On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. I corresponded with Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, about what’s on his nightstand, books he re-reads, and some of his favorite works of fiction.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
- My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman
- Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel
- Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by John Frame
- The Complete English Poems by George Herbert
- Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey by Emilie Griffin
What are some books you regularly re-read and why?
- Confessions by Augustine. It’s almost like the Bible in terms of how often I read it. It tells the story of my life and of all our lives as sinners in need of God’s grace.
- Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. Calvin clears the cobwebs out of my mind and tunes my heart to God. Book 3, chapter 20 is one of the great treatises on prayer in all of Christian literature.
- Church Dogmatics by Karl Barth. While I do not always agree with Barth, I appreciate his approach to theology, which I find both rigorous and devotional.
What books have most helped you teach others about Jesus?
- The Truth of the Gospel: An Exposition of Galatians by Gerhard Ebeling
- All of Eugene Peterson’s pastoral books
- Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck
What biographies or autobiographies have most influenced you and why?
What are your favorite fiction books?
- Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. I enjoy this book for its perceptive insight into family, faith, and tradition.
- Anything by Charles Dickens. The characters leap right off the page. His works are such great storytelling.
- Anything by John Updike. He displays great writing and intuition into the human condition.
- Godric: A Novel by Frederick Buechner. This is a wonderful medieval tale with deep spiritual resonance for Christians of every age.
Also in the On My Shelf series: Tim Keller, Bryan Chapell, Lauren Chandler, Mike Cosper, Russell Moore, Jared Wilson, Kathy Keller, Tullian Tchividjian, J. D. Greear, Kevin DeYoung, Kathleen Nielson, Thabiti Anyabwile, Collin Hansen, Fred Sanders, Rosaria Butterfield, Nancy Guthrie, and Matt Chandler.