Mohler Shows Water to Preaching Camels

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 3:11 PM 0 comments





Albert Mohler writes, "Preachers need books as camels need water. The preacher knows the experience of needing a particular book at a particular time in order to prepare a message; other than friends and family, books are often the preacher's closest companions."

He then proceeds to a review of some of the more interesting and important titles of 2012 for preachers. I am re-echoing below his list of ten books every preacher should read (with their respective publisher's description).



The Juvenilization of American Christianity. Thomas E. Bergler (Eerdmans)
In The Juvenilization of American Christianity Thomas Bergler traces the way in which, over seventy-five years, youth ministries have breathed new vitality into four major American church traditions -- African American, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Roman Catholic. Bergler shows too how this "juvenilization" of churches has led to widespread spiritual immaturity, consumerism, and self-centeredness, popularizing a feel-good faith with neither intergenerational community nor theological literacy. Bergler's critique further offers constructive suggestions for taming juvenilization.

Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church. Gregg R. Allison (Crossway)
What is a church? This can be a difficult question to answer and Christians have offered a variety of perspectives. Gregg Allison thus explores and synthesizes all that Scripture affirms about the new covenant people of God, capturing a full picture of the biblical church. He covers the topics of the church's identity and characteristics; its growth through purity, unity, and discipline; its offices and leadership structures; its ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper; and its ministries. Here is a rich approach to ecclesiology consisting of sustained doctrinal reflection and wise, practical application.

Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction. Jonathan T. Pennington (Baker Academic)
This textbook on how to read the Gospels well can stand on its own as a guide to reading this New Testament genre as Scripture. It is also ideally suited to serve as a supplemental text to more conventional textbooks that discuss each Gospel systematically. Most textbooks tend to introduce students to historical-critical concerns but may be less adequate for showing how the Gospel narratives, read as Scripture within the canonical framework of the entire New Testament and the whole Bible, yield material for theological reflection and moral edification.

Christ-Centered Biblical Theology: Hermeneutical Foundations and Principles. Graeme Goldsworthy (InterVarsity Press)
For fifty years Graeme Goldsworthy has been refining his understanding of biblical theology through his experiences as a student, pastor and teacher. In this valuable complement to his Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Goldsworthy defends and refines the rationale for his approach, drawing especially on the work of Australian biblical scholar Donald Robinson.

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. Peter Brown (Princeton University Press)
Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. Charles Murray (Crown Forum)
In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

The Intolerance of Tolerance. D.A. Carson (Eerdmans)
Carson examines how the definition of tolerance has changed. It now has less to do with recognizing the right of another to disagree with us, and more to do with not saying that others are wrong. It is impossible to deploy this new tolerance consistently, so that actual practice is often whimsical and arbitrary. Worse, the word "tolerance" has almost become an absolute good, and "intolerance" an absolute bad. Tolerance and intolerance have become merely rhetorical terms of approval and disapproval.

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. Ross Douthat (Free Press)
As the youngest-ever op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Ross Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In Bad Religion he offers a masterful and hard-hitting account of how American Christianity has gone off the rails - and why it threatens to take American society with it.

God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology. Gerald Bray (Crossway)
This volume is unique from others in that Bray traces the common theme of God's love through the Bible categorically--from God's love for himself and his creation to the cross as the ultimate expression of God's love, among other categories. The centrality of God's love in Bray's theology reflects a deep conviction that the Bible shows us God for who he really is. This volume will be of interest to Christians seeking to grow in their faith.

Delighting in the Trinity: an Introduction to the Christian Faith. Michael Reeves (InterVarsity Press)
In this lively book, we find an introduction to Christianity and the Christian life that is from start to finish rooted in our triune God - Father, Son and Spirit. Not only do we understand the person and work of Christ through the Trinity, but also prayer, the church and every aspect of our faith. With wit and clarity, Reeves draws from church history down to the present referencing a wide range of notable teachers and preachers. Here is a rich and enjoyable portrayal of the basic beliefs of Christianity that opens up the profound and life-changing truths of our faith.

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