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9 Marks of a Healthy Church

 By: Mark Dever
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Some churches are thriving, while others are barely surviving. What distinguishes a healthy community from one that's ailing? In this expanded edition of his classic study, Dever identifies nine marks that set a vigorous biblical congregation apart, including expository preaching, biblical theology, concern for discipleship and growth, biblical church leadership, and more. 287 pages, softcover from Crossway.

A Gospel Primer
Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
 By: Milton Vincent
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This is one of the single most impactful books I’ve ever read, and I wish every Christian would read and re-read this book, which helps us rehearse and re-rehearse the gospel over and over again. Milton explains powerfully and even poetically how the gospel is not just the power of God to save unbelievers, but is also the continual power of God to transform believers, give them hope, joy, comfort, and victory in spiritual warfare, and many other benefits. This can transform your life, and I pray it continually does mine and my ministry. – Pastor Phil

All Things for Good
 By: Thomas Watson
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Thomas Watson published this book in 1663, one year after he and about 2,000 other pastors were ejected from their churches by the Church of England and suffered great hardship and persecution. It is still very readable and eminently practical today as he speaks from personal experience, but more importantly from deep understanding, love of God and Scripture. In the great Puritan tradition, the entire work is a series of sermons on Romans 8:28 and its related themes. This truth was not merely theoretical but was his heart confidence that God is supremely sovereign and good and for His elect children He works all things, including sinful actions and suffering, for His glory and our ultimate good. Part of how God worked all things for good in Watson's time was by preserving through his suffering, this God-centered book that can richly benefit us hundreds of years later. For some sample quotes as appetizers of this feast, click here (page 9) – Pastor Phil

All-Sufficient Savior
Restoring Our Confidence in teh Soul-Healing Power of Christ
 By: Steve Fernandez
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Steve Fernandez, who spoke at our men’s conference in 2010, has sought to exalt Christ and His all-sufficiency for all of life, as much as any man alive I know. In this book, he covers Christ’s infinite fullness, how Christ heals the emotions, binds the broken-hearted, searches the heart, and helps the depressed.

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Amazing Grace
God's Pursuit, Man's Response
 By: Timothy George
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This may be the most helpful introduction to the doctrines of grace, and understanding how God pursues and man responds in salvation in relation to predestination and election. Timothy George adapts the TULIP acronym to another flower, which is worded better in some ways in my estimation, defining the doctrines of grace around the acronym ROSES:
R – Radical Depravity
O – Overcoming Grace (effectual to overcome man’s radical depravity)
S – Sovereign Election
E – Eternal Life (perseverance by God’s preservation)
S – Singular Redemption (or particular redemption)
More important than flowery prose is his presenting these truths in scriptural sweetness, to borrow language from John Newton who believed these doctrines should not be used as a club to beat people over the head with, but like sugar that sweetened and permeated everything, mixed in proper measure. I found Timothy George’s presentation to be a helpful and grace-full contribution to a controversial subject – Pastor Phil

Answers Book 1
 By: Ken Ham, editor
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This is an excellent resource on the most common questions relating to creation and evolution, including issues relating to young-earth six-day creationism, Noah’s ark, how distant starlight is possible in a young universe, dinosaurs, fossils, and many more questions, written by scientists and theologians who have studied extensively in their fields – Pastor Phil

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Answers Book 3 available at:

Ashamed of the Gospel
When the Church Becomes Like the World
 By: John MacArthur
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Now in its third edition, this important and defining work from John MacArthur calls us back to a firm and humble reliance on the power and sovereignty of God for salvation. Like Spurgeon, one hundred years ago, he urges us not to be carried about by every wind of doctrine" and to resist salesmanship and shallowness in our proclamation of God's word.

The third edition includes a new preface and new chapters on how the seeker-sensitive movement has changed in recent years, as well as an epilogue detailing the dangers of some current, equally pragmatic approaches to church growth.

Attributes of God
A Journey Into the Father's Heart (2 Volumes with Study Guide)
 By: A. W. Tozer
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A. W. Tozer's passionate plea to his generation and ours was to maintain a high view of God as the great need of the hour. He wrote: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” He believed that what we truly believe about God is the most determinative factor of our entire worldview and understanding or reality, as Al Mohler wrote of Tozer, whether we realize it or not, we live out our most basic beliefs and reveal what we really believe about God, the world, and ourselves. Warren Wiersbe wrote: “listening to Tozer preach was about as safe as opening the door of a blast furnace." He knew God is not "safe," but there is nothing more important than knowing God rightly, and Tozer's writings will help you fear and love God more.

For more about Tozer and some sample quotes, click here (pages 4-6) -- Pastor Phil

Attributes of God
 By: Arthur W. Pink
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A classic bestseller built on a timeless premise: Failure to understand God's character leads to a skewed perception of the Divine---one that is too often cast in our own image. Seeking to remedy this, Pink outlines 17 key characteristics of the Almighty, including his sovereignty, immutability, patience, love, and faithfulness.

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman
A Bible Study
 By: Martha Peace
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My wife Jaime has benefitted from Martha Peace's ministry in print and in person and hopes other ladies will be blessed as well from such books on the essential ministry of women. The back cover states "A mentor is a guide, a teacher, a counselor, an advisor; all words that apply to the Titus 2 woman. This book is a tool to train older women to successfully mentor younger women. Within these pages are many examples of how to disciple younger women. It is practical in its approach as it teaches how, by God's grace, we develop the character that God wants every older woman to have."

Believer's Bible Commentary
A Complete Bible Commentary in One Volume
 By: William MacDonald
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A thorough, yet easy-to-read Bible commentary that turns complicated theology into practical understanding.

The one-volume Bible Commentary that makes the riches of God's Word clear and easily available to you.  Written with warmth, reverence, and devout scholarship, the is the perfect chooice for your personal devotions and Bible study and for preparing Bible lessons for teaching others.

In an attempt to better understand a passage from the Bible, it is often helpful to get a "big picture" view of a that passage before diving into the depths of Scripture.  This book helps me do this better than any single book I own. After reading a passage of the Bible, the Believer's Bible Commentary is often the first book I reference in preparing to teach.  -- Jerry Shore 

Biblical Eldership
An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership
 By: Alexander Strauch

What is an elder?  What does he do?  In order to define eldership, Alexander Strauch in his book Biblical Eldership first presents the major feature of biblical eldership.  Then he spends a majority of the book taking an in-depth look at all the Biblical texts on church eldership.   It is a clear encouraging, convicting, study of what God expects of the elders of His church. --Len Bentley 


Click here to purchase the full-size book (340 pages) 

Click here for an abridged version (46 page booklet) or click here for an online abridged version with study guide that you can read for free online

Church Membership
How the World Knows Who Repersents Jesus
 By: Jonathon Leeman
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Why should you join a church?

Becoming a member of a church is an important, and often neglected, part of the Christian life. Yet the trend these days is one of shunning the practice of organized religion and showing a distaste or fear of commitment, especially of institutions.

Jonathan Leeman addresses these issues with a straightforward explanation of what church membership is and why it's important. Giving the local church its proper due, Leeman has built a compelling case for committing to the local body.

Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
 By: Edward T. Welch
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Looking away from despair towards hope can feel risky. What if God doesn't come through for you? What if you don't feel instantly better? Instead of offering simple platitudes or unrealistic "cure-all" formulas, Edward T. Welch addresses the complex nature of depression with compassion and insight, applying the rich treasures of the gospel, and giving fresh hope to those who struggle. Originally published as Depression: A Stubborn Darkness - Light for the Path, this new edition is updated with added content.

Disciplines of a Godly Man
10th Anniversary Edition
 By: Kent Hughes
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I richly enjoyed taking a Seminary Winterim class from Kent Hughes on ministry and have benefitted greatly from this book in reading and re-reading it several times through my life by myself, with my dad, one-on-one discipleship times with other guys, or in small groups with other men. It is a great stimulus for personal devotions and disciplines, with chapters on purity, prayer, work, integrity, marriage and family, leadership, frienship, our tongue, witness, and others. --Pastor Phil

Disciplines of a Godly Woman
 By: Barbara Hughes
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This work is a compliment to the above work by her husband on the disciplines, covering similar ground for women from a woman's perspective. "Life isn’t always easy for women today! In the shuffle of so many responsibilities, it’s easy to lose focus on pursuing godliness in every task. Through poignant stories and faithful reminders, Barbara Hughes encourages women to discipline every area of life so that God is most glorified and they are most unified with Him." (Editorial review)

Click here for the book Kent and Barbara wrote together on "Disciplines of a Godly Family" 

Excellent Wife
A Biblical Perspective: Revised Edition
 By: Martha Peace
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Here is a scripturally based blueprint for the woman who truly desires to be the wife God intended her to be. This book is based on Proverbs 31:10: An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. Thousands of women have already discovered the worth of this volume and testify to lives and marriages changed because of a commitment to the principles presented here. If this is a commitment you have made, or want to make, The Excellent Wife answers the difficult questions facing you today.  

Martha Peace, a counselor and teacher of women presents a biblical blueprint for the woman who wants to be the wife God intended her to be by making a commitment to the principles presented here. A separate spiral-bound study guide makes this an ideal format for individual or small-group Bible. (Editorial review) 

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Exemplary Husband
 By: Stuart Scott
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I really appreciated Stuart Scott's counseling classes in Seminary, and took a special elective to sit under him and his biblical, practical, sensitive, and godly example. We had a great men's breakfast group that met on week day mornings for almost a year reading together and interacting with the books' truths that stimulated our thinking. Even if you are not married yet, this is one of the best books I know of for being a godly man, and I hope many here at GCBC will also benefit from it as I have -- Pastor Phil

Family Shepherds
Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes
 By: Voddie Baucham
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I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Dr. Baucham at a couple conferences last year and have benefitted from his teaching and emphasis on family and fatherly leadership. Although I would differ in other secondary areas of ministry philosophy, in this arena and subject, I know of no better resource, and would commend it highly to fellow dads seeking to grow in this area as I am – Pastor Phil

Fool's Gold
Discerning Truth in an Age of Error
 By: John MacArthur
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General editor John MacArthur and other pastors from Grace Community Church have compiled a book expressing their great concern over the lacking discernment of many Christians.  Not all that glitters is truly gold and valuable, and this book holds up the biblical standard to several contemporary Christian issues and fads, including reviews of best-selling books such as Purpose-Driven Life and Wild at Heart. This book also expresses biblical and theological concerns and perspectives on issues such as watered-down preaching, the seeker-driven mentality, Christian rock music, altar calls, political activism, consumerism (self-focus, pragmatism, individualism, etc.), and 'the New Perspective on Paul.' Dr. MacArthur ends with a practical plan for cultivating discernment in the Christian life. -- Pastor Phil

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Foundations of Grace
A Long Line of Godly Men (Volume 1)
 By: Steve Lawson
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This unique book shows that the doctrines of grace (God's Sovereignty in salvation) are displayed in all 66 books of the Bible, long before the Reformation or John Calvin or "Calvinism." Our allegiance is not to any man or system but is to sola scriptura (Scripture Alone) and the power lies there more than merely hashing out the historical debates with Augustine vs. Pelagius, Reformers vs. Arminius/modern free-will theology, etc. This is why I appreciate Dr. Lawson's Scripture-driven approach in beginning with Genesis and proceeding book-by-book thru Revelation to unpack God's truth the way God wrote it. As a faithful expository preacher who has spent many years declaring the whole counsel of God, Lawson shows how every human author in God's living and powerful Word, in some way or another, taught these doctrines of grace, including all the minor prophets and small epistles in the New Testament. God's absolute sovereignty in all things is trumpeted from cover to cover, and Lawson persuasively demonstrates that the Bible is the Teacher of the doctrines of grace (man's radical depravity and helplessness apart from sovereign grace, God's particular and effectual election/redemption, and His preservation of saints so they don't lose salvation).  

Note: This book is over 500 pages; for those looking for a shorter yet sufficient overview and introduction to the subject, a better start might be "The Doctrines of Grace" by James Boice and Philip Ryken -- Pastor Phil

From Pride to Humility
 By: Stuart Scott
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Though this simple, yet profound, booklet was taken from a larger work, The Exemplary Husband, it is an excellent resource for all believers.  It is an effective book for examining and exposing the issues of pride in your life. It then offers, in a most practical way, a method for turning away from your pride and adopting the humble attitude taught and displayed in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. -- Jerry Shore

Future Israel
 By: Barry Horner
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This book continues the neglected and often overlooked past tradition of great theologians like Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, and many of the great Puritans who taught a future for ethnic and national Israel, a view many in their tradition are ignorant of today. Click here for other quotes from noted theologians from the Reformation on who affirmed Israel's future in God's plan. John MacArthur has written: "This is by far the best treatement of Israel's future I have found. It's a welcome antidote to the widespread apathy and confusion that have clouded this vital prophetic question. I found it clear, persuasive, thoroughly biblical, and difficult to put down. Future Israel should be required reading for every pastor, seminarian, and student of Bible prophecy."

Not sensationalist like many other writings on this constantly debated topic, Future Israel is instead notably exegetical and theological in its argumentation. I had the privilege of meeting Barry Horner at the Shepherd's Conference 2008 and he is not only a scholar, but a gracious man as well. I hope many will read this book with open minds and hearts to God's precious chosen people for their salvation, more like the Jewish apostle's heart for his people in Romans 10-11 -- Pastor Phil

Give Them Grace
Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
 By: Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
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In Give Them Grace, parents will learn how to connect the benefits of the cross - especially regeneration, adoption, and justification - to their children's daily lives. Chapters address topics such as our inability to follow the law perfectly, God's forgiveness and love displayed at the cross, and what true heart obedience looks. Paperback.

God's Passion for His Glory
Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (With the Complete Text of The End for Which God Created the World)
 By: Jonathan Edwards (intro and by John Piper)
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I have read several of the rich writings from the 2 volume "Works of Jonathan Edwards" but this essay The End for Which God Created the World radically altered my thinking more than just about anything I have ever read.  The God-centeredness of God and driving motive for everything He does in the universe is for His own glory, for His own name, and for His own sake, and it is only in such a Supreme focus on a Supreme God that His creatures can ever be Supremely satisfied and truly happy. John Piper has done more than any other to revitalize this focus from Edwards, and he makes this classic more accessible and readable by his lengthy introduction and many explanatory notes which further the message of his hero about the link between the glory of God and gladness of God's people. - Pastor Phil

God, Marriage, and Family
Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation
 By: Andreas Kostenberger
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Heavily endorsed by Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, John Piper, J.I. Packer, Kent Hughes and many other respected conservative voices, this resource is designed to help you 'Learn about current issues involving marriage and the family and examine these issues in light of biblical passages. Ideal for personal and group study or as a textbook for Christian marriage and family courses ... this book is a comprehensive yet concise resource for anyone seeking a Scriptural response to our culture's complex challenges to God's intentions for marriage and family.' 

Click here for Table of Contents (scroll down on page) and to browse online

Gospel-Centered Family
Becoming the Parents God Wants You to Be
 By: Tim Chester and Tim Moll
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Many books aim to raise up competent, balanced parents and well-trained, well-rounded children. But Tim Chester and Ed Moll focus on families growing God-knowing, Christ-confessing, grace-receiving, servant-hearted, mission-minded believers-adults and children together. Christian families should be about...
- not just making good citizens but also church planters, missionaries, reformers, servants and evangelists
- not just learning about God but also showing Him to others;
- not just controlling behavior but also changing the heart;
- not just parents and children, but being an integral part of the wider church family.
This book takes us through the major Bible principles for family life, challenging us to give up our 'respectable' middle-class idols, and to become the distinctively different people that God, through His gospel, calls us to be. Chapter titles include:
3. Disciplining a parent's heart - The biggest obstacle to good discipline is our own selfish hearts.
4. Grace for a parent's heart - Trying to be a good parent will crush you if you don't embrace grace.
5. Disciplining a child's heart - Changing hearts matters more than controlling behavior.
6. Grace for a child's heart - Don't train your child to be a legalist.
11. A bigger family - We belong to two families.
12. A Serving Family - Children are not the center of the world.

Hard to Believe
The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus
 By: John MacArthur
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Jesus Christ did not die on the cross so you and I could have a nice day.

Ministers and teachers who water down the gospel of Christ in order to make it more popular and appealing may be leading their fun-loving audiences down the road to eternal punishment.

This book is John MacArthur's unflinching, unapologetic treatise on the modern tendency to alter the true message of Christianity in order to meet the whims and desires of a culture hoping for nonconfrontational messages, easy answers, and superficial commitments.

Too many people just want a Madison Avenue Jesus to make them well, make them happy, and make them prosperous. But Jesus Christ isn't a personal genie. He is the Savior. He died in agony to satisfy the wrath of a holy God and to forgive the sins of humankind. Faith in Him demands a willingness to make any sacrifice He asks. The hard truth about Christianity is that the cost is high, but the rewards are priceless: abundant and eternal life that comes only from faithfully follwing Christ.

Holiness of God
 By: R. C. Sproul
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Central to God’s character is the quality of holiness. Yet, even so, most people are hard-pressed to define what God’s holiness precisely is. Many preachers today avoid the topic altogether because people today don’t quite know what to do with words like “awe” or “fear.” R. C. Sproul, in this classic work, puts the holiness of God in its proper and central place in the Christian life. He paints an awe-inspiring vision of God that encourages Christian to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same.

"One of the most important books published in modern times in my opinion, and in my experience this truth can transform. God is looking for people who are humble, contrite and who tremble at His Holy Word (Isaiah 66:1-2). This book will help you reverence rightly our Holy, Holy, Holy God, and worship more fully the Holy One Jesus Christ who through His Spirit brings us to the Father in heaven whose name we are to hallow." - Pastor Phil

How People Change
 By: Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp
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A changed heart is the bright promise of the gospel. When the Bible talks about the gift of a new heart, it doesn't mean a heart that is immediately perfected, but a heart that is capable of being changed. Jesus' work on the cross targets our hearts---our core desires and motivations---and when our hearts change, our behavior changes. It's amazing to watch people who once seemed stuck in a pattern of words, choices, and behaviors start living in a new way as Christ changes their hearts.

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands
People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
 By: Paul David Tripp
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We might be relieved if God placed our sanctification only in the hands of trained professionals, but that is not his plan.  Instead, through the ministry of every part of the body, the whole church will mature in Christ.  Paul David Tripp helps us discvoer where change is needed in our own lives and the lives of others.  Following the example of Jesus, Tripp reveals how to get to know people, and how to lovingly speak truth to them.

This is an excellent resource for personal change and will be especially helpful for those who desire to counsel others more effectively. -- Jerry Shore

Life in the Body of Christ
Privileges and Responsibilities in the Local Church
 By: Curtis Thomas
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This book is a must-read in the areas of church and body life and how to be an involved part in a healthy fellowship. Upon my arrival here, I gave each of the elders a copy and I plan to give a copy to all new members who join our church, that's how important I see this very helpful and practical book. -- Pastor Phil

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Made in Our Image
What Shall We Do with a "User-Friendly" god?
 By: Steve Lawson
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This book is one of the most impactful and refreshing books I have read recently, refuting low views and trivial and false ideas about God, while passionately and powerfully lifting up a high view of God, which he considers man's greatest need.  This book would be a great supplement to read along in our series on the attributes of God, as it keeps God in His rightful place and also puts man in his proper low place of humility and praise. It's hard to imagine any true Christian reading this book and not being revolutionized in some way. I know it had a big effect on me and trust it will for many of you as well -- Pastor Phil 

One Race One Blood
A Biblical Answer to Racism
 By: Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware
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It is a rarely discussed fact of history that the premise of Darwinian evolution has been deeply rooted in the worst racist ideology since its inception. This significant book gives a thorough account of the effects of evolution on the history of the United States, including slavery and the Civil rights movement, and goes beyond to show the global harvest of death and tragedy that still finds its roots in Darwin s destructive writings. The tragic legacy of Darwin s controversial speculations on evolution has led to terrible consequences taken to the deadliest extremes. One Race One Blood reveals the origins of these horrors, as well as the truth revealed in Scripture that God created only one race. You will discover: Nazi Germany used evolutionary concepts to justify the extermination of unfit people groups such as Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs The origins of people groups, the genetics of skin color, and the biblical truths on interracial marriage Eye-opening discussion on racism and its roots in the hearts and minds of millions still today. Within these compelling pages, Dr. A. Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College, and Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis examine the historical roots of racism that have permeated evolutionary thought, and the Bible s response to this disturbing issue. This is a crucial and timely study that profoundly addresses the Christian worldview regarding race from a compassionate and uniquely compelling perspective.

Pleasing People
How Not to Be an "Approval Junkie"
 By: Lou Priolo
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Are you a people pleaser? Are you addicted to approval from other? Would you do just about anything to get that approval? Biblical counselor Lou Priolo exposes all the prideful manifestations of this problem and, as always, offers solid, systematic biblical solutions! Even readers who think they don't have this problem should read this helpful book, because what you don't know can and will hurt you and others.

Respectable Sins
Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
 By: Jerry Bridges
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Have Christians become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins?  Jerry Bridges returns to his trademark theme of holiness and addresses a dozen clusters of specific "acceptable" sins that we tend to tolerate in ourselves - such as jealousy, anger, pride, unthankfulness, and judgmentalism.  Jerry writes not from a height of spiritual accomplishment but from the trenches of his own battles with sin.  In his admonitions, Jerry offers a message of hope in the profound mercy of the gospel and the transforming grace of God as the means to overcome our subtle sins.

Shepherding a Child's Heart
 By: Tedd Tripp
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Many parenting books are based on hit-or-miss theories steeped in secular thinking. This one draws from Pastor Tripp's seasoned experience as a father-and from God's Holy Word. Grounded in the Bible's divine plan for parenting, this guide defines your goals as a parent and provides the Scriptural methods for accomplishing them.

Sinners in the Hands of a Good God
Reconciling Divine Judgment and Mercy
 By: David Clotfelter
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How can a good God sentence anyone to hell?  How does one discover the balance between the "free will" of man and the sovereignty of God?  How does God balance His righteous judgment with His amazing mercy?  David Clotfelter does a magnificent job of answering these difficult questions in his book, Sinners in the Hands of a Good God.  Truly one of the best books I have ever read.  -- Jerry Shore

The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ
 By: John MacArthur
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Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it's been purposely hidden and covered up ever since.  Your own Bible is probably included in the cover-up. 

In this book, John MacArthur unveils the essential and clarifying revelation that may be keeping you from a fulfilling - and correct - relationship with God.  It's powerful.  It's controversial.  And with new eyes you'll see the riches of your salvation in a radically new way.

What does it mean to be a Christian the way Jesus defined it?  MacArthur says it all boils down to one word:  slave.

Spiritual Depression
Its Causes and Cure
 By: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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This enduring collection of twenty-one sermons by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, each originally delivered at Westminster Chapel in London, carefully and compassionately analyzes an undeniable feature of modern society from which Christians have not escaped--spiritual depression. Christian people, writes Lloyd-Jones, too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too often give this appearance of unhappiness and of lack of freedom and absence of joy. There is no question at all but that this is the main reason why large numbers of people have ceased to be interested in Christianity. Believing that Christian joy was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity in the early centuries, Lloyd-Jones not only lays bare the causes that have robbed many Christians of spiritual vitality but also points the way to the cure that is found through the mind and spirit of Christ.

Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church
Participating Fully in the Body of Christ
 By: Don Whitney
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In a world committed to self-seeking and the thirst for individual rights, it is hard to create a genuine community based on self sacrifice and mutual commitment, but that is just what the church must do. In Spiritual Disciplines Within The Church, seminary professor, author, and former pastor Don Whitney shows how the local church can build a sense of community and turn church people from passive attendees into active participants. Whitney looks at such frequently asked questions as: Why can't I get by on my own? Why Should I go to church? Why should I give of myself to the church? Why do I need to worship in church, couldn't I just worship in nature? Why does it matter whether I become a member of the church?

Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People
A Training Manual on the Message and Methods of God-Centered Witnessing
 By: Will Metzger
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This is the best single book I know of on the subject of evangelism. Both theologically sound and practical, this book "is written to address the concern that many Christians, entrusted with the gospel message, have forgotten the message and their responsibility to accurately convey it. The recovery of a God-centered and grace-centered gospel is imperative, says Will Metzger. And he emphasizes the centrality of sovereign, saving grace that completely exalts God. In addition, he offers a specific practical approach to witnessing, with training materials for Christians who want to learn God-centered evangelism, and a study guide on evangelism suitable for individuals or groups ... a comprehensive, accessible and effective guide to God-centered evangelism." -- Pastor Phil

The Discipline of Grace
 By: Jerry Bridges
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Chapter 3 on preaching the gospel to yourself daily revolutionized the way I understood the gospel and its relevance for Christians, a theme a number of other writers have picked up on since Bridges wrote this book. His insights helped lay the framework for what is good about the model “gospel-centered” emphasis of our day. – Pastor Phil

The Faithful Parent
A Biblical Guide to Raising a Family
 By: Martha Peace and Stuart W. Scott
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The Faithful Parent emphasizes the importance of a parent's relationship with God. Every Christian parent wants their child to follow Christ, but it is critical that parents remain faithful whether their children do or not. Inside you'll find practical, biblical advice for parents of children of all ages - infants through adolescence. Discover how glorifying God in all circumstances has the most impact on your children. Paperback.

The Gospel According to Jesus
What Does Jesus Mean When He Says, "Follow Me"?
 By: John F. MacArthur
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What did Jesus mean when he said "Follow me"? In this 20th anniversary edition of his classic work, MacArthur warns against "easy believism," explains his understanding of biblical faith and works, emphasizes the cost of discipleship, and reinforces his conviction that there's no eternal life without surrender to the lordship of Christ. Includes a new chapter! 320 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

The History and Theology of Calvinism
 By: Curt Daniel
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Curt Daniel is a knowledgeable student and teacher of Reformed theology and history. His approach is to "leave no stone unturned" in pursuing the truth of Scripture. His breadth of knowledge enables him to easily glean from the theological giants that have gone before.

Dr. Daniel attended Central Bible College (B.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of Edinburgh (Ph.D.). Dr. Daniel teaches, preaches and publishes theological works consistent with Scripture and Reformed Theology.

This is his only known work that I could find on a search.  After reading through several chapters, I found them to be very informative and packed full of information and insight.  The style of this work reads much like a dissertation, being for the most part, in outline format.  I would strongly recommend this book, however, not late at night.  Each sentence has deep thought and must be read slowly.  I have found this read helpful in my own personal study. -- Mark Freeman    

Note: Phil Johnson has been recommending this book highly at Shepherd's Conference and announced that Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing will be publishing a revision in 2-3 years in book format. Click here for the Table of Contents and to listen to Curt Daniel's original lectures online.

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
An easy-to-use one-volume library for Bible study and lesson preparation
 By: Jerome H.Smith, Editor
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An incredible 1-volume Bible reference library, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is a unique resource for Bible study, teaching, or preaching. Dozens of special study aids help you develop powerful lessons or sermons - straight from the Bible itself! No other tool better helps you interpret Scripture with Scripture. Unlike any tool you've ever seen - loaded with helps not available anywhere else.

"The one book, aside from the Bible itself, that I value most in my studies." -- Dr. John MacArthur, Jr.

The best resource I have on my shelf for finding appropriate cross-references for my Bible study classes. -- Jerry Shore

Uprooting Anger
Biblical Help for a Common Problem
 By: Robert D. Jones
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Everyone experiences anger, but few of us handle it in a Christ-centered way or know how to help others biblically. We need something better than our own moral efforts and resolutions if we really want to rid our hearts of deep-rooted anger. In this biblically-based, practical guide to anger management, Robert D. Jones focuses on changing the underlying motivations and beliefs of the heart that drive angry behavior. By uprooting these heart problems, readers will learn to handle their anger and see the fruit of thorough and lasting change. Ideal for either personal or group study, this book includes discussion and application questions in each chapter.

What Did You Expect?
 By: Paul David Tripp
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This is the number one book I recommend or require for every couple I do premarital counsel with, and any couple, no matter how long they’ve been married. The chapter titles alone are very helpful and potentially revolutionary and relationship-altering, and there is much deep biblical instruction behind them:
Commitment #1 – We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness
Commitment #2 – We will make growth and change our daily agenda
Commitment #3 – We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust
Commitment #4 – We will commit to building a relationship of love
Commitment #5 – We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace

When Good Kids Make Bad Choices
Help and Hope for Hurting Parents
 By: Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jim Newheiser with Dr. Laure Hendrickson
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Having a child reject your cherished spiritual beliefs is one of life's most painful events. Be encouraged by those who share from personal experience and from God's Word how to maintain hope, prevent more rebellion, overcome a house divided and explore options for dealing with the worst problems.

There is perhaps no greater fear in a parent’s heart than the thought that a much–loved and well–cared–for child will make bad choices or even become a prodigal.

What are parents to do in such circumstances? Authors Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick speak from years of personal experience as both parents and biblical counselors about how hurting parents can deal with the emotional trauma of when a child goes astray. They offer concrete hope and encouragement along with positive steps parents can take even in the most negative situations.

Includes excellent advice from Dr. Laura Hendrickson regarding medicines commonly prescribed to problem children, and offers questions parents can ask pediatricians before using behavioral medications. A heartfelt and practical guide for parents.

When People Are Big and God is Small
Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man
 By: Edward T. Welch
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"In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" So sings the Psalmist. But quote that to a crime victim or a junior high student and they'll tell you fear of "mortal men" can prove a formidable obstacle! Here Welch offers biblical insight and solutions for a pervasive weakness in today's church. 239 pages, softcover from P&R.

Why Church Matters
Discovering Your Place in the Family of God
 By: Joshua Harris
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Fear of commitment plagues our churches. When we refuse to root ourselves in a church, we deprive ourselves, our churches and the world from God's best. Alternatively, perhaps you are having trouble finding a new church. If this is you, Why Church Matters gives you an easy 10 item list to help you wisely choose a church based upon God's word.

Formerly published as Stop Dating the Church, this updated softcover version includes discussion questions.

Why We Love the Church
In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
 By: KevinDeYoung and Ted Kluck
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Whether you're committed, disgruntled, hesitant, or disconnected from the body of Christ, this passionate resource will help you renew your love for the church in all its real-life guts, gaffes, and glory. DeYoung and Kluck's valuable resource provides a solid reminder of the biblical mandate to participate in our local congregations. Relevant and encouraging! 224 pages, softcover from Moody.

Women Counseling Women
Biblical Answers to Life's Difficult Problems
 By: Elyse Fitzpatrick
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Multitudes of mothers, wives, and singles struggle daily with negative habits and addictions. In this rich resource -designed for personal use or as a guide for helping others, qualified biblical counselors look to Scripture alone to address your concerns. Topics include worry, anger, depression, eating disorders, verbal abuse, pornography, grief, caregiving, and other issues of concern to women. Paperback.

Women Helping Women
A Biblical Guide to Major Issues Women Face
 By: Elyse Fitzpatrick and Carol Cornish
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Women Helping Women has been described as a one-of-a-kind resource written for Christian women who desire to share with other women the comfort, hope, and encouragement the Bible has to offer in response to the problems of today. For every one of the major life issues covered in this book, you’ll find clear biblical advice along with consistently practical guidelines for bringing about true change. After building the foundation for counseling that is truly and thoroughly biblical (not "Christian psychology") and why women should counsel women (chapters 1-4), the remaining chapters present how we can bring biblical advice and help to the discontent unmarried, young single mothers, wives in problem marriages and/or married to unbelivers, women considering adoption, mothers of children with disabilities, mothers of rebellious teens, divorced women, women abused as children, women with addictions or eating disorders, women in sexual sin, and women in mid-life or at the end of life.  Each chapter is written by an experienced biblical counselor in her field, and is a wonderful and welcome resource to help the church fulfill the critical ministry in Titus 2:3-5. -- Pastor Phil

You Can Change
God's Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions
 By: Tim Chester
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Whether you're a new believer or a seasoned Christian struggling with a besetting weakness, you can find freedom from negative behaviors and thoughts---through God's transforming power! The author of Total Church offers a practical, interactive, and biblical program that will help you triumph over sin---by focusing on what God has already done in you. 192 pages, softcover from Crossway.

You Never Stop Being a Parent
Thriving in a Relationship with Your Adult Children
 By: Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick
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Parents often assume that their job as a parent is complete when their children reach adulthood. If you have a child who has returned home to live, you've discovered that's not true. Even if your adult child has successfully launched into adulthood, you continue to be a parent to them. In You Never Stop Being a Parent, Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick ground you in guidance from God's Word and remind you that your relationship with your adult child can only be as deep and meaningful as your relationship with God.