Good Writing

I never considered myself a reader until I started seminary in August of 2008. Since then I have read multiple books, some of which have become instant favorites. I have read dead authors, living authors, Evangelical authors, Catholic authors, Anglican authors, Christian authors and Pagan authors. One thing that I have noticed in my reading (which pales in comparison to many) is there are not very many good Evangelical works available. As a matter of fact, I can’t really think of any Evangelical author I have read and thought, Wow this guy is a great writer!

Before you throw stones let me define what I mean by good. What I mean is the author has the ability to take a foreign or complex issue/topic and put it in language that is remarkably comprehensible for the reader. I know many people will throw out John Piper because in many ways he tends to be the unofficial spokesperson of the Evangelical world. I love John Piper and I am glad he is writing again and I am thankful for his ministry. Of all evangelical writers, I think he is the closest to what I am describing. There are many evangelical writers who are taking leadership in various theological discussions (such as the Justification debate, issues regarding the Atonement, etc…). What I am describing are writers who know how to use language and paint a picture with words. Not many can do that. I certainly cannot do that.

I started going down the list of those I consider good authors within the last 50 years. Of course this is just my opinion:

C.S. Lewis? Anglican

John Stott? Anglican

J.I. Packer? Anglican/semi-Evangelical

N.T. Wright? Anglican

What are Anglicans on that make them such great writers (hyperbole)? Hopefully this doesn’t come across the wrong way. I love and read many Evangelical authors, but there is something different between the ones I have listed here and modern Evangelical writings. This isn’t meant to undermine their efforts because I am thankful for them. Maybe I am ignorant and just need to read more. I am not saying I am right. I’m just saying that thus far this is my observation. I’m open to suggestions so please hit me up.

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8 thoughts on “No Good Writing

  1. JT says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I tried to think of a few writers from free church evangelicalism and I couldn’t. Keller is the closest thing but he is Presby. My favorite book that I am reading right now, Deep Church, is also authored by a Presbyterian. It must be something in the communion wine.

    Maybe you can turn the ship around for us?

  2. Btw,you might enjoy a few other somewhat older Anglican writers: E.L. (Eric Lionel) Mascall (1905-93). Also L.S. Thornton. Mascal is one of my favorite, but he is not an Evangelical so much as an Anglo-Catholic. Some of his books I have are: The Openness of Being, Corpus Christi, Christ The Christian And The Church, The Secularization of Christianity; and one of my very favorite: HE WHO IS, A Study in Traditional Theism. Sadly perhaps many are OP now, but ya never know? Check ABE Books on-line?

    On Thornton, he has many also: Christ And The Church, Revelation And the Modern World, The Dominion of Christ..the Form of the Servant. And finally The Common Life In The Body of Christ. Also some more..

    Indeed just a few of the many fine Anglican writers/theolog’s!

    Also have you discovered some of the 20th century Orthodox writers? Very rich indeed! Note Georges Florovsky (Russian), who was also friends with Barth. And an a Brit, the Englishman Timothy Ware (his classic book: The Orthodox Church).

    This might be a bit outside classic Evangeicalism, but evangelical in many ways in my opinion!

    Fr. Robert (Anglican, 1949-) 🙂

  3. A Free Church Brit I like very much is (P.T.) Peter Taylor Forsyth. And for you Americans,Eugene Peterson regards Forsyth as an ‘utterly trustworthy and immensely energizing’ theologian precisely because his theology of grace can turn us away from our pious self-centeredness and ‘can help us re-establish the primacy of God in our prayers’.

  4. Brian LePort says:

    Anglicans do have great writing skills. All those you mentioned are from the UK (all England more specifically?) though as well. Maybe the English have a better grasp of English!

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