Here are some books I had the privilege of reading this past month and some brief thoughts about each one.
#1 – Why We’re Protestant: An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation by Nate Pickowicz (published by Entreating Favor, 2017). Not the lengthiest book you can read on the 5 solas of the Reformation, but the most readable and accessible. Each sola is explained biblically. Each sola is treated with an implication in church history. If you are looking for a brief introduction to the 5 solas, as the title reads, buy and read this book. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#2 – Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Harold H. Bainton (published by Hendrickson Publishers, 1950). Still my favorite Luther biography. Detailed, informative, inspiring. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#3 – God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture by Matthew Barrett (published by Zondervan, 2016). I read this book in preparation for teaching a series on the 5 solas, and boy am I glad I did. When (not if) you read this book, you will learn about the qualities of Scripture (e.g., clarity, necessity, inerrancy, truthfulness), the views some have held on Scriptural authority throughout church history, and the current challenges to its authority. This is now my #1 book in bibliology. The author is very readable, very biblical, and his collections of quotes throughout the book inspires, convicts and edifies. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#4 – Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification by Thomas Schreiner (published by Zondervan, 2015). There is no better defense of justification by faith alone that I am aware of. The author does a tremendous job giving biblical insight into the reality that our faith is based on the righteousness of Christ and not our works but that our faith will produce works. In this book, you find this teaching throughout church history, you will gain help on contemporary debates, and see the teaching of justification in both the O.T. and N.T. Buy this book and read it! BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#5 – The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever (published by Crossway Books, 2007). What you will find in this book are answers to questions like, “Why don’t we evangelize?”, “What is the Gospel?”, “Who should evangelize?”, “How should we evangelize?”, “What isn’t evangelism?”, “What should we do after we evangelize?”, and “Why should we evangelize?” The answers will often provoke you to good meditation or conversation if you are using this book in a small group. Dever does a good job “thinking outside the box” and yet remaining biblical in his topic. This is not a book meant to equip you to evangelize but to encourage or motivate you to evangelize. BOOK RATING: 9 out of 10 stars.
#6 – The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven J. Lawson (published by Reformation Trust, 2013). There are better books on Luther than this one (Bainton’s Here I Stand or Sproul and Nichols’ Legacy of Luther), but if you want a book focusing primarily on the preaching style and preaching philosophy of this Reformer, this book is for you. BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.
#7 – Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior by Stephen Wellum (published by Zondervan, 2017). There has been great profit in reading these books in the 5 Solas Series, edited by Matthew Barrett. This book is helpful in defining the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the ONLY Savior and how the Bible supports such a claim. There is also much writing on the subject of the work and ministry of Christ and why that matters. You will also find a selection of views on the person and work of Christ throughout church history, with a special emphasis on the Reformation period. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.