Edifying and just plain good

One of the great things about seminary is the opportunity and encouragement to read so many good books. I want to share with y’all some of the best that I’ve read recently. I’ll periodically make these posts as I get enough for a new one.

–UPDATE– : Instead of keeping various different lists, I just have this year’s running list here. Feel free to comment with more edifying books/things to read!

Read on, and be edified!

  1. All Things for Good (Thomas Watson) – Thomas Watson is excellent. The care with which he elucidates the scriptures and the thoroughness with which he applies them is a brilliant example of the pastoral mind of the puritans. The chapter on how suffering is for the good of the saint is worth the price of the book by itself.
  2. The Doctrine of Repentance (Thomas Watson) – Definitely one of the best puritan books I’ve read, and perhaps one of the top theology books in general I’ve read. Watson gives a Biblically-laden, powerfully convicting, carefully thorough explanation and application of what repentance is, and what it looks like in the life of the Christian. Read this book.
  3. The Trellis and the Vine (Marshall and Payne) – There was a lot of hype about this book in theological circles. I heard about it in glowing recommendations at least a dozen times before I read it. Well, turns out all of that was probably warranted. It takes great insight and awareness to see the weaknesses of a system which dominates everything in your culture. It takes great grace and faith to address those weaknesses while building a better model. This book is about making disciples more Biblically, more faithfully, and more efficiently.
  4. Radical (David Platt) – You can be sure that if you read this book, your eyes will be opened (and probably tearful at least once or twice) and your heart will be convicted. However, I’m also confident that your passion for Christ to be known will be enlivened, and your commitment to live Biblically will be strengthened. David Platt has placed his pen, backed by the Word, on one of the weakest areas of American Christianity. The stories about christians worldwide will break your heart with joy. The stories of the brothers and sisters in his church will encourage and challenge you. The wisdom of Jesus Christ as spoken through David has the power to change your life radically, just the way it should be changed. May God be glorified!
  5. Let the Nations Be Glad (John Piper) – If you have read any John Piper books, you know the lengths to which he goes to ground EVERYTHING in a Biblical, Christ-enjoying mindset. This book is no different. The one-sentence thesis of this book is enough to change how you think about mission work. What else is there to say? There is no Pastor-theologian alive today who writes with more passionate, God-glorifying clarity. Let him lead you to a deeper understanding of missions. 
  6. A Passionate Plea for Preaching (multiple authors) – If you preach, read this book. No, really. Read it. It will help you remember why you preach, how you preach, what you preach, and for whom you preach. Each chapter presents a specific topic under the umbrella subject of preaching addressed by a different author, and every one of them will make you anxious and joyous to step into the pulpit next Sunday. If you don’t preach, it would still be great to read this book. It will help you understand the task of your pastor every Sunday, and will give you a guide for being a great help to him.

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