Thursday, October 7, 2010

Repost: My Top 5 Essential Works of Theology of the Past 25 Years

There has been a lot of talk about posting one's five most significant theological books of the past 25 years.  Therefore, I decided to play.  What follows is my initial list of books that I consider must reads for all Christians who want to take theology seriously.  These are central reads.  I am avoiding systematic theology works and focusing just on single books focused on a particular issue (most of them have to deal with the gospel).  Though more could be added to this list, I believe this is an excellent read that will keep you busy and bless you in the process.

Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes EverythingRaised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything by Adrian Warnock - Few are righting on the theological aspect of the resurrection.  There are plenty of books on the cross and its significance, but few are written on the resurrection and what it has to do with our salvation.  Warnock offers one of the best books I've read on the subject.  The resurrection is salvific and practical.  The author walks the reader through how the resurrection benefits us and also gives the standard development of proof of the resurrection and so forth.  As a Reformed Christian/pastor I found myself greatly influenced by this book.  Many know a lot about the cross but few have thought much, unfortunately, about the resurrection.

For a fuller review, click here.

Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (Re:Lit)Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (Re:Lit) by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears - How does the cross apply to all of us?  Pastor Mark Driscoll and theologian Gerry Breshears offer a book applying the cross, and its various aspects, to real life issues.  Each chapter is a letter written by the authors to real life people in real life situations in which the authors apply the cross.  This book has really shaped by pastoral approach.  Now when I enter a home or deal with the many struggles of life, I offer hope and answers through the cross, not self-help Bibleisms.  "Preach Christ," we are told in the New Testament, and Driscoll and Breshears show us how.

For a fuller review, click here.

The Sovereignty Of GodThe Sovereignty Of God by Arthur W. Pink - A. W. Pink is a writer of classic works and I consider his book on the Sovereignty of God to be among his finest.  Pink forces us to be more balanced in our approach to studying the doctrine of God and especially when studying His Sovereignty.  Pink is very quotable and writes like no one else.  Pink offers a more Calvinistic understanding of the doctrine, but don't caricature the book based on that information.  What Pink writes is Biblical and should be taken seriously.  He uplifts God, putting Him on His throne, in does not write in an arrogant, academic style.  This book blew me away and will certainly be available on my bookshelf for I plan on returning to it. Have your pen or pencil reading when you do read it.

I know its over 25 years old, but I couldn't resist.  Its that important!  For a fuller review, click here.

The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith? by John MacArthur - When John MacArthur wrote The Gospel According to Jesus the evangelical world was rocked with controversy.  The controversy centers on the Lordship debate and in response, MacArthur penned one of his most popular and important books.  What is important about this book isn't just the context in which it is written, but what it promotes.  The title is adequate:  the book is about the gospel as proclaimed by Jesus Christ.  The newer addition includes at least one new chapter and other additions and is a must read for Christians.  We must recover the gospel as proclaimed by the New Testament writers and personalities.  The gospel isn't unclear.  The gospel according to Jesus isn't unclear.  Therefore, let us proclaim the gospel as it is without offer our own interpretations or trying to fit it into our current beliefs or culture.  If you read one book among MacArthur, start with this one.  It is a classic in its own right.

Knowing God (HARDCOVER)Knowing God (HARDCOVER) by J. I. Packer -  Packer needs no introduction.  His influence among theologians today is immense.  His most popular book is Knowing God and for good reason.  It too is a classic.  The book does what the title suggests:  the author seeks to guide the reader into understanding who God is.  Knowing God is the beginning of everything.  Knowing who God is is central to all that we are and believe.  Get God wrong, and everything else will be wrong.  Theology Proper is ignored today and that is to our own shame.  Evangelicalism looks weak because they know little to nothing about their Creator.  Packer offers a deeply theological book that is immensely practical.  For those wanting to know more about God, click here.

For a fuller review, click here.


Their God Is Too Small: Open Theism and the Undermining of Confidence in God by Bruce A. Ware
Gripped by the Greatness of God by James MacDonald
Ancient Word, Changing Worlds: The Doctrine of Scripture in a Modern Age by Stephen J. Nichols
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce A. Ware
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Ivp Classics) by J. I. Packer
A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God  by John Piper

For more:
Christian Century - Essential Theology Books of the Past 25 Years  
First Things (David Mills) - Essential Theological Books
Reviews - My Top 5 Must Reads  


Adrian Warnock said...

My goodness this gave me a shock. Nevee expected to see my book in a list like that and certainly not yet. But thanks for the ,assize encouragement. One thing is for sure, the resurrection is the most important thing Christians can focus their attention on!

Kyle McDanell said...

That is what I liked about it. Few are talking about the resurrection especially among Reformed circles. We say so much about the cross (and rightfully so) but oftentimes fail to mention, discuss, or explain the salvific nature of the resurrection.

Anders Branderud said...

You wrote:"Preach Christ," we are told in the New Testament,”

[To differentiate,] The historical person was a Ribi [similar to rabbi] named Yehoshua.
It is highly relevant for Christian whom wants to follow the historical first century Ribi Yehoshua to know what was written in his authentic teachings. His authentic teachings were later redacted into the “gospel of Matthew”. In his true teachings one finds that he taught – just what is written in the Torah – that humankind are required to do their utmost to keep the directives in Torah [“the books of Moses”] non-selectively. Ribi Yehoshuas followers were and are named the Netzarim. They didn’t start the Church. Netzarim were a Jewish group in opposition to the Church. [note 2]

Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah - was a human, not an incarnate man-god; and the Netzarim never accepted the “NT”, since it contradicts Torah [note 1].

To preach “Christ” is the antithesis to spreading the message of Ribi Yehoshua – he Messiah: non-selective Torah observance.

Relating to the Creator exactly in the same way Ribi Yehoshua did – i.e. observing the Creators directives in the Torah – leads oneself into an intimate relationship with the Creator, which is very meaningful!

1.: Proof of some of the contradictions in this link of a post in my blog.
2: All these statements are proven from the Jewish Bible and Scholarly research on the website Netzarim (only legitimate Netzarim – in Ra’anana in Israel).