Of making many books there is no end ..." (Ecclesiastes 12.12)
"When an intelligent person hears a wise saying, he praises it and adds to it; when a fool hears it, he laughs at it and throws it behind his back" (Sirach 21.15)
Here is my list of the Top Ten Books Every Preacher should own, read and digest carefully. It is actually hard to pick ONLY ten because our task(s), as ministers, are varied and complex and we have many areas we work in. However, I have chosen to focus only on books that have something to do with the biblical text. This is after all our primary obligation ... preach the text! I feel these books are significant on any level that can be looked at.
1) How to Read the Bible for All its Worth by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart
2) The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative by Christopher Wright
3) Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright
4) In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity, Oskar Skarsaune
5) Yesterday, Today, and Forever: The Continuing Relevance of the Old Testament, Larry Helyer
6) The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story, Michael Goheen & Craig Bartholomew
7) Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson
8) A Community Called Atonement, Scot McKnight
9) Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament, Ellen F. Davis
10) The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, Dallas Willard
I thought LONG and hard about this list. I was not seeking a list of books that said what I wanted to hear. Or books that confirmed me in my own thinking or self-righteousness. Rather these books, each one, has so enriched my life and my ministry. I do not agree with every iota in them but each one made me think, pray and study and often taught me in ways I was unprepared for.
I believe that every preacher should have these books. I believe that every preacher should read, digest and reflect deeply on these books and then come back ... in conjunction with THE book.