Books Recommended

To be a good theologian you need to have a grasp of systematic, historical, biblical, practical, theology and a good practice of exegesis.

For those starting out, here are books I recommend for the different theological disciplines:

Systematic Theology:

  • Bitesize Theology by Peter Jeffrey – this is a 100 page beginner’s book that is really helpful, but if you are already familiar with key doctrines then the next volume is more appropriate for those developing their thinking on systematic theology.
  • Salvation Belongs to the Lord by John Frame – this book is 300+ pages, but still covers the whole range of systematic theology. This would be the one book I’d recommend to a leadership team of a church or ministry in the church that is studying/reading together.
  • There are online courses that cover systematic theology:

Historical theology:

  • Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley. I haven’t read this book but I think it is a good start for those beginning to think through the history of the church and the development of key doctrines.

Biblical Theology

Practical Theology


  • “Biblical Exegesis” by John Piper


Family ministry/worship

  1. For parenting teens – Age of Opportunity by Pault Tripp
  2. For parenting in general – Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.
  3. For raising boys, Future Men by Doug Wilson is good.
  4. The Jesus Storybook Bible is good for kids ages 9-12. So is The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm for younger kids.
  5. For marriage – Preparing for Marriage God’s Way by Wayne Mack and When Sinner’s Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey


Books for Rhey:

  1. Biblical TheologyGod’s Big Picture (shorter than According to Plan), Story of the Kingdom (the shortened version), and According to Plan (most comprehensive yet still easy to grasp).
  2. Boys – The Dangerous Book for Boys
  3. Calvinism/Election –Chosen for Life or John Piper’s audio resources and booklets on the topic.
  4. Stuff on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
    1. Definitely start here with the 50 questions Piper and Grudem found most difficult and necessary to answer regarding gender issues in the church and at home.
    2. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood resource page.
    3. John Piper resources on the issue.
    4. Listen to this good discussion on manhood and womanhood at church and at home between Mark Dever, CJ Mahaney, Russ Moore, and Randy Stinson.
  5. Stuff on cessationism and continuationism
    1. cessationism inteverview (part 1, part 2)
    2. continuationism interview (part 1, part 2)
    3. Nathan Busenitz’ argument against continuationism
    4. Sam Storms’ view (part 1, part 2)


Book list for Potential CrossView Church Pastor-Elders:

  1. Biblical Theology –  According to Plan, by Graeme Goldsworthy. This book is very insightful, clear, and useable introductory volume on the discipline of biblical theology for the church to use.
  2. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
  3. What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
  4. You Can Change by Tim Chester
  5. Christ-Centered Preaching, by Bryan Chapell – this is the best single volume on the way to think through preparing expository sermons.  You probably should listen to his lectures and print the pdf notes and then go through it with someone else your training to be a leader.  This goes hand in hand with the book.
  6. What is a Healthy Church? and What is a Healthy Church Member?
  7. The Church: The Gospel Made Visible by Mark Dever
  8. Deliberate Church by Mark Dever
  9. Questions and Answers for pastors on the 9Marks Website for all each of the 9 marks.
  10. Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
  11. Center Church by Tim Keller
  12. Soma School lectures and pdfs
  13. The Marks of the Messenger by Mack Stiles
  14. The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever
  15. Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
  16. One to One Bible Reading by David Helm
  17. Am I Really a Christian? by Mike McKinley
  18. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp
  19. Theology of Lordship Series by John Frame
  20. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldswothy
  21. Spirit-Empowered Preaching by Art Azurdia
  22. Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen
  23. Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves

5 Responses to Books Recommended

  1. Chad says:

    If you want a good follow up to Goldsworthy’s primer, read his book, “Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture.” It puts the into practice his methodology.


  2. Thanks for your work in producing this list and the entire site!

  3. jbez says:

    Why not just read the Bible?

  4. sarah says:

    I love your book lists! Great ideas!

  5. Latoundji Luc says:

    Great and good guidance books list .

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