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Top Ten Books of 2013

December 26, 2013 1 comment

Ok, I picked eleven this year.

The Pastor’s Justification, by Jared Wilson.  This book is must reading for every pastor or every man considering pastoring.  It reminds pastors that Jesus is their justification, not their ministry.

The Missional Quest, by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco.  If you have a consumer mindset when it comes to church, then you need to read this book.  It lays out good steps for change.

The King in His Beauty, by Thomas Schreiner. Schreiner has been pumping out great books on biblical theology.  It’s another gem from a humble and solid scholar.

Rhythms of Grace, by Mike Cosper & Faithmapping, by Daniel Montgomery & Mike Cosper.  I put these two books together.  Both are helpful for thinking about church and ministry.

Sensing Jesus, by Zack Eswine.  A unique book.  It’s difficult to explain the contents, but it basically comes down to living as a human before God in life and ministry.

Saving Eutychus, by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell. This is one of the best books on preaching I’ve read.  There is a lot of helpful stuff in this book.

Galatians, by Douglas Moo.  I’ve been waiting for this book for years.  There are many helpful things in this book.  This is another homerun by Moo.

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, by Tim Keller.  This is a typical Keller book: biblical, gospel-centered, and immensely practical.

Kingdom Come, by Sam Storms. This is the most thorough and up to date treatment on the Amillennial position.  It deals well with a myriad of topics and issues.

Systematic Theology, by John Frame. This is a massive book. It’s heavy on the Doctrine of God and Scripture, but light on other parts.  It’s still a good book though.

Categories: Recommendations

Top Ten Books of 2012

December 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are my top ten reads of 2012.

Kingdom Through Covenant, by Steve Wellum and Peter Gentry.  Both of these men heavily influenced me in seminary.  Their new position is called progressive-covenantalism.  The most important chapters are the first three and the last two.

The Hole In Our Holiness, by Kevin DeYoung.  This is a concise and practical book on holiness.  DeYoung never divorces holiness from the gospel; and despite its short length, he manages to cover the topic of holiness quite well.

Dangerous Calling, by Paul Tripp.  A challenging book to read; not from a literary standpoint, but from a pastoral standpoint.  Tripp holds nothing back in his book.  I found myself agreeing and lamenting throughout this book.

Everyday Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis.  A follow-up to Total Church; Chester and Timmis exposit 1 Peter and lay out how the church is a community on mission.  A lot of good and practical stuff in this book.

Christ-Centered Biblical Theology, by Graeme Goldsworthy.  Although discernible in his past works, Goldsworthy has finally put together a volume in which he lays out his hermeneutical method.  A very helpful book for thinking through issues of typology.

Church Membership, by Jonathan Leeman.  A sorely needed book.  Leeman manages to pack a lot into a little book.  He uncovers the reasons why people object to membership, lays out the biblical reasons for it, and provides a lot of good practical stuff on membership.

Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets, eds., Mark Boda and J. Gordon McConville.  This is the final volume of the IVP OT Dictionary Series.  Many solid contributors and an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the OT prophets.

Gospel-Centered Discipleship, by Jonathan Dodson.  Although this book is an expansion of his previous shorter work, Fight Clubs; Dodson identifies well the problems with most “models” of discipleship and provides some real depth and clarity to the topic.

Creature of the Word, by Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger.  This is a really helpful book on how the gospel must shape the theology, philosophy, and practice of the church.  This is not just a book for church leaders, but all Christians.

Center Church, by Tim Keller.  The format of the book is like a textbook, but it is far from boring.  Keller lays out various dynamics of how to minister as a church in a post-Christian context.  Although Keller serves in an urban context, the book is helpful for all.

Categories: Recommendations

Recommended Commentaries for Matthew 2.0

July 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Several years ago I recommended commentaries for Matthew, but having preached through the book I would like to give an updated list.  Some of these recommendations aren’t commentaries, but books I found helpful in my studies.  Also, I realize there are many more books and commentaries out there, but these are the ones that proved valuable to me.

David Jackman & William Philip, Teaching Matthew.  A short book, but a helpful survey of Matthew.  If you are looking to get a broad overview of Matthew before teaching it; this would be the book.

David Garland, Reading Matthew.  I read this book before and enjoyed it immensely.  Reading it again proved just as helpful. The book is very beneficial when it comes to structure and theology.  I highly recommend it.

D. A. Carson, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World.  The book is a combination of two of Carson’s previous works on Matthew.  Although his book is not a commentary per se, it provides good insights and has helpful applications.

_________ , Matthew. Carson’s commentary is part of the Expositors Bible Series.  Carson does a great job of laying out the debates on difficult passages and gives thorough explanations to his own.  His commentary was usually the first or second place I would check.

David Turner, Matthew.  Turner’s commentary is part of the Baker Exegetical Series.  I enjoyed using Turner’s commentary; however, at times it lacked some depth.  Overall it is a good resource in tying together the book of Matthew to the rest of Scripture.

Michael Wilkins, Matthew. Wilkins’ commentary is part of the NIV Application Series.  I was pleasantly surprised with his book. He was especially helpful on some application points.  A condensed version of his notes for Matthew are found in the ESV Study Bible.

Grant Osborne, Matthew.  Osborne’s commentary is recent, but an excellent resource.  It is part of the Zondervan Exegetical Series.  The strength of this volume is the format of the series: introduction to each passage, detailed exegesis, and theology.  I highly recommend it.

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew.  France was one of the foremost scholars on Matthew.  His work was invaluable on some thorny issues.  France does a good job connecting Matthew to the Old Testament and provides a lot of helpful theology.

In addition to the volumes above, I read John Calvin regularly on Matthew.  Below are some other commentaries I read (or have read), but not as extensively.  They all helped at various times.

Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew.

Donald Hagner, Matthew: 2 Volumes.

Dan Doriani, Matthew: 2 Volumes.

Craig Blomberg, Matthew.

James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew: 2 Volumes.

Sinclair Ferguson, The Sermon on the Mount.

One commentary that I have heard is worth considering is John Nolland on Matthew, but I have not read it.  You can read a review here.

Christ-Centered Theology and Ministry

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The Monday before T4G started, Russell Moore hosted a panel discussion on Christ-Centered Theology and Ministry.  The participants were: Carl Trueman, Jefferson Bethke, J. D. Greear, Josh Harris, Russell Moore, Matt Pinson.

A wide range of views were represented and helpful discussions took place about the dangers of being gospel-centered, religion vs Jesus, Calvinism, Arminianism, baptism, and multi-site churches.  I would highly recommend you listen or watch.  Listen to it here.  Watch it here.

Three Things Worth Checking Out

April 23, 2012 1 comment

Here are three recent things I’ve read or listened to that are worth your time.

1.) Steve Wellum’s faculty address on The Extent of the Atonement and Ecclesiology.  Listen to it here.  HT: LXX Studies via Barabbas.

2.) An interview with Greg Beale on his book: A New Testament Biblical TheologyRead it here (begins on page 8).

3.) Carl Trueman’s talk on Why the Reformation Isn’t Over.  Listen to it here.

New Commentary Series

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

There is no end to commentaries, but this one looks unique.  The new series is The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament.  Below is a series description, along with a list of contributors.

The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament is not meant to be an academic or highly technical series. There are many helpful exegetical commentaries written for that purpose. Rather, the aim is to provide lectio continua sermons which clearly and faithfully communicate the context, meaning, gravity and application of God’s inerrant Word. Each volume of expositions aspires to be redemptive-historical, covenantal, Reformed and confessional, trinitarian, person-and-work-of-Christ-centered, and teeming with practical application. Therefore, the series will be a profound blessing to every Christian believer who longs to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).

  • Matthew: Daniel R. Hyde
  • Mark: Jon D. Payne
  • Luke: Iain D. Campbell
  • John: Terry L. Johnson
  • Acts: TBA
  • Romans: John V. Fesko
  • 1 Corinthians: Kim Riddlebarger
  • 2 Corinthians: Derek W. H. Thomas
  • Galatians: John V. Fesko
  • Ephesians: Jon D. Payne
  • Philippians: David T. A. Strain
  • Colossians: Sinclair B. Ferguson
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians: Daniel R. Hyde
  • 1 Timothy: David W. Hall
  • 2 Timothy: Michael G. Brown
  • Titus/Philemon: Rev. Dr. Malcolm Maclean
  • Hebrews: David B. McWilliams
  • James: Harry L. Reeder III
  • 1 Peter: Jon D. Payne
  • 1 – 3 John: TBA
  • Jude & 2 Peter: Kim Riddlebarger
  • Revelation: Joel R. Beeke

The first volume will be out in March.  See it here.  The series website is here.

The Gospel as Center

March 5, 2012 1 comment

Crossway recently took the 14 Gospel Coalition booklets and put them into one volume in, The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry PracticesWe have carried these booklets on our church Resource Table and have they have been quite helpful.  If you don’t have the booklets or the book, you can download 10 of them for free below.

Also, Eric Shumacher gives a couple of good suggestions of how to use them in discipleship.  Read here.

HT: Northbrook Baptist