Wednesday, September 13, 2006

RTS Recommended Reading List

RTS Recommended Reading List:

Future students often ask, “What books should I be reading while preparing for the seminary journey?” The most important reading for any seminary student is the Bible. Next to this, familiarity with the Westminster Confession of Faith is helpful because it summarizes the tradition out of which our faculty teach. Additionally, RTS faculty members have put together a list to direct you in this aspect of your preparation.

Many of the books listed below are required reading for courses taught at all RTS campuses. Most emphasize historic doctrines of grace, scriptural authority, true piety, and a biblical view of church and ministry. These form the theological foundations of RTS. Other works serve as comparison readings for healthy theological dialogue from within our tradition. Read these selections. You will be challenged to devote your entire life to serving God’s kingdom with: A mind for truth. A heart for God.

IBible Content and Interpretation
A. Essential Reading
  1. God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Vaughan Roberts
  2. Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, Tremper Longman III
  3. According to Plan: the Unfolding Revelation of God in in the Bible, Graeme Goldsworthy
  4. Playing by the Rules, Robert H. Stein
  5. Survey of the Bible, William Hendricksen
B. Further Reading
  1. Christ of the Covenants, O. Palmer Robertson
  2. He Gave Us Stories, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  3. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, Christopher Wright
  4. Let the Reader Understand, Dan McCartney & Charles Clayton
  5. The Progress of Redemption, William Van Gemeren
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Biblical Theology, Geerhardus Vos
  2. Introduction to the Old Testament, Raymond Dillard & Tremper Longman III
  3. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses, Vern Poythress
  4. Introduction to the New Testament, Carson, Moo, and Morris
  5. The Coming of the Kingdom, Herman Ridderbos
  6. New Testament History, F.F. Bruce
  7. Hermeneutics, Authority and Canon, Carson and Woodbridge
  8. Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation, ed. Moises Silva
IISpiritual Growth and Calling
A. Essential Reading
  1. The Call, Os Guiness
  2. Called to the Ministry, Edmund Clowney
  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson
  4. Confessions, St. Augustine
  5. Grow in Grace, Sinclair Ferguson
  6. Pray With Your Eyes Open, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  7. If God Already Knows, Why Pray?, Douglas Kelly
  8. Born Free, Steve Brown
  9. The Lord's Prayer, Derek Thomas
B. Further Reading
  1. Studying Theology As A Servant of Jesus, John Frame
  2. The Godly Man's Picture, Thomas Watson
  3. The Disciplines of Grace, Jerry Bridges
  4. The Way of Life, Charles Hodge
  5. Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
  6. The Ascent Psalms, Derek Thomas
  7. Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender
  8. The Pleasures of God, John Piper
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Holiness, J.C. Ryle
  2. The Religious Life of Theological Students, B.B. Warfield
  3. An Introduction to Theological Studies, William Cunningham
  4. Finding the Will of God, Bruce Waltke
  5. Decision Making and the Will of God, Garry Friesen
  6. The Enemy Within & Through the Looking Glass, Chris Lundgaard
  7. A Resilient Life, Gordon MacDonald
  8. The Devoted Life, Kelly Kapic & Randall Gleason
IIISystematic Theology
A. Essential Reading
  1. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  2. Salvation Belongs to the Lord, John Frame
  3. Concise Theology, J.I. Packer
  4. The Fabric of Theology, Richard Lints
  5. Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Michael Horton
  6. The Christian Life, Sinclair Ferguson
  7. Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof
  8. Introductory Essay to John Owens' The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J.I. Packer
  9. Perspectives on the Word of God, John Frame
B. Further Reading
  1. Foundations of the Christian Faith, James Boice
  2. Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, B.B. Warfield
  3. The Infallible Word, ed. by Stonehouse/Woolley
  4. Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
  5. Studies in Theology, B.B. Warfield
  6. Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Institutes of Christian Religion, John Calvin
  2. Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof
  3. Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
  4. A New Systematic Theology, Robert Reymond
  5. The Holy Trinity, Robert Letham
  6. The Doctrine of God, John Frame
  7. The Atonement, Leon Morris
  8. Adopted By God, Robert Peterson
IVPhilosophy and Christian Thought
A. Essential Reading
  1. Building a Christian World View (Vol. 1-2), W. Andrew Hoffecker and Gary Scott Smith
  2. Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, Jostein Gaarder
  3. The Christian Mind, Harry Blamires
  4. The Universe Next Door, James Sire
  5. World Views in Conflict, Ronald Nash
  6. God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation fo Faith and Reason, Thomas V. Morris
B. Further Reading
  1. The Gravedigger File, Os Guiness & Nick Butterworth
  2. Longing to Know, Esther Meek
  3. The Way of the World, Craig Gay
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn
  2. Reason Within the Bounds of Religion, N. Wolterstorff
  3. Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver
  4. Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper
VChurch History
A. Essential Reading
  1. Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley
  2. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Mark Noll
  3. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, Everett Ferguson
  4. A Religious History of the American People, Sydney Ahlstrom
  5. The Story of Christian Theology, Roger Olson
  6. Historical Theology, Alister McGrath
B. Further Reading
  1. Augustine of Hippo, Peter Brown
  2. The Thought of Thomas Aquinus, Brian Davies
  3. Luther, Heiko Oberman
  4. Calvin: A Biography, Bernard Cottret
  5. Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. The Early Church, Henry Chadwick
  2. Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly
  3. Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 1, Colin Brown
  4. Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, R.W. Southern
  5. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (5 vols.), Jaroslav Pelikan
  6. The Medieval Theologians, G.R. Evans
  7. A World History of Christianity, Adrain Hastings
VIContemporary Western Culture
A. Essential Reading
  1. Engaging God's World, Cornelius Plantinga
  2. Christ and Culture, H. Richard Niebuhr
  3. No Place for Truth, David Wells
B. Further Reading
  1. Culture Wars, James D. Hunter
  2. Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon
  3. A Primer on Postmodernism, Stanlye Grenz
  4. Postmodern Times, Gene Veith
  5. Pop Culture Wars, William Romanowski
  6. Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll
  7. The Struggle for America's Soul, Robert Wuthnow
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. The Culture of Interpretation, Roger Lundin
  2. Total Truth, Nancy Pearsey
  3. The Sensate Culture, Harold O.J. Brown
A. Essential Reading
  1. Every Thought Captive, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  2. God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis
B. Further Reading
  1. Apologetics to the Glory of God, John Frame
  2. Christian Apologetics, Cornelius Van Til
  3. Why I Believe in God, Cornelius Van Til (available online)
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, John Frame
  2. Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought, John Frame
  3. Van Til's Apologetic, Greg Bahnsen
  4. Five Views of Apologetics, ed. Steve Cowan
VIIIMissions and Evangelism
A. Essential Reading
  1. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, J.I. Packer
  2. Right With God, John Blanchard
  3. Powerful Evangelism for the Powerless, C. John Miller
  4. Tell the Truth, Will Metzger
B. Further Reading
  1. Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper
  2. Christian Mission, John Stott
  3. An Introduction to the Science of Missions, J. Herman Bavink
  4. The Pastor-Evangelist: Preacher, Model, and Mobilizer for Church Growth, Roger Greenway
  5. Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns, D.A. Carson
  6. The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Lesslie Newbigin
  7. Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours?, Allen Rolland
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Perspectives on the World Christian Movevment, Ralph Winter
  2. Mission in the Old Testament, Walter Kaiser
  3. Gospel and Mission in the Writings of St. Paul, Peter T. O'Brien
  4. God's Missionary People, Charles Van Engen
  5. A Heart for Mission: Five Pioneer Thinkers, Ron Davies
  6. What In the World is God Doing?, C. Gordon Olson
IXTask of Preaching
A. Essential Reading
  1. How To Talk So People Will Listen, Steve Brown
  2. The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper
B. Further Reading
  1. Between Two Worlds, John Stott
  2. Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson
  3. Preaching with Purpose, Jay Adams
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell
  2. Preachers and Preaching, Sam Logan
  3. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture, Ed Clowney
  4. Preaching for Revitalization, Michael Ross
XPastoral Ministry and Leadership
A. Essential Reading
  1. Jesus Christ Disciplemaker, William Hull
  2. Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders
  3. Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson
B. Further Reading
  1. Shepherding God's Flock, Jay Adams
  2. The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter
  3. The Work of the Pastor, William Still
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges
  2. The Making of a Leader, Robert Clinton
  3. The Unnecessary Pastor, Eugene Peterson
  4. Pastoral Theology, Thomas Oden
XIChristian Counseling
A. Essential Reading
  1. The Care of Souls, David Benner
  2. The Healing Path, Dan Allendar
  3. Inside Out, Larry Crabb
  4. Telling Secrets, Frederick Buechner
  5. Connecting, Larry Crabb
B. Further Reading
  1. Bold Love, Dan Allender & Tremper Longman III
  2. The Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender & Tremper Longman III
  3. Finding God, Larry Crabb
  4. The Gospel According to Job, Mike Mason
  5. The Sacred Romance, Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
  6. Sacred Thirst, M. Craig Barnes
  7. A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards
  8. When God Interrupts, M. Craig Barnes
  9. The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen
C. Advanced/Comparison Reading
  1. Ministry in the Image of God, Stephen Seamands
  2. The Myth of Certainty, Daniel Taylor
  3. The Awakened Heart, Gerald May
  4. Yearning: Living Between How It Is and How It Ought to Be, M. Craig Barnes
XIIOther Titles
A. Essential Reading
  1. Truth in All Its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith, William Edgar
  2. How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren
  3. Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
  4. Designed for Dignity, Richard Pratt, Jr.
  5. God Has Spoken, J.I. Packer
  6. The Church, Edmund Clowney
B. Further Reading
  1. Give Praise to God, Ligon Duncan & Derek Thomas
  2. With One Voice: Discovering Christ's Song in Our Worship, Reggie Kidd
  3. Creation and Change, Douglas Kelly
  4. The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther
  5. Plan of Salvation, B.B. Warfield
  6. Created in God's Image, Anthony Hoekema
  7. The Glorious Body of Christ, R.B. Kuiper


  1. Evan,

    I love reading lists like this. It's like getting a seminary education without the tuition. May I suggest reading "My Heart for Thy Cause"-The Pastoral Theology of Albert N. Martin? Thanks, brother...


  2. Fascinating... Thank you for sharing this.

  3. No Jay Adams' material among the counseling suggestions???

  4. I agree with S&BL! Great reading list. :-)

  5. Might I suggest that all of Frame's books be moved to "essential reading"? :-)

  6. You forgot "Weally, Weally Big! Weally, Weally, Nice!: The Attributes of God" by Precious Moments Publishing. :P

  7. Nah, that one's too technical. I mean, this is reading for seminary students, not metaphysical geniuses....