Book Recommendations

We love good books.  We love to talk about good books, share recommendations, and stockpile them on tall bookshelves.  We hope you love good books too.  

If you're on the hunt for a good book, we suggest you ask your friends what they're reading and what they thing you should read.  Ask your pastor.  Ask professors.  Look at the bibliography and footnotes in your favorite books. Ask instructors of courses that interest you for copies of their syllabi and read the books listed.  Listen to Salty Believer Unscripted and take note of the books mentioned.  Always keep a keen eye out for recommendations.  

Book Recommendation Videos

Bible Promises to Live By by Dave Earley  YouTube
The Character of Leadership: Nine Qualities that Define Great Leaders by Jeff Iorg  YouTube
Delighting in God by A.W. Towzer and the Christ-Centered Exposition Series  YouTube
Concise Theology: A Guide to Historical Christian Belief  by J.I. Packer.  YouTube
Reordering the Trinity: Six Movements of God in the New Testament by Rodrick Durst.  YouTube
Reaching the Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art by Peyton Jones.  YouTube
The Painful Side of Leadership: Moving Forward Even When it Hurts by Jeff Iorg.   YouTube
Brain Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry by Charles Stone.  YouTube 
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke.  YouTube 
Working the Angles and The Contemplative Pastor, both by Eugene H. Peterson.  YouTube

You can also check out the Salty Believer Bibliography here for an alphabetical list of Bryan's recommendations here, or you can browse by subject below.  We're always up for a good recommendation, too.    

(Using the links on this website to purchase books helps support SaltyBeliever.com. Thank you!) 

Apologetics

Keller, Timothy J. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Riverhead Books, 2009.  

Moreland, James Porter, and Dallas Willard. Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. Colorado Springs, Colo: NavPress, 1997. 

 

Bible Study

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003.  

Gorman, Michael J. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2009.  

Klein, William W., Craig Blomberg, Robert L. Hubbard, and Kermit Allen Ecklebarger. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson, 2003.

Sandy, D. Brent. Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

 

Biblical Counseling & Restoration

Cloud, Henry and John Townsend. Boundaries: When to Say, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 1992. 

Edwards, Gene. Exquisite Agony: Experiencing the Cross As Seen by the Father. Jacksonville, FL: The SeedSowers, 2004.   

 

Children & Family

Colman, Lymann, editor. Serendipity Bible: For Personal and Small Group StudyGrand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan 1984.

Nichols, Stephen J., and Ned Bustard. The Church History ABCs Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010.

 

Church Planting

Iorg, Jeff.  The Case for Antioch: A Biblical Model for a Transformational Church. Nashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing Group, 2011.

Patrick, Darrin. Church Planter: The Man, Message, The Mission. Weaton, Ill: Crossway 2012. 

Payne, J. D.  Apostolic Church Planting: Birthing New Churches From New Believers. Downers Grove, Illi: InterVarsity Press, 2015.

Payne, J. D. Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting. Milton Keynes, U.K.: Paternoster Publishing, 2009.

Towns, Elmer L., and Douglas Porter. Churches That Multiply: A Bible Study on Church Planting. Kansas City, Mo: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2003.  

 

Commentary

Colman, Lymann, editor. Serendipity Bible: For Personal and Small Group StudyGrand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan 1984.

Lewis, C. S. Reflections on the Psalms. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958.  

 

Discipleship*

Colman, Lymann, editor. Serendipity Bible: For Personal and Small Group StudyGrand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan 1984.

Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2010.

Earley, Dave, and Rod Dempsey. The Pocket Guide to Leading a Small Group: 52 Practical Ways to Become a Better Small Group Leader. Houston, Tex: Touch Publications, 2007. 

Grudem, Wayne A., Elliot Grudem, and Wayne A. Grudem. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2005. 

Haynes, Warren. Discipleship UncomplicatedFranklin, Tenn: Carpenter's Son Publishing, 2016.

Harrington, Bobby and Alex Absalom. Discipleship that Fits: The Five Kinds of Relationships God Uses to Help us Grow. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2016. 

Hendricks, Howard G., and William D. Henricks.  Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible. Chicago, Ill: Moody Publishers, 2007. 

Iorg, Jeff. Is God Calling Me?: Answering the Question Every Leader Asks. Nashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing Group, 2008.  

Moore, Ralph.  Making Disciples: Developing Lifelong Followers of Jesus. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2013. 

Piper, John. Don't Waste Your Life. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2003.  

Putman, Jim and Bobby Harrington.  DiscipleShift: Five Steps to Help Your Church Make Disciples Who Make Disciples.  Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2013.

 

Evangelism & Missions*

Jones, Peyton. Reaching the Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2017

McRaney, Will. The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman, 2003.

Thompson, W. Oscar. Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman Press, 1981.

 

History

Galli, Mark, and Ted Olsen. 131 Christians Everyone Should Know. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman, 2000.  

Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: Complete in One Volume: the Early Church to the Present Day. Peabody, Mass: Prince Press, 2009.   

Nichols, Stephen J., and Ned Bustard. The Church History ABCs Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010.

 

Local Church

Dever, Mark. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, 3rd ed. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2013. 

Putman, Jim and Bobby Harrington.  DiscipleShift: Five Steps to Help Your Church Make Disciples Who Make Disciples.  Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2013.

Stetzer, Ed, and David Putman. Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman, 2006.   

Towns, Elmer L., and Douglas Porter. Churches That Multiply: A Bible Study on Church Planting. Kansas City, Mo: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2003.  

 

Pastoral Leadership

Iorg, Jeff. The Character of Leadership: Nine Qualities that Define Great Leaders, Nashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing Group, 2007. 

Iorg, Jeff. Is God Calling Me?: Answering the Question Every Leader Asks. Nashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing Group, 2008.  

Iorg, Jeff.  The Painful Side of Leadership: Moving Forward Even When It HurtsNashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing, 2009. 

Iorg, Jeff.  Seasons of a Leader's Life: Learning, Leading, and Leaving Your LegacyNashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing, 2013. 

Mager, Robert F. Goal Analysis (2nd ed.).  Belmont, Cali: Lake Publishing Company, 1984. 

Malphurs, Aubrey. Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2013. 

Patrick, Darrin. Church Planter: The Man, Message, The Mission. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway 2012. 

Peterson, Eugene H. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction.  Wheaton, Ill: 1989.

Peterson, Eugene H. Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1987.

Piper, John. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry. Nashville, Tenn: B&H, 2013.  

Spurgeon, Charles. Lectures to My Students. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1954.

Wilson, Michael Todd, and Brad Hoffmann. Preventing Ministry Failure: A ShepherdCare Guide for Pastors, Ministers and Other Caregivers. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2007.  
 

Prayer

Bennett, Arthur Editor.  The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. East Peoria, Ill: Versa Press, 2011.

Earley, Dave. Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders. Chattanooga, Tenn: Living Ink Books, 2008. 

Willard, Dallas. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1999.  

 

Preaching & Teaching

Colman, Lymann, editor. Serendipity Bible: For Personal and Small Group StudyGrand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan 1984.

Earley, Dave, and Rod Dempsey. The Pocket Guide to Leading a Small Group: 52 Practical Ways to Become a Better Small Group Leader. Houston, Tex: Touch Publications, 2007. 

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003.  

McDill, Wayne. 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching. (2nd ed.). Nashville, Tenn: B&H Academic, 2006. 

Patrick, Darrin. Church Planter: The Man, Message, The Mission. Weaton, Ill: Crossway 2012. 

Spurgeon, Charles. Lectures to My Students. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1954.

Westerhoff, John H. Spiritual Life: The Foundation for Preaching and Teaching. Louisville, Kent: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.  

 

Theology

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960.  

Chandler, Matt, and Jared C. Wilson. The Explicit Gospel. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2012.  

Crockett, William V. Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Publishing, 1996.  

Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2010.

Durst, Rodrick, Reordering the Trinity: Six Movement of God in the New TestamentGrand Rapids, Mich: Kregel, 2015. 

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Book House, 1983. 

Gaffin, Richard B., and Wayne A. Grudem. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?: Four Views. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Pub, 1996.

Grudem, Wayne A., Elliot Grudem, and Wayne A. Grudem. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2005. 

Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994. 

Packer, J. I. Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House, 2001.  

Sandy, D. Brent. Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Sproul, R. C. The Holiness of God. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 1985.  

Sproul, R. C. What Is Reformed Theology? Orlando, Fla: Ligonier Ministries, 1991. 

Stone, Charles. Brain Savvy Leaders: the Science of Significant Ministry. Nashville, Tenn: Abingdon Press, 2015.

Towns, Elmer. Theology for TodayMason, Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2008.  

 

Worship & Spiritual Formation

Reinke, Tony.  12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You.  Wheaton, Ill: Crossway: 2017. 

Foster, Richard J. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. New York: HarperCollins World, 2003. 

Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. London: Fount, 1997. 

Lewis, C. S. Reflections on the Psalms. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958.  

Moreland, James Porter, and Dallas Willard. Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. Colorado Springs, Colo: NavPress, 1997. 

Peterson, Eugene H. A Long Obedience In The Same Direction. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000. 
 
Piper, John. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Colorado Springs, Colo: Multnomah, 2011. 

Piper, John. Don't Waste Your Life. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2003.  

Sproul, R. C. The Holiness of God. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 1985.  

Towzer, A.W. Delighting in God, Bloomington, Minn: Bethany House, 2015.

Willard, Dallas. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1999.   

Willard, Dallas. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.  



*We believe that evangelism and discipleship should not be two separate functions of disciple-making, however, some books are written within these separate distinctions. Therefore, we have two categories here.