In a rare, in-person meeting of the minds this weekend in Nashville, Nate Kerr, R.O. Flyer, and myself solved a great many of the world’s theological problems. One, however, we still need your help on. At some point we took it upon ourselves to try to figure out the most overrated theological book of the 20th century. While we couldn’t get near to narrowing it down to one, we came up with some possibles. Here is our top ten (in chronological order):
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship (1937)
- H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (1951)
- Jürgen Moltman, Theology of Hope (1964)
- Karl Rahner, The Trinity (1967)
- Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue (1984)
- George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine (1984)
- John Zizioulas, Being as Communion (1985)
- Sallie McFague, Models of God (1987)
- Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Resident Aliens (1989)
- John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory (1990)
It should be roundly emphasized that we are not saying that these books are not good and important. Indeed some of our absolutely favorite books are on this list. However, the question remains as to whether or not the attention and enthusiasm these books have received has been overblown. Please bear that in mind before unleashing your rage.
Now, over the next week we’ll be narrowing the list down to five, taking into account any comments you all have. Also, feel free to nominate some other books. The one that receives the most nominations will be added to the final vote as a wildcard. Enjoy the harrowing work of narrowing this list down with us.