Be a reading Christian in 2016: My book list for a new year

The faith once for all handed down to the saints is one in which the gift of reading plays a significant part. God has chosen to reveal Himself through the written word — the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is His inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient word. That, in and of itself, is enough for us to know that a faithful Christian should be a reading Christian.

Beyond that, there are valuable books written by men (and women) of God over the centuries that are worth you’re time and mine — for study, for edification, for the increase of our devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

With that in mind, I thought I would share a list of books I’m going to endeavor to read in 2016. There are twenty-four books on my list, averaging two per month. Some I have read before. Some I have read part of. Some I’ve never read (ashamedly so for some of these). These do not include commentaries and other Bible study materials I use for sermon preparation. What are included in this list, though, are books relatively current and books from centuries past.

The list consists of:
12 Puritan paperbacks + 4 biographies + 4 other books on theology and church history + 4 to be determined later (you never know what will come out) = 24 books

So here they are… Perhaps you might consider a reading plan, and even add some of these to your queue.

  • The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan
  • The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks
  • The True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
  • The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter
  • The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
  • The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
  • A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine
  • The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie
  • George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival (two volume biography) by Arnold Dallimore
  • Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Tom Nettles
  • James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman by Thomas J. Nettles
  • John MacArthur by Iain Murray
  • Everlasting Theology: A Theology of the Old Testament by Eugene Merrill
  • Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
  • Baptists in America: A History by Thomas Kidd and Barry Hankins
  • Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told by John MacArthur
  • To Be Determined
  • To Be Determined
  • To Be Determined
  • To Be Determined

Happy reading and happy 2016! May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both now and to the day of eternity (2 Pet 3:18).

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The Promise of God Preserved (Gen 11:10-32)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In this study we return to Genesis 11, where previously we saw in the first nine verses the people gathered together in rebellion against God at Babel, consciously choosing to disobey His command to be fruitful and multiply and populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it. And God — the Godhead, the Trinity — responded by scattering the peoples, the families of the earth, confusing their languages, and setting the stage for the rest of history.

So the scattering having happened, then, with not everyone in one general area anymore, from this point on there will be a shift in the way God works amongst those He created in His image. After Babel there are almost two centuries of silence, so to speak, as God allows the families of the earth to develop into nations, so that out of them He could choose one suitable man and, through him, establish a special nation (singular) which would speak His word to the nations (plural).

God had worked directly with and through mankind as a whole before, sometimes speaking to a particular representative of all humanity, like Adam or Noah. But now that the people are scattered — and in accordance with His sovereign, eternal plan — God, and by necessity His word, the Scriptures, will begin to focus on a singular people to get that suitable man. And that’s what Genesis 11:10-32 is about.

And if you look at it you can see that, yes, it is another genealogy. But here’s what the student of Scripture must ask: Why did God make sure this was part of His inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient word? That’s the question we need to keep asking, and that’s the question which leads us to see how profitable this text is in setting up everything after it.

It’s genealogy, yes, but the point of it is to show how the promise of God is preserved.

And what promise am I talking about? The one we saw — way back, now — in Genesis 3:15… the promise the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. The first gospel. Our passage tonight shows the continuing outworking of that promise within the history of creation, as we see the focus narrow from the expansion of all mankind — which is what we see in chapter ten — to the focus now being on a specific people, the descendants of Shem, to get us to that suitable man, the start of a nation, through whom all the peoples, all the nations, of the earth would be blessed. We’re going from Shem to Abraham, so let’s begin with verses 10 and 11… Continue reading “The Promise of God Preserved (Gen 11:10-32)”

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The Scattering of the Peoples (Gen 11:1-9)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

Now we arrive at one of the most famous episodes recorded in the book of Genesis, and one of the most important moments in the history of creation. Secular historians dismiss it as myth, but archaeology has proven this account correct time and time again. And yet, we don’t depend on the discipline of archaeology to make the case for us. We depend — we must depend — upon the word of God. It’s Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel, a passage which explains why there are so many languages in the world. It helps explain why there are so many differences in people in the world. But more than that, it speaks to a great and tragic commonality all men possess: inherent sinfulness. In Genesis 11 we again see the inherent sinfulness of man and the mercy of God.

It’s also important to remember, beloved, what we looked at in our previous study. Genesis 10 was written with the events of chapter eleven in mind, giving us details about where different families went, where they were spread out. We were also introduced to Nimrod, son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah, who essentially became the world’s first king or emperor. He established his kingdom at Babel, and although he is not named in the passage we’re about to read, he kind of hovers over it given what we learned about him in chapter ten. So let’s get into it. Genesis 11, this evening reading verses 1 through 9… Continue reading “The Scattering of the Peoples (Gen 11:1-9)”

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The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In this study we come to a chapter which one commentator correctly observes is “one of the least satisfactorily studied passages” in Genesis — Genesis 10. I’d add it’s one of the least satisfactorily studied chapters in all of the Bible, the kind of chapter we overlook. We read it in fast-forward. Sunday School curriculums skip it. Preachers skip it. In fact, I cannot recall ever hearing a sermon on this chapter, and I’m willing to guess you probably haven’t either.

But what does that say about our belief in the inspiration of Scripture? What does it say we really believe about 2 Timothy 3:16, which tells us all Scripture in breathed out by God and profitable? Beloved, God Himself saw to it chapters like Genesis 10 were included in His word, so it’s wrong to skip it. We’re going to deal with it here.

That’s not to say this is easy, going through a chapter that is largely genealogy. But it’s not a bad thing it’s hard. It just means we have to work harder to mine the precious jewels. And there are jewels in Genesis 10, often called the table of nations. This is one of those passages where we’re not going to be blown away emotionally, most likely, but we do need to love the LORD our God with all of our minds.

This chapter is actually essential to our understanding of the development of humanity after Noah. It sets the table for Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel. In fact, we really need to understand these two chapters as one unit, covering the history of the world from Noah to Abraham. What we read tonight about the spread of humanity, in fact, assumes how that spread takes place — which we’ll read about in the next chapter. Ultimately, beloved, Genesis 10 is not just names and families, but the setting of the world through which the rest of Scripture would unfold (up through today and even to Revelation). Continue reading “The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)”

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Let Him Dwell in the Tents of Shem (Gen 9:18-29)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

All Scripture is inspired by God — literally breathed out by God. That’s what we read in 2 Timothy 3:16. It’s all His word, and it’s all profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. And if we are to be consistent with a biblical worldview we have to realize that is true. We cannot pick and choose the parts of the Bible we like, the teachings we like. And we have to realize even the parts of Scripture which live us scratching our heads are still profitable and instructive and glorifying to God.

So with that said, let’s talk about that time in Genesis 9:18-29 when Noah got drunk and naked.

To be sure, this isn’t one of those stories we eagerly teach our children in Sunday School. Even adult Sunday School curriculums skip over this passage. Preachers skip it. We’re quick to talk about the ark, then skip to the Tower of Babel, but we don’t pay much attention to what comes in between.

Nevertheless, this passage is just as much God’s word as John 3:16, and we do ourselves a great disservice if we neglect them, because this episode in Noah’s life and its aftermath point us to something wonderful, something bigger… ultimately the salvation afforded those who trust in Jesus. So as the book of Genesis has been so good to us these past few months, we come tonight for more of God’s revelation. Let’s read. Genesis 9:18-29… Continue reading “Let Him Dwell in the Tents of Shem (Gen 9:18-29)”

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