10 Books That Belong on Every Pastor’s Bookshelf

Ivan Mesa | April 11, 2017

Pastors traffic daily in books. Of course, we preach the Book, and so we’re endlessly looking for books that’ll encourage and equip us in ministry. Our limited time and a never-ending stream of books (Ecc. 12:12) means we need discerning guides who’ll point us in the right direction.

I asked a few pastors and scholars what one book other than the Bible they would commend to every pastor or Christian writer. So whether you’re preparing a sermon, writing an article, or just seeking to build a dependable library, below are 10 books that’ll serve you—and those to whom you minister.

1. Reformed Dogmatics
Herman Bavinck
(Baker Academic)

Recommended by Bruce Ashford

Herman Bavinck’s 4-volume Reformed Dogmatics [review] is my go-to systematic theology text, even though it’s now more than a century old. On any given biblical or theological topic, Bavinck’s Dogmatics provides a concise but meticulous overview of historical views, a rigorous systematic treatment from an evangelical and Reformed perspective, and a perceptive interaction with early modern philosophical trends. It’s at once biblical, scholarly, and pastoral.

Even though I disagree with a few of Bavinck’s conclusions (especially in ecclesiology, as I’m a hard-shell and inveterate Baptist), he’s almost always right. I rarely write on any topic…

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