Question

Besides the Bible, what is a recommended reading list you would suggest?

Answer

This question is asked several times per month. Of course, the answer would depend on where the Holy Spirit has your focus. Although there are a variety of lists available, generally the list below will be a good foundation and a welcome addition to any library. Of course, depending upon who you are and where you have advanced in your studies, you may desire to add to and subtract from this list.

First, I would suggest a good study Bible such as the electronic one available from Laridian, Inc., Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible. I know this should go without saying, but one very well known Baptist seminary I briefly attended did not even use the Bible in its first semester of classes?

Second, next to this, familiarity with the Westminster Confession of Faith is helpful.

Third, a small list of other books may be useful as well. This list is from various areas of study to help the student be well-rounded. Mind us we can study a lot and a Bible student's search for truth will be endless this side of heaven. I own around 13,000 or so books and still think I need more.😇 Don't get obsessed.

I Bible Content and Interpretation

A. Essential Reading

1.God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Vaughan Roberts
2.Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, Tremper Longman III
3.According to Plan: the Unfolding Revelation of God in in the Bible, Graeme Goldsworthy
4.Playing by the Rules, Robert H. Stein
5.Survey of the Bible, William Hendricksen

B. Further Reading

1.Christ of the Covenants, O. Palmer Robertson
2.He Gave Us Stories, Richard Pratt, Jr.
3.Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, Christopher Wright
4.Let the Reader Understand, Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton
5.The Progress of Redemption, William Van Gemeren

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.Biblical Theology, Geerhardus Vos
2.Introduction to the Old Testament, Raymond Dillard and Tremper Longman III
3.The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses, Vern Poythress
4.Introduction to the New Testament, Carson, Moo, and Morris
5.The Coming of the Kingdom, Herman Ridderbos
6.New Testament History, F.F. Bruce
7.Hermeneutics, Authority and Canon, Carson and Woodbridge
8.Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation, ed. Moises Silva

II Spiritual Growth and Calling

A. Essential Reading

1.The Call, Os Guiness
2.Called to the Ministry, Edmund Clowney
3.A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson
4.Confessions, St. Augustine
5.Grow in Grace, Sinclair Ferguson
6.Pray With Your Eyes Open, Richard Pratt, Jr.
7.If God Already Knows, Why Pray?, Douglas Kelly
8.Born Free, Steve Brown
9.The Lord's Prayer, Derek Thomas

B. Further Reading

1.Studying Theology As A Servant of Jesus, John Frame
2.The Godly Man's Picture, Thomas Watson
3.The Disciplines of Grace, Jerry Bridges
4.The Way of Life, Charles Hodge
5.Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
6.The Ascent Psalms, Derek Thomas
7.Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender
8.The Pleasures of God, John Piper

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.Holiness, J.C. Ryle
2.The Religious Life of Theological Students, B.B. Warfield
3.An Introduction to Theological Studies, William Cunningham
4.Finding the Will of God, Bruce Waltke
5.Decision Making and the Will of God, Garry Friesen
6.The Enemy Within and Through the Looking Glass, Chris Lundgaard
7.A Resilient Life, Gordon MacDonald
8.The Devoted Life, Kelly Kapic and Randall Gleason

III Systematic Theology

A. Essential Reading

1.Knowing God, J.I. Packer
2.Salvation Belongs to the Lord, John Frame
3.Concise Theology, J.I. Packer
4.The Fabric of Theology, Richard Lints
5.Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Michael Horton
6.The Christian Life, Sinclair Ferguson
7.Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof
8.Introductory Essay to John Owens' The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J.I. Packer
9.Perspectives on the Word of God, John Frame

B. Further Reading

1.Foundations of the Christian Faith, James Boice
2.Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, B.B. Warfield
3.The Infallible Word, ed. by Stonehouse/Woolley
4.Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
5.Studies in Theology, B.B. Warfield
6.Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.Institutes of Christian Religion, John Calvin
2.Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof
3.Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
4.A New Systematic Theology, Robert Reymond
5.The Holy Trinity, Robert Letham
6.The Doctrine of God, John Frame
7.The Atonement, Leon Morris
8.Adopted By God, Robert Peterson

IV Philosophy and Christian Thought

A. Essential Reading

1.Building a Christian World View (Vol. 1-2), W. Andrew Hoffecker and Gary Scott Smith
2.Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, Jostein Gaarder
3.The Christian Mind, Harry Blamires
4.The Universe Next Door, James Sire
5.World Views in Conflict, Ronald Nash
6.God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation fo Faith and Reason, Thomas V. Morris

B. Further Reading

1.The Gravedigger File, Os Guiness and Nick Butterworth
2.Longing to Know, Esther Meek
3.The Way of the World, Craig Gay

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn
2.Reason Within the Bounds of Religion, N. Wolterstorff
3.Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver
4.Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper

V Church History

A. Essential Reading

1.Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley
2.Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Mark Noll
3.Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, Everett Ferguson
4.A Religious History of the American People, Sydney Ahlstrom
5.The Story of Christian Theology, Roger Olson
6.Historical Theology, Alister McGrath

B. Further Reading

1.Augustine of Hippo, Peter Brown
2.The Thought of Thomas Aquinus, Brian Davies
3.Luther, Heiko Oberman
4.Calvin: A Biography, Bernard Cottret
5.Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.The Early Church, Henry Chadwick
2.Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly
3.Christianity and Western Thought, Volume 1, Colin Brown
4.Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, R.W. Southern
5.The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (5 vols.), Jaroslav Pelikan
6.The Medieval Theologians, G.R. Evans
7.A World History of Christianity, Adrain Hastings

VI Contemporary Western Culture

A. Essential Reading

1.Engaging God's World, Cornelius Plantinga
2.Christ and Culture, H. Richard Niebuhr
3.No Place for Truth, David Wells

B. Further Reading

1.Culture Wars, James D. Hunter
2.Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon
3.A Primer on Postmodernism, Stanlye Grenz
4.Postmodern Times, Gene Veith
5.Pop Culture Wars, William Romanowski
6.Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll
7.The Struggle for America's Soul, Robert Wuthnow

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.The Culture of Interpretation, Roger Lundin
2.Total Truth, Nancy Pearsey
3.The Sensate Culture, Harold O.J. Brown

VII Apologetics

A. Essential Reading

1.Every Thought Captive, Richard Pratt, Jr.
2.God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis

B. Further Reading

1.Apologetics to the Glory of God, John Frame
2.Christian Apologetics, Cornelius Van Til
3.Why I Believe in God, Cornelius Van Til (available online)

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, John Frame
2.Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought, John Frame
3.Van Til's Apologetic, Greg Bahnsen
4.Five Views of Apologetics, ed. Steve Cowan

VIII Missions and Evangelism

A. Essential Reading

1.Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, J.I. Packer
2.Right With God, John Blanchard
3.Powerful Evangelism for the Powerless, C. John Miller
4.Tell the Truth, Will Metzger

B. Further Reading

1.Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper
2.Christian Mission, John Stott
3.An Introduction to the Science of Missions, J. Herman Bavink
4.The Pastor-Evangelist: Preacher, Model, and Mobilizer for Church Growth, Roger Greenway
5.Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns, D.A. Carson
6.The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Lesslie Newbigin
7.Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours?, Allen Rolland

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.Perspectives on the World Christian Movevment, Ralph Winter
2.Mission in the Old Testament, Walter Kaiser
3.Gospel and Mission in the Writings of St. Paul, Peter T. O'Brien
4.God's Missionary People, Charles Van Engen
5.A Heart for Mission: Five Pioneer Thinkers, Ron Davies
6.What In the World is God Doing?, C. Gordon Olson

IX Task of Preaching

A. Essential Reading

1.The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper
2. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (2nd Edition), Bryan Chapell
3. Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching: In Honor of R. Kent Hughes

B. Further Reading

1.Between Two Worlds, John Stott
2.Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson
3.Preaching with Purpose, Jay Adams

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.Preachers and Preaching, Sam Logan
2.Preaching Christ in All of Scripture, Ed Clowney
3. Preaching for Revitalization, Michael Ross

X Pastoral Ministry and Leadership

A. Essential Reading

1.Jesus Christ Disciplemaker, William Hull
2.Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders
3.Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson

B. Further Reading

1.Shepherding God's Flock, Jay Adams
2.The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter
3.The Work of the Pastor, William Still

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1.The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges
2.The Making of a Leader, Robert Clinton
3.The Unnecessary Pastor, Eugene Peterson
4.Pastoral Theology, Thomas Oden

XI Christian Counseling

A. Essential Reading

1.The Care of Souls, David Benner
2.The Healing Path, Dan Allendar
3.Inside Out, Larry Crabb
4.Telling Secrets, Frederick Buechner
5.Connecting, Larry Crabb

B. Further Reading

1.Bold Love, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III
2.The Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III
3.Finding God, Larry Crabb
4.The Gospel According to Job, Mike Mason
5.The Sacred Romance, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
6.Sacred Thirst, M. Craig Barnes
7.A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards
8.When God Interrupts, M. Craig Barnes
9.The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen

C. Advanced/Comparison Reading

1. Ministry in the Image of God, Stephen Seamands
2.The Myth of Certainty, Daniel Taylor
3.The Awakened Heart, Gerald May
4.Yearning: Living Between How It Is and How It Ought to Be, M. Craig Barnes

XII Other Titles

A. Essential Reading

1.Truth in All Its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith, William Edgar
2.How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren
3.Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
4.Designed for Dignity, Richard Pratt, Jr.
5.God Has Spoken, J.I. Packer
6.The Church, Edmund Clowney
7.Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism, D.G. Hart and John R. Muether

B. Further Reading

1.Give Praise to God, Ligon Duncan and Derek Thomas
2.With One Voice: Discovering Christ's Song in Our Worship, Reggie Kidd
3.Creation and Change, Douglas Kelly
4.The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther
5.Plan of Salvation, B.B. Warfield
6.Created in God's Image, Anthony Hoekema
7.The Glorious Body of Christ, R.B. Kuiper

Related Topic: What commentary should I purchase?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).