by Greg

Theoroes is shorthand for “theological heroes.”   I have changed this list a bit from its first manifestation, where it was mostly theologians & biblical scholars whom I admired and would like to follow in some way or another, as they followed Christ.  Then Elijah came along with his list of theoroes which made me feel like a freshman at an uncredentialed Bible college.  So, I revisited my initial list and came up with a more diverse list of theologically minded persons, now including pastors, philosophers, mystics, etc. who may not be “theologians” in the professional sense of the term, but who have influenced me or whom I am looking to follow.

I include below my Top Ten Theoroes (as this is how my list-making mind thinks), followed up by three sections which include other Christians who fall into more specialized niches in my theological esteem within the following categories:  Attitude (irenic, engaging,  innovative, conciliatory); Aptitude (brilliant, insightful, critical, advancing credible Christian belief); and Altitude (mystical, nearness to God, holiness).

  • Greg Boyd
  • Donald Bloesch
  • Frederick Buechner
  • Stanley Grenz
  • I. Howard Marshall
  • Roger Olson
  • John Stackhouse
  • John Stott
  • Kevin Vanhoozer
  • N.T. Wright


  • G.K. Chesterton
  • Edward Fudge
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Tim Keller
  • Scot McKnight
  • Gerald McDermott
  • Richard Mouw
  • Lesslie Newbigin
  • Clark Pinnock
  • John Wenham
  • Philip Yancey


  • Craig Blomberg
  • F.F. Bruce
  • Walter Brueggemann
  • John Goldingay
  • Joel Green
  • Norman Kraus
  • Tremper Longman
  • Alister McGrath
  • Leland Ryken
  • Ben Witherington
  • Nicholas Wolterstorff


  • Brother Lawrence
  • Billy Graham
  • Blaise Pascal
  • Teresa of Ávila
  • John Wesley

I was going to include a fourth category, Assitudes, which would have listed theological personalities whom I can’t stand, but I thought the better of it, as I want/need to demonstrate greater respect and charity towards those with whom I disagree.  It’s so tempting though…


5 thoughts on “Theoroes”

  1. My only question is whether theologians can be heroes. In other words, is heroism a theological category? Do we have heroes…or saints?

    A few suggestions of others you might want to look into… (I suppose these would be three of my “theoroes.”

    Rowan Williams
    Stanley Hauerwas
    Eugene Peterson

  2. Check out Ryan getting all philosophical, categories and such! Well, I am neither a philosopher, nor the son of a philosopher, so my best answer would be to say, to my mind, a hero is some person who exemplifies a certain kind of character/ethos (bravery, cunning, skill) when confronting a challenge or some sort of negative opposition.

    In this case, the weapons are spiritual thought and expression. The enemies? Narrow, uncreative & imbalanced Christianity and/or rigid, lifeless & exclusivistic traditionalism.

    Plus theoroes sounds better than “theosaints.”

    PS I was just looking into some of Hauerwas’ writing the other day.
    PPS Whenever I see the name Rowan, I can’t help but visualize Mr. Bean.

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