Underwhelmed

If I was new to this blogging thing I think I would have closed up shop (grin). Stronger Church doesn't have as many readers as MSN's home page, but I know that a number of folks who are either in ministry or involved in their church read this monologue periodically. I'm very much interested in collecting a "recommended reading" list for the average person in the pew. So far I've had three responses.

I'm gonna hope that the holiday weekend had something to do with that and ask again for you to share some thoughts on what books you would suggest for pastors to share with their congregations. You can comment here or email me at pcbogert@gmail.com. Your contributions are appreciated.

Some blogs, including Tim Challies' site, are reporting the results of a Barna survey on what books have influenced pastors. The results are pretty discouraging if not downright scary. Keith Plummer rightly asks, "If only 9% of pastors have been influenced by a theological book in the past three years, how much less the average layperson?"

13 comments:

Tim Challies said...

I'm reading and will likely post your results at the Diet of Bookworms...

Scott said...

Wow...I've read Warren (listed on the challies site) and never EVER would have listed him as most influential.

Hmmmm Three books.....that's hard since I read so many....but (swallows hard) here goes...in no specific order of importance....

Charles G. Finney's Systematic Theology from 1851

A. W. Tozer - The pursuit of God

C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

There are many, many others but these are very important members of my book collection.

Aaron said...

On spirituality:

J.I. Packer, Knowing God
D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor
John Piper, Desiring God

On theology (for pastors):

Calvin's Institutes
Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will
Millard Erickson, Christian Theology

On theology (for pastors and laymen):

J.I. Packer, Concise Theology
Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan (this one is worth far more than its weight in gold!)

On worldview:

Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth

That's all for now.

Malcolm said...

I sent you an e-mail

Bill said...

Just off the top of my head:

C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity

D.A. Carson's Exegetical Fallacies

Steve McVey's Grace Walk

KP said...

Thanks for the link, Peter. However, the question you attributed to me rightly belongs to Tim Challies.

As for books I'd recommend to people in the pew, I've said since I read it that if I could make Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth required reading in our church I would. Others I highly recommend are:

Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael Wittmer
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen
When People are Big and God is Small and Addiction: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch
Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
Desiring God and The Pleasures of God by John Piper

Michael said...

Among others I recommend all the books by Gordon Clark and Vincent Cheung, but just to list several...

By Gordon Clark:
- Introduction to Christian Philosophy
- Religion, Reason, and Revelation
- Three Types of Religious Philosophy
- God's Hammer
- The Lord God of Truth

By Vincent Cheung:
- Systematic Theology
- Ultimate Questions
- Presuppositional Confrontations
- The Sermon on the Mount
- Commentary on Ephesians
- Prayer and Revelation
- The Problem of Evil

Then, I also recommend:

- Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready
- Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith
- Robert Reymond, A New Systeamtic Theology of the Christian Faith
- Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology
- Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will
- Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption

...and...Matthew Henry's Commentary.

KP said...

In my haste I failed to note the previous post listing the categories you were interested in. Here's my attempt to categorize the titles I left previously along with some additions.

Bible Reference
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery edited by Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III

Basic Theology Reference
Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology edited by T. Desmond Alexander, Brian S. Rosner, D. A. Carson, Graeme Goldsworthy

God and Salvation
The Pleasures of God by John Piper

Putting Amazing Back into Grace by Michael Horton

Chosen for Life by C. Samuel Storms

Following Christ
Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen

Desiring God by John Piper

Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges

Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison

When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey

Home/Vocation
Heaven is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You do Matters to God by Michael Wittmer

ynottony said...

I posted the following on Keith Plummer's blog, and was instructed to post it here LOL. Anyway, here's what I said:

I know that Keith would also recommend this book, but John Frame's book The Doctrine of God is very good. He touches on soterioogical issues as well (in an excellent and insightful way), so it should be in one's library. John Feinberg's book No One Like Him is another good theology proper text. As for books with a specific soteriological focus, I would recommend The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest, as well as Anthony Hoekema's book Saved by Grace. As for systematic theology texts, one should at least have R. L. Dabney, Charles Hodge and W. G. T. Shedd (his Dogmatic Theology). Elwell's Dictionary of Evangelic Theology is a good reference book. Millard Erickson's The Word Became Flesh is good for Christology. If one has an interest in soteriogy as seen from a Calvinistic perspetive, then they should seek out material from Curt Daniel (his The History and Theology of Calvinism is at www.SermonAudio.com, and is free). If one wants to get solid evangelical training in many areas of theology, they should check out www.BiblicalTraining.com also. The materials available on the internet for free seem endless. One can virtually go through seminary level training if they persevere through the better resources on the internet, whether it is written material or audio material. Navigating through the junk may be a challenge, but great resources are available. Anyone with a computer is without excuse.

This makes me recall a quote from Matthew Henry. He said something like, "We shall not only be accountable for what we know and did not do, but also for what we could have known but did not learn." If that is a true principle, then those of us with computers and sufficient time to learn may end up being the last instead of the first in the Kingdom of God. Tolle Lege! Tolle Lege!

Peter Bogert said...

Wow - you folks make a sobbing seemingly unread blogger feel great (sniff). Seriously, keep it coming! I'll collect through the week and post results over the weekend.

Peter

John said...

On Spirituality:
Gordon D. Fee - God's Empowering Presence

On Theology;
J C Ryle - Doctines of the Bible

On Ministry;
Harold Lindsell - The Battle For The Bible
A. W. Tozer - The pursuit of God
Robert Banks - Paul's Idea Of Community

On Worldview;
Dempster, Klaus. Peterson - The Globalisation of Pentecostalism.

Bubba said...

Boice - Foundations of the Christian Faith
St. Gregory the Great - Pastoral Care
St. Augustine - On Christian Teaching
Randy Alcorn - Heaven
Josh McDowell - The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict
Wayne Grudem - Bible Doctrine
James the Brother of Jesus - James!!! :-)

Rosemarie said...

About following Christ-
Donald S. Whitney-Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Jerry Bridges- The Pursuit of Holiness; The Practice of Godliness and The Joy of Fearing God.

Richard Ganz- The Secret of Self-Control and 20 Controversies that Almost Killed a Church

Elisabeth Elliot- Discipline the Glad Surrender

Hannah More-Practical Piety (available at www.gracegems.com)

About home and vocation

Martha Peace- The Excellent Wife

Stuart Scott- The Exemplary Husband

Susan Hunt & Barbara Thompson - The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood

Wayne A. Mack- Your Family God's Way and God's Solutions to Life's Problems.