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Pastor Ben's Reading List: A Guide for Christians, Bible Students, Pastors, Parents, and More.

Updated: Apr 9

I’ve put this list of resources together for Christians, Church ministry leaders, Sunday School teachers and small groups leaders, pastors-in-training, and my fellow brother-pastors. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I am continually updating it, but hopefully you will find resources that intrigue and challenge you, while also helping you grow in your faith and appreciation of God. If I’m missing a category or you can’t find something you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

  • I'm often asked for book recommendations, so I thought I would compile this list and keep it growing. So, if it's on this list, then I've read it, interacted with it, and/or approve of it.

  • Hopefully this can be a resource that you and others can use and come back to. So use it as a resource list, not a to do list!

  • For those recommendations with asterisks, see the note at the bottom. 

Bible Translations

For more on this, see here.

Biblical Theology 


An Old Testament Theology, Bruce Waltke

Introduction to OT Theology, John Sailhammer 

The Theology of the New Testament, Frank Thielman 

God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, Jim Hamilton 

The King in His Beauty, Tom Schriener 

God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenant, Stephen Wellum and Peter Gentry

Zondervan’s Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series, various authors. 

Non textbook works on Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology In the Life of the Local Church, Michael Lawrence 

What is Biblical Theology, Jim Hamilton 

The God Who is There, DA Carson 

The Unfolding Mystery, Ed Clowney 

From Eden to New Jerusalem, T. Desmond Alexander  

The Christ of the Covenants, O Palmer Robertson 

Biblical Theology, Nick Roark and Robert Cline

Retelling the Story Series, Russ Ramsey 

Even Better that Eden, Nancy Guthrie 

The Drama of Scripture, Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen 

Systematic Theology


Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem

  • See also, Bible Doctrine by Grudem

A Theology for the Church, Daniel Akin, Editor 

A Theology for the Community of God, Stanley Grentz

Systematic Theology, John Frame

A Theology of Lordship, 4 Vols., John Frame 

Biblical Doctrine, John MacArthur

Systematic Works from Church History

Reformed Dogmatics, 4 Vols, Herman Bavinck

Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin 

Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhoff 

Works, Karl Barth **

Non textbooks Systematic Theology

Knowing God, JI Packer 

Concise Theology, JI Packer 

20 Basic Christian Beliefs, Wayne Grudem  

Desiring God, John Piper 

Future Grace, John Piper 

Providence, John Piper

Heaven, Randy Alcorn 

Possessed By God, David Peterson

The Apostles Creed, R. Albert Mohler 

Union with Christ, J. Todd Billings

The Holiness of God, RC Sproul 

Christian Ethics 

Christian Ethics, Wayne Grudem

Introducing Christian Ethics, Scott Rae 

Doing the Right Things, Scott Rae 

Fundamental Christian Ethics, Daniel Heimbach 

The Doctrine of the Christian Life, John Frame 

The Moral Vision of the New Testament, Richard Hays 

An Introduction of Christian Ethics, David Jones 

Ethics, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Statements of Faith/Creeds 

The Apostles Creed 

The Nicene Creed (325) 

The Augsburg Confession (1530)

The First and Second Helvetic Confessions (1536 and 1566)

The Belgic Confession (1561)

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647)

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647)

The 1689 London Confession of Faith 

The Baptist Faith and Message 2000

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy 

The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 

Baptist Studies

Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches, 2 ed., John Hammett 

Why I Am A Baptist, Tom Nettles and Russel Moore, Eds. 

The Baptist Story, Anthony L. Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael G. Haykin 

Baptists in America: A History, Thomas Kidd

Pastoral Ministry/Theology 

The Care of Souls, Harold Senkbeil

Practical Shepherding Series, Brian Croft 

Hearers and Doers, Kevin Vanhoozer 

The Pastor as Public Theologian, Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachen 

The Pastor Theologian, Gerald Heistand and Todd Wilson

Becoming a Pastor Theologian, Todd Wilson and Gerald Heistand, Eds. 

Pastoral Theology, Daniel Akin and Scott Pace

Nine Marks for the Church series, various authors 

Pastoral Theology, Thomas Oden

Shepherds after My Own Heart, Timothy Laniak 

The Works of Eugene Peterson

  • Special Emphasis on “The Pastor” and “A Burning in my Bones.” 

  • Also his 3-volume work on Pastoral Theology 

The book of Pastoral Rule, St Gregory the Great

Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradirion, Andrew Purves

Pastoral Theology, Daniel Akin and Scott Pace

Ecclesiology (Church)

Nine Marks of A Healthy Church, Mark Dever 

The 9 Marks Series on Healthy Churches, various authors.

Don’t Fire Your Church Members, Jonathan Leeman 

Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch

Elders in the Life of the Church, Phil Newton and Matt Schumcker 

Church Elders, Jermaie Rinne 

40 Question about Elders and Deacons, Benjamin Merkle

Embracing Shared Leadership, Joe Hellerman 

Paul’s Vision for the Deacons, Alexander Strauch 

Deacons, Matt Smethurst

A Guide to Church Revitalization, Al Mohler and Mark Dever 

Revitalize, Andrew Davis 

Reclaimed Church, Bill Henard

40 Questions about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, John Hammett 

When the Church was a Family, Joe Hellerman 

Those Who Must Give an Account, John Hammett and Ben Merkle

How to Study the Bible/ Hermeneutics 

How to Study the Bible for All its Worth, Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart 

40 Questions on Interpreting the Bible, Rob Plummer 

Christ-Centered Hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy 

Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, G. Goldsworthy 

Validity in Interpretation, ED Hirsch


Speaking God’s Word, Peter Adam 

Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell

He is Not Silent, R. Albert Mohler 

Preaching and Preachers, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Preaching and Biblical Theology, Ed Clowney 

Him We Proclaim, Dennis Johnson

A Peculiar Glory, John Piper

Reading the Bible Supernaturally, John Piper 

Expository Exultation, John Piper 

The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper 

Preaching, Jason Meyer 

The Passion Driven Sermon, Jim Shaddix 

Homiletics, Karl Barth** 

Preaching, Tim Keller 

Doctrine that Dances, Robert Smith

Faithful Preaching, Tony Merida

The Privilege, Promise, Power, and Peril of Doctrinal Preaching, Tom Nettles

Spiritual Gifts 

Spiritual Gifts, Tom Schreiner 

Strange Fire, John MacArthur


A Theology of Biblical Counseling, Heath Lambert 

The Gospel for Disordered Lives, Robert Jones, Kristen Kellen, Rob Green 

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, Paul Tripp 

How People Change, Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane 

When People are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch 

Side by Side, Ed Welch

The Peacemaker, Ken Sande 

The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life, Jeremy Pierre

The Body Keeps Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk

Mending the Soul, Steven Tracey 

The Pastor as Counselor, David Powlison

God’s Grace in Your Suffering, David Powlison 

Deeper, Dane Ortlund 

To Know and Love God, David Clark


The Conviction to Lead, R. Albert Mohler 

Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders 

The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

Lead, Paul Tripp

The God Who goes Before You, Michael Wilder and Timothy Paul Jones 

Leadership in Christian Perspective, Justin Irving and Mark Strauss 

Called to Lead, John MacArthur 

Character Matters, Aaron Menikoff 

An Unhurried Leader, Alan Fadling

The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Peter Scazzero 

The Emorionally Healthy Church, Scazzero

Leading Major Change in Your Ministry, Jeff Iorg 

The Painful Side of Leadership, Jeff Iorg 

Time Management 

What’s Best Next, Matt Perman 

Do More Better, Tim Challies


Mentor, Chuck Lawless

Disciple, Chuck Lawless 

Discipleship, Mark Dever

The Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney  

The Vine Project, Colin Marshall 

Deep Discipleship, JT Englsish

The Cross and Christian Ministry, DA Carson 

Growth Groups, Colin Marshall 

Community, Brad House 

The Hospitality Commands, Alexander Strauch 

The Simplest Way to Change the World, Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements 

Everyday Church, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis 

Christian Living

Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney

Praying the Bible, Donald Whitney 

Devoted to God, Sinclair Ferguson

How Does Sanctification Work, David Powlison 

Desiring God, John Piper 

Gospel Deeps, Jared Wilson 

The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges 

The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges 

Habits of Grace, David Mathis 

Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund 

The Gospel, Ray Ortlund 

Holiness, JC Ryle

Stop Asking Jesus in Your Heart, JD Greear 

The Five Masculine Instincts, Chase Replogle 

The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

An Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling 

Conscience, Andy Naselli 

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies 

The Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard

The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard 

Renovated, Jim Wilder 

Practicing Affirmation, Sam Crabtree 

Classic Christian Works from History

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

The Great Divorce. CS Lewis

Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis

The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes

The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

Communion with God, John Owen

The Mortification of Sin, John Owen

The Heart of Christ, Thomas Goodwin

Freedom of the Will, Jonathan Edwards

Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards

Charity and its Fruits, Jonathan Edwards


The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennet, Ed.

New Morning Mercies, Paul Tripp

A Month of Sundays, Eugene Peterson

God's Wisdom for Navigating Life, Tim Keller

The Songs of Jesus, Tim Keller

Taste and See, John Piper

Suffering/ Dealing with Hardship

Suffering, Tim Keller

Lament, Mark Vroegop

When the Darkness will Not Lift, John Piper

When I Don't Desire God, John Piper

The Creaking Under the Stairs, Mez MConnell

God's Grace in Your Suffering, David Powlison

Don't Waste Your Cancer, John Piper


40 Questions about the Great Commission, Daniel Akin, Ben Merkle, and George Robinson 

When Helping Hurts, Corbett and Fikkert

What is the Mission of the Church?, Deyoung and Gilbert  

Church Planting by the Book, E. Elbert Smith

Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World, Bob McNabb 

No God but One, Allah or Jesus? Nabeel Queshi


This Momentary Marriage, John Piper

Preparing for Marriage, John Piper 

The Meaning of Marriage, Tim and Kathy Keller 

When Sinners Say “I Do,” Dave Harvey 

Marriage, Paul Tripp 

Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel, Ray Ortlund 

The Family / Parenting 

Family Worship, Donald Whitney 

The Storm Tossed Family, Russel Moore 

The Disciple-Making Parent, Chap Bettis 

Parenting, Paul Tripp

Visionary Parenting, Bob and Any Rienow

Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Ted Tripp 

Give them Grace, Elyse Fitzpatrick 

Family Discipleship, Matt Chandler 

Raising A Modern Day Knight, Robert Lewis 

Disciplines of A Godly Family, R. Kent Hughes 

For Women 

Jesus Through the Eyes of Women, Rebecca McLaughlin

Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin 

Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Barbara Hughes 

Word-Filled Women’s Ministry, Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson 

Missional Motherhood, Gloria Furman 

For Kids

The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones

The Children’s Storybook Bible, Catherine Vos 

Everything a Child Should know About God, Kenneth Taylor 

Everyone a Child Should Know, Claire Heath-Whyte  

Everything a Child Should know About Prayer, Nancy Guthrie 

Thoughts to Make your Heart Sing, Sally Lloyd-Jones 

The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung 

God Made All of Me, A Book to Help Children Protect their Bodies, Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

God Made Me For Worship, Jared Kennedy


Apologetics, John Frame 

Christian Apologetics, Cornelius Van Til 

Christian Apologetics, Norm Geisler 

Confronting Christianity, Rebecca McLaughlin

The Reason for God, Tim Keller

Defending Your Faith, RC Sproul

Fools Talk, Os Guisness


To Change the World, James Davidson Hunter 

Culture Wars, JD Hunter

The Gathering Storm, R. Albert Mohler 

We Cannot Be Silent, R. Albert Mohler 

Culture Shift, R. Albert Mohler 

Onward, Russell Moore

Christ and Culture, Reinhold Niebuhr 

Christ and Culture Revisited, DA Carson 

The Gagging of God, DA Carson 

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Truman

  • See also his condensed version “Strange New World” 

Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age, Rosaria Butterfield


The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Converts, Rosaria Butterfield

Openness Unhindered, Rosaria Butterfield

God and the Transgender Debate, Andrew T. Walker

When Harry Became Sally, Ryan Anderson

Is God Anti-Gay? Sam Allberry

What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Kevin DeYoung

Transforming Homosexuality, Denny Burk and Heath Lambert

The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Robert Gagnon


Works, Nancy Peracy 

Works, Francis Schaeffer 

A History of Western Thought and Philosophy, John Frame 

The Life of the Mind, 

How Not to Be Secular, Reading Charles Taylor, James KA Smith 

Fool's Talk, Os Guinness


The Naked Public Square, Richard Neuhaus 

Politics, Wayne Grudem 

One Nation Under God, Bruce Ashford and Chris Pappalardo 

How the Nations Rage, Jonathan Leeman 

God and Politics, Mark Dever 

Losing our Religion, Russell Moore 


A Burning in My Bones, Win Collier

The Pastor, Eugene Peterson

America’s Pastor, Grant Wacker

A Prophet with Honor, William Martin 

Just as I Am, Billy Graham 

Jonathan Edwards, George Marsden 

Francis Schaffer, Colin Duriez

Shadow of the Almighty, Elizabeth Elliot  

The Journals of Jim Elliot, Elizabeth Elliot  

Becoming Elizabeth Elliot, Vaughn

Karl Barth, Christiane Tietz

Martin Luther, Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer, Metaxas

The Golden Shore, Courtney Anderson

Timothy Keller, Collin Hanson

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, DA Carson


Christian Holy Days/Holidays 

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Nancy Guthrie, ed. (Christmas) 

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, Nancy Guthrie, ed. (Easter) 

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, John Piper

Come Let Us Adore Him, Paul Tripp

The First Days of Jesus, Andreas Kostenberger

The Final Days of Jesus, Andreas Kostenberger 

God in the Manger, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

**Karl Barth was one of the most influential theological minds of the 20th century, and continues to have an effect on the Church today through his voluminous writings. And while Barth's over all work is incredible, the reader should note that Barth departs from faithful Christian orthodoxy on a several key points, one major point being the doctrine of inspiration. Barth should be by serious theological students.

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