I'm working on a list of my favorite or most essential books. I assume you're very busy so I assure you that nothing on this list is a waste of your time. When reading time is limited, it's vital you read wisely. Reading the right books is more important than reading a lot of books. Everything here is the best that I've read on each subject so far. Recommendations are greatly appreciated.


The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689By Banner of Truth

A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith
, By Samuel E. Waldron
This exposition was originally published in 1989 to mark the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Second London Confession, which also became known as the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Today, Reformed Baptists worldwide hold this Confession in high esteem and many churches continue to regard it as their official statement of faith. In this extensive exposition, the author Sam Waldron shows that the 1689 Confession is a masterly statement of the historic Christian faith. He writes in a direct and lucid style that will help ministers, students and laymen alike to a clear understanding of this Confession and to its relevance and application to our modern age.

ESV Study Bible, HardcoverBy Crossway
Winner of the ECPA Book of the Year Award- The ESV Study Bible ranks at the top of the list of the most comprehensive study Bibles ever published. It was created by an outstanding team of 95 leading Bible scholars and teachers from 9 countries, nearly 20 denominations, and 50 seminaries, colleges, and universities. The ESV Study Bible features a wide array of study tools equivalent to a 20-volume Bible resource library, making it an invaluable resource for serious readers, students, and teachers of God's Word.

Knowing ScriptureBy R.C. Sproul / InterVarsity Press
In this expanded edition of Knowing Scripture renowned Reformed theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul not only aids readers in unearthing the meaning of Scripture for themselves, but also explores why it is essential for every Christian to study it in the first place. With his usual common sense and enthusiasm, Sproul both offers clear explanations of eleven basic steps of interpretation, as well as provides simple how-to's for using them. Excellent for beginning Bible readers and experienced students of Scripture, this expanded edition includes a new preface.

This book was vital to my own conversion. 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!


Systematic TheologyBy Louis Berkhof
 The most influential compendium of 20th-century Reformed theology complete in one volume! Ideal for scholars and students, it features Berkhof's Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology and Systematic Theology. His comprehensive work covers the doctrines of God, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology; and includes extensive indexes, bibliographies, and questions for further study.

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical DoctrineBy Wayne Grudem
The Christian church has a long tradition of systematic theology, that is, studying theology and doctrine organized around fairly standard categories such as the Word of God, redemption, and Jesus Christ. This introductory textbook on systematic theology has several distinctive features:

The Death of Death In the Death of Jesus Christ, by John Owen
This is my favorite book. It is the most significant work on the atonement of Jesus Christ in print. It is not for the faint of heart or the casual reader. It is work. And worth the effort.

Freedom of the Will, by Jonathan Edwards
This classic work is an essential read for understanding how free will harmonizes with the sovereignty of God.


Preparing for Marriage God's Way: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marriage Success Before and After the Wedding, by Wayne Mack
A marriage counseling resource that uses thoughtful self-examination to reveal the personalities, background, and expectations that you and your partner are bringing to your union. Through rigorous Bible study, you will learn about God's expectations for marriage and be equipped with his solutions for dealing with typical marriage conflicts. Three follow-up lessons after your marriage help you to reflect on all that's happened after you said, "I do."

Your Family God's Way, by Wayne Mack
As a husband, father of four, and family counselor, Wayne A. Mack knows what makes families tick. Here he offers biblical insight and practical wisdom into two crucial areas of family life: communication and conflict resolution. Alerting us to the pitfalls of faulty communication such as "undertalk," "overtalk," and poor listening. Firsthand success stories and highly practical application questions give hope and clear direction to all who wish to build stronger families God's way.

The Exemplary Husband, by Stuart Scott
A biblical blueprint for the mandate God has given to husbands in the covenant of marriage to love their wives, even as Christ loved the church. Written to be a companion book to The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, its goal is to assist husbands toward purposeful and lasting Christlikeness for the glory of God. It is suitable for men's small group Bible studies, or for couples prayerfully seeking God's very best in marriage.

The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace
Who is an excellent wife? What is she like? Using the woman in Proverbs 31 as a model, trusted Christian counselor Peace offers detailed practical answers to questions most often asked by Christian wives. Her proven principles and scripturally based insights will encourage you to become the wife God wants you to be. This is a must-read for every Christian wife.

Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp
This is the best book on raising children in print. If I could require one book be read by every parent in our culture, this would be the one. It's also available on video.