everybody loves Ray, man

I know, it's a terrible title, but...

As Kevin and I have mentioned many times, we are deeply influenced by the character and theology of Ray S. Anderson, our professor at Fuller. For me, it was providential that I found Ray's systematic's class. After 2 years of seminary, I was tired of the same old thing, the same old answers. In a History of Theology class, we were assigned Karl Barth's Commentary on Romans (Römerbrief) and I got a serious case of theological whiplash.

Here at last was something that spoke to me in a new, exciting, and honest way. I was to begin taking my systematics classes, -which I was not happy about since they largely just repeated the church history classes, when a friend in class told me there was "this guy," a professor, I should check out. Turns out he studied under T.F. Torrance, who was Barth's disciple and translator. Maybe I would be interested....

It had been a long time since I felt my heart plumbed and stretched so much, so quickly.

Professor Anderson introduced me to Barth, but more than that, his pastoral heart helped make sense of the world. Unlike many theologians, there is a practical thrust to his work, an eminent concern that gospel really is good news. Coupled with his work in psychology, Anderson has been a prime source of living water for me and a dramatic influence in how I minister. I won't lie to you - I feel a special appreciation and sense of connection over our rural roots. And he likes poetry, too. I have since read many wonderful theological works, but few, if any, ever come close enough to actually change someone, change how we treat one another in church for me.

So how can you get a taste of Ray?
I'm glad you asked. It just so happens I was compiling some links for this very reason, so here you go:
● On his Faculty page, you will notice that Prof. Anderson posts all his lecture syllabi! Don't be fooled, these are fantastic notes. Want more? Read on dear friend.

● For the first time, I see that someone has begun a web page about him. It looks sparse but promising right now. They have a great page that lists all the covers of most of his books.

● Speaking of books, Amazon carries the full line up, of course. If you've never read him before, The Soul of Ministry may be his most accessible overview, though The Gospel of Judas may be his best known(?). Dancing With Wolves While Feeding the Sheep is an easy read that gently dances through some of the pastoral issues that trouble people, and his latest book on the Emergent Church is similarly great.

● No theological list would be complete without mentioning Faith and Theology, my favorite blog. Ray has posted articles there and frequently contributes in the comments. ...you could do that, too. even here....(snickers)

● I'm not sure about etiquette, so I won't directly link to the .mp3s, but there are 3 audio sermons here at Grace, Huntington Beach Church. If you are from an advanced civilization from the future trying to find these lost files, they are archived from Dec 30, '07 to Jan 13 '08, so look there. I know nothing about the church, but it's Anderson! I have yet to listen to these so caveat emptor.

● Finally, dear friends, our dear pastor Kevin has begun a series, Andersonian Quote of the Week, a regular monthly article. He cites and discusses some of Ray's gems.

As for me, well, I hope to engage the same material and perhaps this post will send everyone who Googles Ray S. Anderson my way so they can inform me of other resources I may have missed. Kevin and I will continue our little fan club together, heartened by the grace the Father has poured into us through Professor Anderson.


  1. Erin, keep these coming. I may not leave a comment all the time, but I visit often. Thanks for sharing and I hope to catch up with you soon brother.


  2. Del! What's up, good man? Glad you like. This page has actually been very helpful for me to write. And now, on to global domination...

  3. maybe i can get my dad to join your club. he's translated a few of anderson's books into chinese for publishing. anderson...for peoples of all colors.

  4. Woah! I had no idea! See, even your parents approve of your church.

    That's very cool.


    does he still have the English copies laying around.....?


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