Sep 18, 2012

What books are essential to a preacher’s library?

Jake Eggertsen has put together a great post having collected wisdom from a number of ministers on the books they read and believe all preachers should read.

Here are my answers to his three questions (at least my answers for today):

1/ Apart from God’s Word, what books would you recommend first to a young preacher?
Setting hearts on fire – John Chapman (simply put a great introduction to getting from the text to a talk in a biblical and faithful way)
Getting things done – David Allen (the biggest obstacle to preaching is lack of preparation. Allen helps you organise yourself and your time. Reading GTD will help ensure you’re ready for Sunday)
The meaning of marriage – Tim Keller (if my marriage isn’t right then my preaching can’t be)
Center Church – part 2 ‘Gospel Renewal’ (We are not merely imparters of information…Keller opens up for us preaching to reach the heart through the gospel)
2/ What are your all-time favourite books?
Knowing God – Jim Packer (best book of the 1970s – the God to whom I bear witness)
Cross of Christ – John Stott (best book of the 1980s – The preacher’s boast! Gal. 6:14)
A call to spiritual reformation – Don Carson (best book of the 1990s – until I can pray I’m not ready to preach)
The Valley of Vision (anthology of Puritan prayers – best book I bought of the 2000s – strength for the preacher!)
Trilogy – Francis Schaeffer (crucial to understanding the times in which we live and the thought-forms of a generation)
Everything by CS Lewis (when are we ever NOT reading Lewis!)
3/ What books are ‘essential’ to your library?
A reader’s Greek New Testament (because God decided not to write the Bible in English!) and a reader’s Hebrew Bible (if your Hebrew is up to it, which mine is not).
Commentaries by Stott, Carson, Moo, O’Brien, Motyer, and more (too many to mention)
The Doctrine of the Death of Christ – Nathaniel Dimock (England’s greatest theologian of the second-half of the 20th century)
Institutes of Christian Religion – John Calvin (still my desert island book)
Institutes of Elenctic Theology – Francis Turretin (no stone left unturned when it comes to Reformed systematic theology)


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