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A Personal Theological Library

These books will give you a powerful jumpstart on a personal journey to deeper biblical knowledge, theological understanding and spiritual growth.  Order them through Amazon Smile, and help Orcutt Christian Church.

7 Volumes for Bible Study (start with the fundamentals!):

Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible by Robert Young. helps the reader to analyze more accurately the various uses of the original Hebrew and Greek words.

Strong’s Bible Concordance (James Strong)– necessary for your word study.

The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary – because you need it!

Unger’s Bible Handbook – illustrations, maps and diagrams bring information to light making it more easily understood.

Synopsis of the Four Gospels (American Bible Society) – Revised and translated to English; used for parallel passages and the different perspectives included in each.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible – 1,492 pages.

Word Pictures in the New Testament (A.T. Robertson) – 6 volumes of English translation from Greek with nuances and meanings explained.

11 resources for theology:

The Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today (Jack Cottrell) This is a great systematic theology book.  HIGHLY recommended  √√

Hell Is Real (But I Hate to Admit It) - (Brian Jones) A theologian reluctantly comes to accept the Biblical understanding of life removed from God’s presence.

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (John Haley) Addresses questions surrounding common misunderstandings of Scripture.  This book is essential for your personal library because it explains questionable passages, and helps answer skeptics' questions.

Abstract of Systematic Theology (Boyce) – the premier handbook for Southern Baptists

Handbook of Christian Theology (Field_Symon) - An Armenian counterpart of Boyce.

Basic Theology (Ryrie) – accessible to laymen and graduates, this is a strong resource to keep near

Christian Theology – An Introduction (McGrath) – internationally acclaimed text

Essentials of Evangelical Theology (Bloesch) – a study of contemporary theology from an evangelical and reformed perspective

Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Ewell) – covering systematic, historical and philosophical theology

God, Revelation, and Authority (Henry) – a discussion in response to Humanism and its doctrine.  Henry is brilliant in his analysis.

Theopneustia: The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures - (Gaussen) This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923, and has been selected by scholars as being culturally important.  It is Professor Gaussen’s brilliant discussion of God’s inspiring our Bible.

3 Old Testament study resources:

A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Geisler) – uniquely Christ-centered review of OT Scripture

A Survey of the Old Testament Introduction (Archer) – provides both a general ad specific point of view.

A Survey of the Old Testament (Hill & Walton) – balances literary, historical and theological issues with each book of the OT

2 New Testament study resources:

An Introduction to the New Testament (Carson & Moo) – focuses on historical questions about authorship, dates, sources and purpose of each book of the NT

New Testament Survey (Tenney) – excellent introduction for teacher, student and congregant to the NT

1 book on Biblical Theology

The Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today (Cottrell) - A systematic and Biblical study of the major doctrines of the Bible.  √√

4 sources for language study (extract deeper meaning from Scripture):

The Greek New Testament (Aland) – accessible and faithful rendering (also from the NA27)

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar (Mounce) – you need to become fluent; here is a good resource.

Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament (Rienecker & Rogers) – learn tense, voice and mood of the Greek text.

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Harris, Archer, & Waltke) – there is more than Greek in Scripture

9 books on Church history (better to know where we’ve been):

Foxes Book of Martyrs (Foxe) – you need this book.

Baptists and the Bible (Bush & Nettles) – a look at how bibliology was understood in the 18th and 19th centuries among the Calvinistic Baptists.

History of the Christian Church (Sheldon) – thorough review of church history including strong post-reformation times

The Story of Christianity (Gonzalez) – these 2 volumes present a good overview of church history

The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, 5 vols. (1973–1990) - (Jaroslav Jan Pelikan) - The most comprehensive, up to date, survey. √√

     Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition 100–600 (1973)

     Volume 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom 600–1700 (1974)

     Volume 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology 600–1300 (1978)

     Volume 4: Reformation of Church and Dogma 1300–1700 (1984)

     Volume 5: Christian Doctrine and Modern Culture since 1700 (1990)

3 books on philosophy:

How Should We Then Live (Schaffer) – you’ll not regret reading Schaffer.

Philosophy & the Christian Faith (Brown) – impact of thoughts and ideas and their impact on the church over the last 400 years

The Consequences of Ideas (Sproul) – impact of history’s most influential philosophies from the view of a staunch Calvinist.

2 books on-ethics:

Ethics for a Brave New World (Feinberg & Feinberg) – a response to Huxley’s Brave New World and how close Huxley came in his 1932 publication

Principles of Conduct (Murray) – biblical basis for ethics in our culture

6 books on apologetics:

Classical Readings in Christian Apologetics (Bush – Editor) – selected readings of significance for apologetics

Dialogical Apologetics (Clark) – how to earn attention for the Gospel in contemporary culture

Evidence That Demands a Verdict (McDowell) – this should already be in your possession

Mere Christianity (Lewis) – so should this

Reasonable Faith (Corduan) – arguments for the truth of historic Christian faith

The Case for Christ (Strobel) – a presentation of the author’s journey from unbelief to faith

8 resources for preaching:

As One Without Authority (Craddock) - the landmark book that changed the way ministers preach

Preaching (1985) (Craddock) - a breakthrough in effective preaching

Between Two Worlds (Stott) – contemporary preaching is examined in light of current cultural objections

Biblical Preaching (Robinson) – modern-day classic that is a must-have for today’s preachers

Homiletical Handbook (Hamilton) – a deceptively simple primer on getting to the point!

Principles of Expository Preaching (Unger) – helpful advice and warnings for expositing the Word of God

The Hermeneutical Spiral (Osborne) – connects exegesis to theologies for solid biblical sermons

The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching (McDill) – the author’s lengthy career provide insights into preaching

3 resources for Missions:

The Christian Pastor (Oates) – a look at today’s changing ministry and how to maintain the role of Pastor in the contemporary community. Oates was one of my profs.

A Concise History of the Christian World Mission (Kane) – overview of historical mission work

From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya (Tucker) – approachable, informative and honest look at the missionary’s life through the lens of history

Life and Work on the Mission Field (Kane) – factual experiences are shared to provide insight into the life of a missionary

4 books for Pastoral Leadership:

Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors (Criswell) – While Baptist in orientation, a practical manual for the pastor of any size church

Effective Church Leadership (Callahan) – guide for pastors in building on their creativity to revitalize the flock

The Making of a Christian Leader (Engstrom) – management and human relations are addressed in this study of growth and development of leaders

4 books for personal devotion:

Oswald Chambers:  My Utmost for His Highest - These brief scripture-based readings--by turns comforting and challenging--will draw you into God's presence.  Written from an Arminianism theological position.

Thomas Kempis: The Imitation of Christ.  A Christian devotional book worth spending time with. It was first composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427.  It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, of which Kempis was a member.  The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read Christian devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic.  Apart from the Bible, no book had been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ at the time.  Written from a Roman Catholic perspective.

Charles Spurgeon: Morning and Evening – brief daily readings for your meditation times.  Written from a Calvinistic theological view.

Wesleyan Daily Devotionals -

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