61 Essential Books

November 11, 2008

Looking for something to read? Culling the ‘essential’ recommendations from Reformed Theological Seminary’s reading list for students digs up the following treasures:

  1. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Vaughan Roberts
  2. Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, Tremper Longman III
  3. According to Plan: the Unfolding Revelation of God in in the Bible, Graeme Goldsworthy
  4. Playing by the Rules, Robert H. Stein
  5. Survey of the Bible, William Hendricksen
  6. The Call, Os Guiness
  7. Called to the Ministry, Edmund Clowney
  8. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson
  9. Confessions, St. Augustine
  10. Grow in Grace, Sinclair Ferguson
  11. Pray With Your Eyes Open, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  12. If God Already Knows, Why Pray?, Douglas Kelly
  13. Born Free, Steve Brown
  14. The Lord’s Prayer, Derek Thomas
  15. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  16. Salvation Belongs to the Lord, John Frame
  17. Concise Theology, J.I. Packer
  18. The Fabric of Theology, Richard Lints
  19. Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Michael Horton
  20. The Christian Life, Sinclair Ferguson
  21. Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof
  22. Introductory Essay to John Owens’ The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J.I. Packer
  23. Perspectives on the Word of God, John Frame
  24. Building a Christian World View (Vol. 1-2), W. Andrew Hoffecker and Gary Scott Smith
  25. Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, Jostein Gaarder
  26. The Christian Mind, Harry Blamires
  27. The Universe Next Door, James Sire
  28. World Views in Conflict, Ronald Nash
  29. God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation fo Faith and Reason, Thomas V. Morris
  30. Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley
  31. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Mark Noll
  32. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, Everett Ferguson
  33. A Religious History of the American People, Sydney Ahlstrom
  34. The Story of Christian Theology, Roger Olson
  35. Historical Theology, Alister McGrath
  36. Engaging God’s World, Cornelius Plantinga
  37. Christ and Culture, H. Richard Niebuhr
  38. No Place for Truth, David Wells
  39. Every Thought Captive, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  40. God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis
  41. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, J.I. Packer
  42. Right With God, John Blanchard
  43. Powerful Evangelism for the Powerless, C. John Miller
  44. Tell the Truth, Will Metzger
  45. How To Talk So People Will Listen, Steve Brown
  46. The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper
  47. Jesus Christ Disciplemaker, William Hull
  48. Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders
  49. Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson
  50. The Care of Souls, David Benner
  51. The Healing Path, Dan Allendar
  52. Inside Out, Larry Crabb
  53. Telling Secrets, Frederick Buechner
  54. Connecting, Larry Crabb
  55. Truth in All Its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith, William Edgar
  56. How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren
  57. Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
  58. Designed for Dignity, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  59. God Has Spoken, J.I. Packer
  60. The Church, Edmund Clowney
  61. Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism, D.G. Hart & John R. Muether


  1. I consider myself well read but I’ve only read #9, 15, 26, 35, 37, 40, 46, and 49. My professors must think differently about what books are essential. Some of those titles look interesting. I will have to check into that. Thanks for the list.

  2. Certainly there is a wealth of books from which to choose and subsequently make a list like this. As you know, lists always spur on dialog because we all have opinions and passions. For example, I’m a fan of A.W. Tozer’s two works The Pursuit of God and Knowledge of the Holy. Were I to compile a similar list, I would have to include these two works.

    Have a blessed day,
    Dan G.

  3. Isn’t “Playing by the Rules” called “A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible” now? Something about it getting filed in the sports sections at libraries and bookstores…

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