Top 10 Christian Theologians
Christian theologians have been a driving force to promote the authenticity of the Bible for many centuries. Theology is defined as “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially: the study of God and of God's relation to the world.” (Merriam-Webster online dictionary) These 10 men have done absolutely amazing things for the kingdom of God by saturating their minds with His Word and relaying central truths about the Bible through teaching, preaching and writing. Here is my list of the top 10 Christian theologians.
10. John Piper
John Piper is considered to be a modern day theologian. He served as the head preacher for Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 33 years. He has written over 50 books. Two of his most popular books are: “God’s Passion For His Glory” and “This Momentary Marriage”. His website “desiringgod.org” has many of his books in free pdf format! His views are strongly based off of Calvinism, and his Bible study series “T.U.L.I.P.” is a must read! Whether you agree with Calvinism or not, this series will get you thinking and talking with your brothers and sisters about deep issues.
“What defines us as Christians is not most profoundly that we have come to know him but that he took note of us and made us his own.”
9. Soren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard, a theologian from the 1800’s, is considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. Existentialist meaning, “philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.” (wiki) His writings deal with topics such as: Christ as King, distinctions between man and God, Christian ethics and love.
“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.” (The Journals of Kierkegaard)
8. Francis Schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer was one of the great modern day theologians. He found the beauty of God in everything: nature, poetry, music, art, history, etc. He spoke truth when many would not. “Schaeffer's diagnosis is that the decline of Western Civilization is due to society having become increasingly pluralistic, resulting in a shift ‘away from a world view that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory... toward something completely different’". (wiki) This concept is explained in much more detail in his famous work, “How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture.”
“Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.”
7. Jürgen Moltmann
Jürgen Moltmann, born in 1926, is alive and well and still impacting the kingdom of God today. “He has made significant contributions to a number of areas of Christian theology, including systematic theology, eschatology, ecclesiology, political theology, Christology, pneumatology, and the theology of creation.” (wiki) Two of his most known and popular works are “Theology of Hope” and “The Crucified God”.
“The knowledge of the cross brings a conflict of interest between God who has become man and man who wishes to become God.” (The Crucified God)
6. C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis is well renowned for his writing. He has published many amazing works including: “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “Mere Christianity”, and “The Screwtape Letters.” He is known as a “lay-theologian”. He gravitated towards the concept of universal morality, where every single person understands that they should act a certain way and they also understand when they break this law.
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” (Mere Christianity)
5. Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon was known as the “Prince of Preachers”. He gave sermons multiple times each week and it is said that by the time he died he had preached to around 10,000,000 people! “By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations and devotions.” (wiki)
"The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction."
4. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas is one of the most notable Catholic theologians. He taught that there is natural revelation, which we all see and understand, and he taught that there is super-natural revelation that is revealed through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. He taught that faith and reason are not enemies, but that they work side by side with one another giving different views on the same truths.
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
3. Martin Luther
Martin Luther is most notably known for his work, “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," which is also known as the “Ninety-five Theses”. He fought for the reality that God forgives sin because we ask for forgiveness and not because we give more money (indulgences) to the church. He led the Reformation Movement into starting the Lutheran church by disbanding from the Roman Catholic church.
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.”
2. Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards “was a Christian preacher and theologian. Edwards ‘is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian.’” (wiki) He is most widely known for his sermon “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God”. He delivered this sermon during a period which he helped shape, called the “First Great Awakening”. This sermon is a must read!
“Nothing sets a Christian so much out of the devil's reach than humility.”
1. John Calvin
John Calvin, like Martin Luther, was also very influential during the Reformation Movement. His study and teaching of Christian theology was later called Calvinism, which has impacted many churches since including: Presbyterian and Reformed churches. His views on predestination have stirred controversies and debates since the first printings. His teachings on the absolute sovereignty of God are remarkable and full of truth about our Creator.
“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent”
These are my top 10 theologians of history/present. They have all made a serious impact for the kingdom of God! Who are some of your favorite theologians? Please, let us know in the comments below! God bless you!