With a new year comes plenty of new resolutions to take steps to make us better. Some of us want to eat better, workout more, spend more time with family or to distance ourselves from technology. Others have made more of a spiritual commitment to study Scripture or read more theology & Christian living books.
In 2017, I had the chance to read a lot of really good books and resources that helped me in my faith. I wanted to share 7 titles that helped me last year that may help you in your walk with Christ this year.
“Discipleship, seen through a directional lens, is about setting our eyes on Christ and continually moving toward Him.”
This is a great book that is centered on discipleship. Daniel takes time to carefully define what discipleship is and how it should be viewed within the context of the church. This book is a great encouragement to grow in Christ, to help others to grow in Christ and to not grow weary in the long haul of pursuing Christ.
“Everyone called to be a disciple of Jesus is also called to make disciples of Jesus.”
I am almost always reading multiple books at once and happened to read this book and No Silver Bullets at the same time. Reading both parallel to one another was an absolutely perfect pairing. While the title, Designed to Lead, would lead you to believe it is purely a leadership book it has its primary focus in discipleship. As Peck and Geiger hammer home that discipleship and leadership are inseparable, this book is a must read for anyone involved in church ministry at any level given its theological and practical implications.
I spent all of 2017 preaching through the book of Romans and this commentary was utterly invaluable. This commentary is very thorough (1038 pages!) and academic but the detail that Moo dives into on every verse is remarkable. I would not recommend this for everyone, but it is a must have for pastors or anyone studying through Romans who is prepared to dig deep into Scripture.
“A pastor’s calling isn’t to fame; it’s to the difficult task of loving & caring for the sheep Jesus has sought & purchased.”
This book is the ultimate heart check book for guys in ministry. As is the case with many men in leadership, pastors can take the remarkable calling of pastoral ministry and turn it into an identity altering endeavor. In this book, Dayton does an great job of exposing the subtle lies that creep into the heart of a pastor and how they can be thwarted with the truth of the gospel. A great reminder for every pastor that Jesus is the hero of the church – not the pastor.
“God is not exclusively Judge; He is a gracious Father- the believer stands not merely as acquitted criminal but as an adopted Son.”
The doctrine of adoption has always been one that I have been intrigued by and drawn to. Yet, my interest in the doctrine of adoption pales in comparison to the love Garner has for it. This book is incredibly rich and I was only able to read it in small segments of 10 to 15 pages so I could process everything I had just read. This is a biblically faithful read that I would encourage those with deep theological interests to read.
The Family Life of a Christian Leader by Ajith Fernando
“We can have ambitions for ourselves and our children that take us and them backward spiritually. Under the influence of desires for earthly success, we can forget Jesus’s question: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?
In a day and age where family ministry has become a point of emphasis in the American church, there’s a strong disconnect between the passion of church ministry and the practice of church leaders. Many leaders in ministry are often so busy with the business of the church that they unintentionally forsake the shepherding of their own families. Fernando does an excellent job of looking into the theology of marriage and family but also gives great practical tips in areas like disciplining children, how to have fun as a family and even how to navigate a family disagreement. Such a convicting but necessary read.
If I am completely honest, I am a bit of an ESV snob when it comes to Bible translations. While the ESV Study Bible is a solid choice, I was pleasantly surprised with the top to bottom quality of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. With D.A. Carson serving as the general editor of the external content, this study Bible is full of insightful content and packed with helpful study notes. A great addition to the library of any student of the Word.