Recommended Books

tcc_bookchallenge

Take a look below for a list of recommended books we’ve curated for our church! Participate in our “2020 Book Challenge” too if you’re up to the task by printing the attached PDF and crossing out different book categories throughout the year. Participants can then submit their sheet to be eligible for a prize!

Anyone participating in the reading challenge can request a copy of one book from the recommended list (simply email rosa@trinitycambridge.com to buy it for you).

A book to help you share the gospel

Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel
by J. Mack Stiles
“To this day, the best book I have ever read on personal evangelism.”

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
by Nabeel Qureshi
“A spiritual autobiography of the late Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim, with compelling illustrations of how God saves a person.”

What Is the Gospel?
by Greg Gilbert
“There is much confusion about what the gospel is and isn’t. This simple, but penetrating book, is a fantastic introduction to the Bible’s own view of the gospel.”

 

A book to help you defend the faith

Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion
by Rebecca McLaughlin
“A book for people who are afraid of being stumped by objections that Cantabrigians typically raise, written by a Christian sister who lives and evangelizes in Cambridge herself.”

Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World
by Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell
“The best-known defense of the historicity of the resurrection of Christ.”

Making Sense of God: Finding God in the Modern World
by Timothy Keller
“A prequel to The Reason for God that dismantles the unexamined emotional and cultural presuppositions that prevent people from believing the gospel.”

Mere Christianity
by C.S. Lewis
“A winsome classic written by a first-class logician and brilliant writer. The list of people who were persuaded to convert by this book continues to grow.”

Reason for God, The: Belief In An Age of Skepticism
by Timothy Keller
“A compelling rational defense of Christianity that caters to sophisticated urbanites.”

 

A book from the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches Series

“I have not read all the books in this series, but they are all pithy treatments from authors I trust on important matters that pertain to the church. We would be a healthier church if all our members read these books.”

Biblical Theology, Nick Roark and Robert Cline
Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman
Church Elders, Jeramie Rinne
Church Membership, Jonathan Legman
Conversion, Michael Lawrence
Discipling, Mark Dever
Evangelism, J. Mack Stiles
Expositional Preaching, David Helm
Gospel, The, Ray Ortlund
Prayer, John Onwuchekwa
Missions, Andy Johnson
Sound Doctrine, Bobby Jamieson

 

A book to counsel you

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave
by Edward T. Welch
“How is addiction related to sin? How do I overcome it? If you are in bondage to anything, cigarettes, alcohol, pornography, video games, etc. read this book.”

Blame It on the Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience
by Edward T. Welch
“There is a lot of confusion in our psychologized, over-prescribed world, Welch, who has a Ph.D. in neuropsychology and a M.Div. from seminary, offers much-needed clarity and Biblical wisdom.”

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
by Edward T. Welch
“This is a compassionate and insightful treatment of a complex topic, offering the hope of the gospel to those who are crippled by depression.”

Good and Angry
by David Powlison
“If you are prone to anger and irritability, God wants to redeem your anger, so that your is neither misplaced nor disproportionate. This book can help you along that path.”

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest
by Edward T. Welch
“This book will teach how you how to listen to your fears and worries, so that you might listen to the voice of God that drowns out your fears and worries.”

War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Our Communication Struggles
by Paul Tripp
“We have all said things that we shouldn’t have said. This book gets to the root of all of our communication struggles and helps us to ‘let [our] speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt’ (Col. 4:6).”

When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man
by Edward T. Welch
“If you struggle with people-pleasing and want to overcome peer pressure, co-dependnecy, and ‘fear of man,’ this is the book for you.”

 

A book by an early church father

City of God, The
by Augustine
“A philosophical work that helped Christians who were disillusioned by the fall of the Roman Empire, because they had wrongly conflated the Roman Empire with the Kingdom of God. This book expounds on many important theological issues, such as the problem of evil, original sin, divine omniscience and free will, and the Kingdom of God.”

Confessions
by Augustine
“If you want to see what early Christian piety looked like, this seminal autobiography is the best place to start.”

Letter to Diognetus
by Anonymous
“A fine example of early Christian apologetics (2nd century!)”

Life of Macrina, The
by Gregory of Nyssa
“A biography of a 4th century Christian nun famous for her spiritual devotion to God, affectionally written by her younger brother.”

On God and Christ
by Gregory Nazianzus
“Remembered as the ‘Trinitarian Theologian,’ Gregory of Nazianzus made the most significant impact on the discussion of the Trinity during his time.”

On the Incarnation
by Athanasius
“An ancient, yet definitive, work on Christology, written by the pastor at the center of the Christological controversies of the 3rd and 4th centuries.”

 

A book on Christian ethics

Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options
by Norman Geisler
“A standard, evangelical textbook on ethics that delves right into difficult dilemmas.”

Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today
by John Jefferson Davis
“Probably the best introduction to Christian ethics. It raises all the right questions and serves as a great example of Biblical, ethical reasoning.”

Moral Quest, The: Foundations of Christian Ethics
by Stanley Grenz
“Provides a useful historical survey of the various models of Christian ethics.”

Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics
by John Murray
“A demanding, but rewarding, read that presents a compelling case for a coherent and distinctively Christian ethic.”

Resurrection and Moral Order: An Outline for Evangelical Ethics
by Oliver O’Donovan
“A challenging book, but O’Donovan is arguably the most significant Christian ethicist still living.”

Ten Commandments, The
by J. Douma
“Thoroughly unpacks the divine wisdom and perennial relevance of the Ten Commandments.”

 

A novel

Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“A gripping psychological portrayal and theological study of the power of guilt and the still greater power of confession and forgiveness.”

Gilead
by Marilynne Robinson
“A book that teaches us to live with mortality in view and habituates to a spiritual cadence that upends the frenzied pace of the modern world.”

Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens
“What is greatness? A brilliant and fascinating story about human pride and the beautiful simplicity of humility.”

Hammer of God, The
by Bo Giertz
“If you want to bathe and marinate in the grace of God, read this Lutheran classic.”

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
“‘I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give,’ said Jane Eyre. This is a powerful story of a Christian woman who seeks to overcome barriers and fulfill her God-given calling.”

Les Misérables
by Victory Hugo
“An enduring tale of the interplay between Pharisaical legalism and the gospel of grace.”

Lord of the Rings, The (any of the three, preferably all three)
by J. R. R. Tolkien
“This series no longer needs an introduction. A wondrous tale of the battle between good and evil, the frailty of man, loyalty, friendship, and perseverance.”

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
“A love story, yes, but even more, an exposition of the pride and prejudices that blind us all, presented from a Christian worldview.”

Woman of the Pharisees, The
By François Mauriac
“A French, Nobel laureate’s penetrating examination of the moral fabric of a Bordeaux community.”

 

A work of poetry

“Four Quartets”
by T.S. Eliot

“Tenebrae”
by Geoffrey Hill

“Holy Sonnets”
by John Donne

“Noble Numbers”
by Robert Herrick

A systematic theology book

Bible Doctrine
by Wayne Grudem
“A easier, shorter version of Grudem’s Systematic Theology.”

Everyone’s a Theologian
by R. C. Sproul
“An excellent introduction to systematic theology, written with Sproul’s characteristic verve.”

Institutes of the Christian Religion
by John Calvin
“This is clear proof that theological writing can be devotional and beautiful. This book is the fountainhead of Reformed Theology.”

Systematic Theology
by Wayne Grudem
“The most-often used seminary textbook for systematic theology. It’s modern and very readable.”

Wonderful Works of God, The
by Herman Bavinck
“This is the great Dutch theologian’s own abridgment of his magnum opus, Reformed Dogmatics.”

 

A book on church history

“Reading church history can correct our chronological snobbery and impart great wisdom for the present.”

2,000 Years of Christ’s Power (any of the five volumes, fifth volume forthcoming)
by N. R. Needha

History of Christianity, A (either of the two volumes)
by Kenneth S. Latourette

History of Theology
by Bengt Hägglund

Story of Christianity, The
by Justo Gonzales

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity
by Mark Noll

 

A book on cultural and social issues

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
by Tony Reinke
“If you uncritically consume digital media and haven’t yet reflected on how your smartphone affects your pursuit of God, please read this book.”

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian
by John Piper
“A book about how the gospel undercuts the sins that incubate racial strife.”

Christianity and Liberalism
by J. Gresham Machen
“Theological liberalism and its pervasive skepticism about the supernatural claims of the Bible are still pervasive in Boston and Cambridge. This time-tested book is still the best answer.”

Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ
by Andrew Naselli and J. D. Crowley
“If your conscience sometimes disagrees with Scripture, this is a book you really should read. It will teach you How to calibrate your conscience and deal with conflicts of conscience that arise with other Christians and cultures.”

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem
by Kevin DeYoung
“If busyness is business as usual for you, you are not too busy to read this book. Your busyness might betray entrenched idols of the heart.”

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality
by Nancy Pearcey
“An insightful book that exposes the unbiblical body-person dualism that undergirds the cultural orthodoxy of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, transgenderism, and the hook-up culture.”

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
by Kevin DeYoung
“A winsome, persuasive book about the Bible’s overarching teaching on sexuality.”

A book on discipling one another

Discipling in a Multicultural World
by Ajith Fernando
“This book expands on many of the same principles of discipleship found in Coleman’s classic, but in a multicultural context.”

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
by Paul Tripp
“A handbook on how we can minister to one another by speaking God’s Word in love.”

Master Plan of Evangelism
by Robert B. Coleman
“A modern classic with simple, but profound, insights into the way Jesus discipled the Twelve and how we can emulate Him.”

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love
by Edward T. Welch
“This book offers no silver bullet for Christian discipleship, but it does offer solid, Biblical, and practical teaching that will help us ‘[strive] side by side for the faith of the gospel’” (Phil. 1:27).

Trellis and the Vine, The: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything
by Tony Payne and Colin Marshall
“A book that will keep us focused on ministry rather than administry, growing disciples and not merely growing programs and services.”

 

The Gospel Coalition book award winner

All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment, Hannah Anderson
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, Mark Vroegop
Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win, John M. Perkins
The New City Catechism: 52 Questions and Answers for Our Hearts and Mind
Our Secular Age, Colin Hansen
Political Church, Jonathan Leeman

A book by a Puritan

They unfairly get a bad rap, but the Puritans were spiritually serious, and their books are theologically weighty compared to many of the flimsy, modern books that fly too quickly off the printing press. They were also masterful at applying Scriptural truths to every facet of their lives. Once you drink of this deep well, you will develop a distaste for many of the “tap water” books that we too often consume.

Bruised Reed, The
by Richard Sibbes
“Preacher known as the ‘sweet dropper of grace’ applies Isaiah 42:1-3 for the struggling saints in a characteristically compassionate and Christ-infused way.”

Communion with God
by John Owen
“What does it mean to be in relationship with God? What does it mean that we are the bride of Christ? This is a rigorous, yet ravishing theological masterpiece on how we can commune with God.”

Holiness
by J.C. Ryle
“‘As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”’ (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Would you believe me if I said that there is a book on holiness that is a soul-stirring page-turner? Read it for yourself.”

Reformed Pastor, The
by Richard Baxter
“Preeminent theologian J.I. Packer considers Baxter ‘the most outstanding pastor, evangelist, and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced.’ This is my personal favorite book on pastoral ministry.”

Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, The
by Jeremiah Burroughs
“If you are jealous of Paul who said, ‘I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content’ (Phil. 4:11), read this book.”

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices
by Thomas Brooks
“Before C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, there was Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. Let God expose and expunge the insidious, seductive power of Satan in your life through this book.”

 

A book on family

Duties of Parents
by J.C. Ryle
“A no non-sense, eminently Biblical and practical book on the Duties of Parents.”

Family Life of a Christian Leader, The
by Ajith Fernando
“So simple because it’s so profound, a wonderful book by one of my personal (modern) heroes of the faith who practices what he preaches.”

God, Marriage, and Family
by Andreas Köstenberger
“If you have a family, or want to start a family, this comprehensive book will help you lay the Biblical foundation.”

Meaning of Marriage, The
by Timothy Keller
“A gospel-centered, culturally-astute book about marriage. There is also a chapter that addresses singleness.”

Shepherding a Child’s Heart
by Tedd Tripp
“This book has helped countless Christians parents apply the gospel to their parenting.”

 

 

A book to make sure that the gospel doesn’t get old

Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, The,
by Leon Morris
“This is a denser, but rewarding scholarly writing about the various facets of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides illuminating historical context that will help you appreciate the gospel more.

Cross of Christ, The,
by John Stott
“Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, ‘I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ Christ crucified is at the heart of our faith, and this book is a sure remedy for those who have an anemic understanding of the cross.”

Discipline of Grace, The,
by Jerry Bridges
“Do you feel like you’re always vacillating between licentiousness and legalism? Does the grace of God make you complacent? This was a life-changing book for me when I first read it and I highly recommend it.”

Gospel Primer for Christians, A: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love
by Milton Vincent
“The gospel is not the ABCs of Christianity, it is the A-Z of Christianity. We never exhaust the riches of the gospel, and Milton Vincent’s A Gospel Primer helps us preach the gospel to ourselves daily so that we are transformed by it.”

In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement, J.I. Packer and Mark Dever
“The theology of atonement has been muddied in recent years by various theologians. This is a collection of essays by J.I. Packer that brings refreshing clarity and restores the wonder of the gospel.”

Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
How exactly did Christ redeem us from sin and death? If you have never heard of the ‘order of salvation,’ this is a great introduction.”

 

A book to help you understand the Bible

40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible
by Robert Plummer
“An engaging, helpful book by a fun, eccentric seminary professor of New Testament interpretation.”

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible–An Introductory Biblical Theology
by Graeme Goldsworthy
“What is the flow of the Bible as an entire book? How do its various parts relate to one another? This book will answer your questions.”

Dig Deeper
by Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach
“If you want a less technical book, this is a highly accessible book gives you the tools to make sense of the Bible and dig for its hidden riches.”

God-Centered Biblical Interpretation
by Vern Sheridan Poythress
“This book teaches us to read the Bible verily as the Word of God in the Presence of God. Poythress is one of the best theologians of our time.”

Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology
by Andreas J. Köstenberger & Richard D. Patterson
“This is a standard academic textbook on Biblical Interpretation used in many seminaries, similar to The Hermeneutical Spiral by Grant Osborne.”

Knowing Scripture
by R.C. Sproul
“Contains foundational principles for interpretation and offers many practical suggestions.”

 

A book about the Bible

Doctrine of the Word of God, The
by John Frame
“A magisterial, contemporary book on the doctrine of Scripture. A good one-stop shop.”

“Fundamentalism” and the Word of God
by J.I. Packer
“Written to address the controversies of a past era, but it is incisive and prescient, no less relevant today, written by arguably the best modern theologian still living.”

Historical Reliability of the Gospels, The
by Craig Blomberg
“The Christian faith rests on the reliability of the Four Gospels, but don’t they contradict one another? Were the miracles really real? It will answer these questions and more.”

New Testament Documents, The: Are They Reliable?
by F. F. Bruce
“A leading scholar’s compelling case for the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts.”

Old Testament Documents, The: Are They Reliable and Relevant?
by Walter Kaiser
“And Old Testament counterpart to F. F. Bruce’s book. Covers history, archeology, textual transmission, and formation of the canon.”

Taking God At His Word
by Kevin DeYoung
“A brief, but solid, introduction to the doctrine of Scripture by a pastor who is culturally-astute and theologically-sound.”

A book about missions

God’s Smuggler

by Brother Andrew, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill

“A gripping, faith-building tale of the young Dutch factory worker’s efforts to smuggle Bibles across to closed countries.”

Insanity of God, The: A True Story of Faith Resurrected

by Nik Ripken, Gregg Lewis

“Written by a leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts, this is a book to awaken you from your spiritual and missional slumber.”

Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions

by John Piper

“What actually is the goal of missions? Why should we be invested in missions? You might be surprised by the answers given in this book.”

Through Gates of Splendor

by Elisabeth Elliot

“‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose,’ said Jim Elliot, the missionary to the Huaorani tribe of Ecuador who was martyred by the people he came to serve. This is a book that recounts their missionary journey, written by his widow who is a giant of the faith.”

To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson

by Courtney Anderson

“The book that made me passionate about foreign missions. A riveting portrait of the first (formal) foreign missionary sent out from the U.S. (right here from New England).”

 

A biography of a Christian

Augustine of Hippo
by Peter Brown,
“A compelling exposition of one of the most important church fathers.”

Calvin
by Bruce Gordon
“A cleverly-narrated biography of the most significant theologian of the Protestant Reformation.”

C.S. Lewis—A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet
by Alister McGrath
“Everybody is fascinated by C.S. Lewis nowadays. Here’s an unvarnished look at the modern, Christian hero.”

Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America
by D.G. Hart
“An important study of both the fundamentalist-modernist controversy and the man at the center of it all.”

George Whitefield: God’s Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century
by Arnold A. Dallimore
“An inspirational biography of the lesser-known founder of Methodism, who, even during his life, was considered to be the most brilliant and popular preacher in the modern world.”

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
by Roland Bainton
“A masterfully-written and meticulously-researched account of an endlessly-fascinating person who altered the course of church history and of Western civilization.”

Jonathan Edwards: A Life
by George Marsden
“An award-winning biography about the theology and life of the greatest theologian in American history.”

Life and Times of Cotton Mather, The
by Kenneth Silverman
“A Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of one of the most prolific and polarizing of all the American Puritans. He pastored here in Boston and is buried in Copp’s Hill.”

A book about corporate worship

Christ-Centered Worship
by Bryan Chapell
“A book that was influential in the structuring of our own Sunday worship service.”

Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community
by Simon Chan
“Most evangelicals have an inadequate understanding of the church and its worship. This book is a helpful corrective, though it requires a discerning reader.”

Worship by the Book
by D.A. Carson
“Four essays by thoughtful Christian leaders (Don Carson, Mark Ashton, Kent Hughes, and Tim Keller),  on what corporate worship should look like.”

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God
by Bob Kauflin
“If you are interested in musical worship, this is the probably best book on the subject by one of the most thoughtful music ministry leaders of our generation.”

 

A book about the spiritual disciplines

Disciplines of a Godly Man
by Kent Hughes

Disciplines of a Godly Woman
by Barbara Hughes
“Sound, Biblical, practical wisdom from a husband and wife duo that has served faithfully in Christian ministry for several decades.”

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through the Spiritual Disciplines
by David Mathis
“A noteworthy book about how the ordinary, everyday ‘habits of grace,’ such as ‘listening to God’s voice, speaking to him in prayer, and joining together with his people as the church’ transform the Christian.”

Praying Life, A: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
by Paul Miller
“If you want a more vibrant prayer life, this book can help.”

Praying the Bible
by Donald S. Whitney
“If you don’t know what to say when you’re praying, this teaches you a good method, praying through the Bible.”

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
by Donald S. Whitney
“A Biblical and most-often recommended book on the spiritual disciplines. A good one-stop shop.”

 

A book on Biblical manhood and womanhood

50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood
by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
“This is a summary of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in an accessible Q&A format.”

enGendered: God’s Gift of Gender Difference in Relationship
by Sam Andreades
“A culturally-astute, well-researched, and winsome work on gender and sexuality.”

God’s Design for Man and Woman
by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger
“A biblical survey that expounds what it means to be a man or a woman.”

Let Me Be A Woman
by Elisabeth Elliott
“What does it mean to be a woman and not a man? Filled with Biblical truth and godly, practical wisdom, written by the remarkable and resilient Elisabeth Elliott.”

Masculine Mandate, The
by Richard D. Phillips
“What does it mean to be a man and not a woman? Not immature, insecure machismo, but a substantive, Christ-like, manhood? Read this book to find out.”

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism
by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
“A comprehensive, Biblical exposition on God’s design for man and woman.”

Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15
by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner
“The closest it gets to a definitive interpretation and application of one of the most controversial verses in the Bible.”

Prize List

Any member who finishes a row of five books will be given a $20 gift card to Westminster Bookstore. Anyone who fills in the ENTIRE board will get to choose from one of the larger prizes below.

C. H. Spurgeon Classics, 18 Volume Set
spurgeon
Contours of Christian Theology (8 Book Set)
ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: Old and New Testament Sets
illuminated
ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set (Cloth Over Board)
Contact Us

Leave us a note or prayer request and we'll get back to you!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search