Building Healthy Churches (series)
EDITORS: Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman
FORMAT: Hardcover, Kindle
RECOMMENDED: Pastors, church leaders, church libraries
Mark Dever’s ministry at Capitol Hill Baptist Church has
produced a clearly articulated vision of the church, one that
combines theology with practical advice. This series of short,
readable books expands the ideas Dever originally presented
in his Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Each book has no more
than 150 pages, is limited in scope, and is presented in an
Topics in the Building Healthy Churches series include
expositional preaching, Biblical theology, the gospel, conversion, evangelism, church membership, discipleship and growth,
and church leadership.
Readers should expect to be encouraged and challenged.
Some positions taken by the authors are thought-provoking
(such as the suggestion to postpone the baptism of children).
Some positions are probably too narrow (such as the insistence
on plural elders). But all of the books are extraordinarily helpful summaries written by Baptists who show a great deal of
affinity with Regular Baptist thought.
The Story of the Holy Land:
A Visual History
AUTHOR: Peter Walker
PUBLISHER: Lion Hudson
RECOMMENDED: Church leaders, families,
Intended as “an accessible, but brief account of the age-long
history of the Holy Land,” this book is a beautifully illustrated
pictorial resource that relates geography to Biblical events.
Many photos accompany the text, including archival and contemporary landscapes and important archaeological artifacts.
The book uses seven chapters to cover seven key historical
eras, the last being the era of the Ottomans and Westerners
(1291–1948). As such, the book does not address modern
conflicts or changes, but this in no way diminishes its value.
The author, professor of Biblical studies at Trinity School
for Ministry, has traveled and studied for many years and has
written several other Holy Land guides. Most commendably,
the author holds a high view of Scripture, an important factor
when considering such books.
The Pastor’s Family
AUTHORS: Brian and Cara Croft
FORMAT: Paper, Kindle, Audio CD
RECOMMENDED: Pastors, church leaders
Subtitled Shepherding Your Family through
the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, this
book was written by a husband and wife, intended for hus-
bands and wives to read together. Brian Croft is pastor of
Auburndale Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky., and founder of
Practical Shepherding, a ministry to pastors. Cara is a home-
schooling mother of four children.
The authors view the Bible as fully sufficient to address
every struggle a ministry family might encounter; their book
is a refreshing resource. Readers should not limit the advice as
being applicable only to a pastor’s family; deacons will find the
advice applicable, as will any number of ministry professionals.
Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology
AUTHOR: Andrew Louth
PUBLISHER: IVP Academic
FORMAT: Paper, Kindle
RECOMMENDED: Pastors, seminary
Why would a Baptist read a book about
Eastern Orthodox theology, especially a friendly treatment
by an Orthodox priest? Several answers might be offered.
First, many churches are ministering in regions filled with
European and Middle Eastern immigrants who were reared
in these traditions. Second, our pastors probably did not study
Orthodox theology in any substantive way during their college
and seminary years. Third, many evangelicals, having become
disenfranchised with the excesses of their own movement,
have begun attending Orthodox services.
A pastor would not recommend such a book to a congre-
gation member who did not have a firm grasp on theology,
but for mature believers, this book has quite a bit of value.
The author discusses the similarities and differences between
groups such as Russian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and
Syrian Orthodox. He also explains unique aspects, such as the
distinctive Orthodox beliefs about sacraments and icons, the
church year, and liturgy.
check it out