Over the course of the next week we’ll be posting some summer reading suggestions from some of our contributors here at DSR. These are recommendations that we want to share with you to hopefully point you to some good books, as well as let you get to know some of our writers a little better. These recommendations will be made up of both old and new books from a variety of genres.
Colton Corter gets us started with some great picks. Colton is originally from Arkansas and is currently a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. You can follow him on Twitter at @coltonMcorter.
Desiring God by John Piper
This is simply the most influential book I have ever read. This book expounds the heartbeat of Pastor John’s ministry that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
God is the Gospel by John Piper
Do you preach saving faith in a way that dishonors Christ? John Piper pushes us to see that all of the gospel events and benefits are only good news because they bring us to see and savor the glory of God Himself.
Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung
Your doctrine of Scripture dominates how you live the Christian life, whether you know it or not! Kevin DeYoung is a wonderful writer and has given our generation the best book on the Bible that has been written in recent memory. This book will make you treasure the written Word more than ever.
All Things for Good by Thomas Watson & The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
Take your pick between these two Puritan Paperbacks. Both men are easy to read and provide sweet balm for weary souls. Consider anew God’s sovereign, even if severe, kindness to weak men in the gospel of free grace.
Redemption: Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
A wonderful book of systematic theology that was taught as a Sunday School class in the 20th century. Murray’s book is clear and concise, perfect for understanding how and why the Triune God saves sinners for His glory alone.
Don’t Fire Your Church Members, Church Membership, Understanding Congregational Authority by Jonathan Leeman
These books are at different levels different levels (going from hardest to easiest, left to right). Church membership is a must-read for our anti-institutional age. Leeman shows us that the local church, not ourselves, is the highest authority over us on earth. The other two explore how God has invested the keys of the kingdom in the hands of congregations and how that works out in the life of the church.
Going Public by Bobby Jamieson
Baptism is not simply a private devotional act between the Christian and Jesus. Bobby Jamieson pushes the reader to see that Baptism is a church act that confers church membership, grants access to the Lord’s Supper and shows the world who it is that belongs to “team Jesus.”
Holiness by J.C. Ryle
This is the best book on sanctification I have read so far. Ryle is ruthlessly biblical and is not afraid to wound the reader with stark pictures of our sin before binding us up with the gospel and sending us to fight sin and put on Christ. If you want to understand the gospel pursuit of holiness, look no further.
The Compelling Community by Jamie Dunlop and Mark Dever
This may very well be the best book I have read this year. Dunlop and Dever show how the gospel creates and informs the life of the local church. Through supernatural tools like meaningful church membership and church discipline, the reader is given a sense about how to cultivate obviously supernatural community that has been purchased by Christ on the cross. It may seem counterintuitive but Compelling Community shows us that a church that is holy and happy in Christ presents the strongest testimony to the worth and value of God before a watching world.
What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
What has the church been sent into the world to accomplish? Kevin DeYoung and my pastor, Greg Gilbert, seek to answer that question from the Bible, showing that we have been tasked with taking the gospel to the ends of earth while showing where some of us have be mistaken with regards to the unique responsibility the local church has to the lost and dying world.
Some Extra Honorable Mentions:
Wordliness edited by C.J. Mahaney
Who is Jesus? by Greg Gilbert
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks
Reformed Dogmatics (4 vols) by Geerhardus Vos