Alex Duke: Best Books for Pastors in 2018

We asked pastors around the world a simple question: What books did you read in 2018 that helped you be a better pastor? We’ve curated their responses below. (See our 2017 list here.)

God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God, by Mark Jones

“Mark Jones somehow manages to write profound and historically informed theology that is succinct and full of application. These short chapters broadened and deepened my understanding of God and encouraged my soul. His chapter on the simplicity of God, which he relates to the (singular) fruit of the Spirit, was especially helpful for uncovering idolatry in my own heart and useful in counseling others to see their sin.” – Kyle Newcomer, pastor of Christ Our Savior Baptist Church in Houston, TX

Reformed Preaching, by Joel R. Beeke

“The first mark of a healthy church is expositional preaching. Beeke shows that expositional preaching should not only be biblical and textual, but also experienced and applied in the life of the pastor and people. Reformed Preaching reminded me that preaching the truths of Scripture must be applied to my own life before applying it to the lives of God’s people.” – Alex Hong, pastor of Christian Bible Fellowship in West Covina, CA


Strengthening Your Marriage, by Wayne Mack

“Mack’s book is my go-to workbook for almost all the pre-marital and marital counseling I do, and for continuing to shape and sharpen my own marriage of 21 years. I still haven’t seen another book that requires the reader to immerse themselves so much in the biblical text and see God’s own wisdom for our marriages. The title of the first edition used to be, “How to Develop Deep Unity in the Marriage.” What Christian couple doesn’t want more of that?” – Tim Cantrell, senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Johannesburg, South Africa

How the Nations Rage, by Jonathan Leeman

“The relationship of discipleship to politics is confusing. And I’m supposed to teach my church how to navigate this complexity! Christ is Lord of all. But where and how do biblical absolutes connect? Where do the gray areas of wisdom lie? Jonathan Leeman clarifies complexity, solidifies convictions, and points out how to identify the Christian’s spaces for legitimate disagreement so that I serve the Lord Jesus, his church, my neighbors and society with biblically informed wisdom and confidence.” – PJ Tibayan, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Bellflower, CA

Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World, by Thomas Schreiner

“To be mastered by the Bible’s story we need to read it again and again. Tom Schreiner’s clear and succinct book unpacks the Bible’s story by correctly connecting and contrasting God’s covenants with his people. My soul delighted in Christ, his work and the Scriptures’ unity. Pastors should read and recommend Covenant to their church members so that people grow in biblical literacy and savor God’s covenant goodness.” – PJ Tibayan, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Bellflower, CA

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines, by David Mathis

Habits of Grace, through vivid images and gentle wooing, called me into more faithful engagement with the spiritual disciplines of Word, prayer and fellowship. His chapters on meditation have lead me to slow down in my devotional time and to link my Bible reading to my prayers much more directly. Growing in the discipline of meditation has served my hospital visits (as I’ve lingered over, and not just read, the Bible with saints) and my pulpit ministry (as I’ve more deeply examined and internalize our text). This book builds upon Don Whitney’s classic and proved for me a challenging refresher.” – Ross Shannon, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lapeer, Michigan

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Source: Church Leaders