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A Little Exercise for Young Theologians Paperback – October 5, 1962
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"To recommend this little exercise as a thin book to put in the pocket of the beginner is not enough. The more seasoned theologian will return to it, and it will touch the pastor who has long since left the halls of theological learning."
From the Back Cover
Since its first appearance in English translation in 1962, this little book has achieved near-classic status. Thousands of beginning theological students have had the opportunity to eavesdrop, as it were, on the opening lecture of a theological seminar by one of the twentieth century's leading Christian thinkers.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) The Marriage of Objective & Subjective Christian Truth - Both are critical in Christian growth. Conservative Christians tend to elevate only one while neglecting, and some even opposing the other. Bible study, yet no prayer life. Or prayer life without consulting God's counsel in His Word. Evangelicals have a difficult time with this because the traditions that typically wed them well together, are smaller denominations or just hard to come by.
2) Gentle, Yet Clear Admonishment - Too often critiques of people are filled with truth, but devoid of love. Thielicke possesses both.
3) Writing Style - It is honestly beautiful and warm. It's as if your Christian mentor of a decade sat down over 12 weeks and encouraged you with 12 different things to pray over in your walk. The way he writes is poetic in many ways, yet is trying to engage you practically as a Pastor would.
For a Christian looking to grow in the study and application of God's Word, as well as Christian Dogmatics (whether in seminary, local church, etc.), this is the top booklet to begin that journey. Highly recommended booklet - a must read.
Thielicke also does a tremendous job of grounding theology in faith. As he says at one point, "every theological effort is bound up with the act of faith itself". Faith (or rather Christ) is the goal and not theology itself. He even makes the bold statement that, "every theological idea which makes an impression upon you must be regarded as a challenge to your faith."
Thielicke's attempt in this work is to ground his students in the gospel--he succeeds.
What I Disliked
The book is obviously written to theological students; the language would be quite difficult for the typical beginning learner to swallow. Unfortunately, it is the typical beginning learner that really needs to hear this. Thielicke perhaps would have been better served using less lofty language.
The book first was translated into English in 1962. Some of the theological issues that cropped up in the Thielicke's time are no longer as pertinent. The book is dated--but if the reader can filter through some of the specific issues and see the heart of the matter he will be blessed.
Should You Buy It:
It depends on who you are. If you plan on reading quite a few theological materials and growing in your knowledge of doctrine then get this little booklet. You can read it in a short setting and will benefit for a lifetime. If you are not going to be diving into many deep issues then your money could be better spent elsewhere.
Thielicke takes fresh-faced seminarians down a notch... which is what we all need! Thielicke gently yet adamantly emphasizes the need for constant humility for those young men and women entering into Christian service as preachers, ministers or missionaries. The inflated heads of such people will be popped, which isn't a bad thing.