Book Recommendations

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Boreal

Puritan Board Freshman
Lord willing, I’ll be having a good amount of money later this summer that I can put towards some books.

Wide open question: What are your top book recommendations? Let’s keep it to your top five (5).

Thank you.
 

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been greatly benefited lately by Isaac Ambrose' Looking Unto Jesus, which is also mentioned in the above Paul Washer tour.

It just depends on what your current arsenal looks like, how long you've been saved, how exposed you are to the Reformed tradition; I would also highly recommend consulting your local elders for advice as well, as they most likely know you best and know your needs.

Other than that, if you stick with solid theological works that are warming to the heart, you'll be fine. Other books I've enjoyed lately are Joel Beeke's systematic, Wilhelmus a Brakel's systematic, Ichabod Spencer's A Pastor's Sketches, Sprague's Letters to a Daughter is one of the most practical books I've ever read. You also cannot go wrong with just about anything put out by RHB/Joel Beeke. A good Bible commentary also helps, my personal favorite is Matthew Henry. Cleave to anything that makes you want to read your Bible more, or cherish the person and work of Christ more.

Sometimes I've even greatly profited from children's books and catechisms. There's something about the most simple analogies and illustrations that have the potential to imprint upon the mind a truth that loftier discussions cannot produce.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Since you're talking about a "good amount of money" I'll assume you wish to acquire handsome hardbacks.

1. Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary (a 3-volume set in a slipcover).
2. Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics (4 vols).
3. Boethius, The Thelogical Tractates; the Consolation of Philosophy (LCL 74, Latin-English edition).
4. Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur.
5. Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
It would depend a lot on what subject in which you're looking to purchase books. For theology, if you don't the following, they are what I would recommend: 1. Geerhardus Vos' Biblical Theology; 2. John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion; 3. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible; 4. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, 5. Phillip Schaff's History of the Christian Church.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
This is a different work. Vos’ Biblical Theology, as far as I know, has always been one volume.
Oops sorry. I thought Lane said Vos' Reformed Dogmatics. I misread the statement - I am getting old :)

However I am sure Lane would agree that one would have a theological feast if one reads Vos' Biblical Theology and his Reformed Dogmatics.
 

Nawelle

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been greatly benefited lately by Isaac Ambrose' Looking Unto Jesus, which is also mentioned in the above Paul Washer tour.

It just depends on what your current arsenal looks like, how long you've been saved, how exposed you are to the Reformed tradition; I would also highly recommend consulting your local elders for advice as well, as they most likely know you best and know your needs.

Other than that, if you stick with solid theological works that are warming to the heart, you'll be fine. Other books I've enjoyed lately are Joel Beeke's systematic, Wilhelmus a Brakel's systematic, Ichabod Spencer's A Pastor's Sketches, Sprague's Letters to a Daughter is one of the most practical books I've ever read. You also cannot go wrong with just about anything put out by RHB/Joel Beeke. A good Bible commentary also helps, my personal favorite is Matthew Henry. Cleave to anything that makes you want to read your Bible more, or cherish the person and work of Christ more.

Sometimes I've even greatly profited from children's books and catechisms. There's something about the most simple analogies and illustrations that have the potential to imprint upon the mind a truth that loftier discussions cannot produce.

I'll heartily second the recommendation of Wilhelmus a Brakel's systematic theology! It reads like a pastoral exhortation the whole way through and makes a wonderful devotional companion as well as a theological reference. I received it as a Christmas present and it's been an accessible systematic for a newcomer like me. Five stars for the Dutchman!
 

Boreal

Puritan Board Freshman
Lots of contenders. Thanks everyone.

How do Vos’ and Beeke/Smalley’s Systematics stack up?
 

ReformedChristian

Puritan Board Freshman
1. Battle of the God's-Robert Morey
2. Keeping Faith in the Age of Reason-Jason Lisle
3. How To Be An Atheist-Mitch Stokes
4. Problem of Evil-Gordon Clark
5.Gospel and The Greeks-Ronald Nash
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Lots of contenders. Thanks everyone.

How do Vos’ and Beeke/Smalley’s Systematics stack up?
Vos is far smaller, and is in a catechetical format. It is more compact, and more pithy. Beeke/Smalley is far more elaborate. As to theological positions, there is not much difference. I wouldn't want to be without either of them. But you asked for 5 recommendations, and, much as I treasure Vos as my favorite theologian of all time, I think his Biblical Theology is more seminal than his Reformed Dogmatics. The ground Vos covers in RD is covered by others, whereas his BT is unique.
 

Boreal

Puritan Board Freshman
Vos is far smaller, and is in a catechetical format. It is more compact, and more pithy. Beeke/Smalley is far more elaborate. As to theological positions, there is not much difference. I wouldn't want to be without either of them. But you asked for 5 recommendations, and, much as I treasure Vos as my favorite theologian of all time, I think his Biblical Theology is more seminal than his Reformed Dogmatics. The ground Vos covers in RD is covered by others, whereas his BT is unique.
Thanks for your insight!
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Since you're talking about a "good amount of money" I'll assume you wish to acquire handsome hardbacks.


4. Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur.
5. Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
I recall you mentioning these but mind elaborating?
 

Gabriel Barnes

Puritan Board Freshman
Only five, tough one!
1.) The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Calvin)
2.) Letters of Samuel Rutherford
3.) The Christian's Daily Walk (Henry Scudder)
4.) The Memoirs of Robert Murray M'Cheyne
5.) A good copy of the original Westminster Standards (I'm presbyterian ;-) )

I'm leaving out so many good books. Read the Reformers, read the Puritans!
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I recall you mentioning these but mind elaborating?
They're some of my favorites -- Tristram Shandy is quite possible the funniest book of all time; Le Morte d'Arthur is a wonderful synthesis of Arthurian legend expressed with a plangent lambency that seems to perfectly summarize the quality of the Middle Ages.
 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
Vos is far smaller, and is in a catechetical format. It is more compact, and more pithy. Beeke/Smalley is far more elaborate. As to theological positions, there is not much difference. I wouldn't want to be without either of them. But you asked for 5 recommendations, and, much as I treasure Vos as my favorite theologian of all time, I think his Biblical Theology is more seminal than his Reformed Dogmatics. The ground Vos covers in RD is covered by others, whereas his BT is unique.
I absolutely love Vos's Dogmatics, and I think the pithyness of it plays well with either Bavinck or Van Mastricht, who elaborate much more. But I agree, Biblical Theology is his more important work.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
I said:
I am getting old
You replied:
Given that you share a birthday with Adolf, that comment is an understatement.
More recently you said
Christian manhood should embody the virtues of not judging (unfairly)
Clearly your statements are inconsistent.

I have an easy resolution. I share a birthday with David Brainerd. This gives me links to the 18th century as well as sharing a birthday with Iain Murray.

Problem solved. :stirpot::stirpot:
 
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