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  • « Can Revival be Engineered? | Main | Brethren, We Have Met to Worship »

    Summer Reading List by Rev. Charles R. Biggs

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    It’s that time again…time for beaches, boats, balls, and books! What shall you read this summer with your family? There are so many good books and yet so little time to read them all in our short lives! We have all wasted a lot of time reading books that weren’t so great because we just didn’t know there were better books out there on particular subjects. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of 10 books old and new for you to consider reading in your time with the family, at the beach, on the boat, or relaxing on the back porch.

    We must start with John Calvin. If you have yet to read Calvin, then you must treat yourself to his ‘Institutes in the Christian Religion’ this summer as an intellectual and spiritual treat! If you’re a bit shy about reading the entire two volume ‘Institutes’ there is a compendium, a shortened version on the Christian life that has become one of the classics of Christianity entitled ‘The Golden Book of the Christian Life’. By the way, most (if not all!) of these books are available at Monergism Books. Suggested reading number 1:

    1)John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

    1)John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

    Calvin’s ‘Golden Book of the Christian Life’

    Institutes of the Christian Religion- John Calvin [A must for every person who wants to understand the theology of the Scriptures. Try Calvin and
    you’ll be surprised just how clear he is thanks to a good translation fro the French by Prof. Battles. I don’t want to hear anyone criticize Calvin the man or his theology, until they have read his ‘Institutes’!]. For a sample of Calvin’s ‘Institutes’ go here:

    Golden Book from the publisher: Now in paper, this classic devotional will guide you on how to apply biblical principles to everyday life. Originally part of John Calvin's Institutes, the devotional covers themes such as obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how believers should live their lives today. Rather than focusing on contemplative other-worldliness, the Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, it is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. Its intense practicality, however, sets it apart, making it easily accessible for anyone seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life.

    2)J. G. Vos’ Commentary on the Larger Catechism

    Commentary on the Larger Catechism- J. G. Vos [Even if you have never thought that catechism reading was your bag, you’ll be surprised how this volume commenting and explaining the work of the Westminster Theologian’s work of the 17th century, is clear, precise, and helpful in giving you an excellent overview of the system of theology in the Scriptures].

    3) Anthony Hoekema’s The Bible and the Future

    Want to have a better understanding of biblical eschatology that is not tainted by Dispensationalism of the 19th century? Confused about what you believe about the end times particularly? Would you like a sane and biblical approach to what the Bible teaches concerning the end? This is a wonderful book! This was the first book I read on eschatology years ago that I thought was clear, biblical, fresh, and sound, that helped me to develop a truly biblical eschatology. Explains the Kingdom of God, the Israel of God, and the Already Not Yet.

    4)Geerhardus Vos’ Biblical Theology

    Biblical Theology- Geerhardus Vos [Yes, this is J. G.’s dad (see above), and what we have here is THE best book that gives a “birds-eye” view of the story of Scripture. Need help interpreting your bible and seeing the “big picture”? Start with this one!]

    5)O. Palmer Robertson’s Christ of the Covenants

    The Christ of the Covenants- O. Palmer Robertson [For a superbly biblical overview of the teaching of God’s covenant with man. Don’t understand clearly yet what the covenant/covenants are all about in Scripture? Want to understand what exactly IS covenant theology? Then read this clear volume!]

    6)Michael Hortons’ Putting the “Amazing” Back Into Grace

    This is an excellent book for beginners to Christianity, those new to the Reformed Faith, and those who want a clear biblical exposition of the gospel of Jesus Christ- - and to also understand what the gospel IS NOT.

    7)Edmund Clowney’s The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament

    Want to see the richness of how Christ fulfills the Old Testament in his Person and Work- - read this one! One of the finest books available on how to discover Christ in your reading of the Old Testament without falling into allegorical nonsense!

    8)Willem VanGemeren’s Progress of Redemption

    Would you like to understand better the STORY of the Bible and how you as a Christian find yourself in this story? Would you like a book that you and your children will benefit from as you understand better the biblical STORY and how each aspect of the story fits into the whole? This is a fantastic read that you must read!

    9)R. B. Kuiper’s The Glorious Body of Christ

    Kuiper’s book is a superb theological read on the Church of Christ. This is one of the finest books in print on the theology of Christ’s Church.

    10) John Murray’s ‘Redemption Accomplished and Applied’

    Redemption: Accomplished and Applied- John Murray [A wonderful read on what Christ has done for his people in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, and how the Holy Spirit applies that to believers’ lives in space and time to bring about salvation and sanctification. This is a classic of classics in theology that you do not want to miss as an important read in your lifetime!

    Cheers to your summer and fun reading!

    For Christ and His Kingdom,

    Pastor Charles

    Posted by Charles Biggs on May 12, 2006 07:20 PM


    You have more time than I do.

    Hoekema's already on the list, for me to attempt to clarify eschatology. I have Calvin, in the older Beverege translation, and I find it a battle to read.

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