On Wednesday I began this two-part post in which I identified 15 books that are worth your investment. Today I’ll list the remaining 8 books on my list.
In my email this morning was a daily email from MLB (Major League Baseball) that pointed to an article called “The Best to Never Win an MVP.” The article goes on to identify baseball players who, despite having really good seasons and careers, never won their league’s award for Most Valuable Player (MVP). This list is sort of like that. I’m identifying books that were of value to me and just might have slipped under the radar. So, in no particular order, here are some additional volumes that I would recommend.
I used to try to read at least one or two books on preaching each year. There is no lack of good books on the subject but I have appreciated Unashamed Workmen by Rhett Dodson and The Archer and the Arrow by Philip Jensen and Paul Grimmond. In addition, David Helm’s book Expository Preaching is worth the read. There are many others that are worthwhile, but what I liked about these books is that they reinforced the basics while giving some new thoughts on how to go about sermon preparation and presentation. Ok. That makes ten books.
One of the books that has ministered most to me is the compilation of Puritan prayers by Arthur Bennett titled, The Valley of Vision. Not only will these be of value to your own spiritual life, they can be used with your congregation. I used several to prepare our congregation for the Lord’s Table. There is a new book that is similar called Piercing Heaven by Robert Elmer. I don’t know if there is any overlap, but here is a review by Tim Challies. Tim likes it better than The Valley of Vision. So maybe you buy both.
One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm is also worthwhile. It’s a short book that is intended to help people learn to read the Bible together. Maybe the description will pique your interest: “Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally.”
Kevin DeYoung is a fine writer and preacher, and included in his growing catalogue of good books is Taking God At His Word, which defines and defends the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. So far, most of the books I’ve recommended have been “practical” books, but this is anything but dry scholarship. I found it very encouraging.
A book that seems to be on a lot of people’s reading list right now is Dane Ortlund’s Gentle And Lowly. I believe this could be one of the most significant books that you will read. I’m partway through the book and it has been a wonderful reminder of who Jesus is and how he thinks of us. Read this for yourself, but let it shape the way you preach and pastor.
Finally, there are times when pastors need someone to minister to them, and this book by Paul Tripp, called New Morning Mercies, will do that. The book is a collection of Gospel-centered devotional readings for each day of the year.
I will add the same disclaimer as I did on Wednesday. While I like to recommend Westminster Seminary’s bookstore, I have linked to Amazon because of free shipping of you are a Prime member, and because they also sell used copies and Kindle copies of many of these books. But if you are purchasing at least $100 of books, check out Westminster. Not only will you be supporting a fine ministry, you may find that their prices are better in some cases than Amazon’s.
Have a great weekend! If you have a book that has been significant to you – either as a younger pastor or as a veteran – send me an email at email@example.com and let me know. I would appreciate your feedback! I will see you on Monday!