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Notable Books

Books of applied theology

Notable Books
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Pastoring is difficult. Those who commit their lives to pastoral ministry commit to a tough, tough job. Helopoulos knows the difficulties and pitfalls. In 48 short chapters he shares advice mentors gave him and wisdom gained from his own experience over 10 years. He provides counsel on knowing and heeding God’s call, starting out strong in ministry, and caring for family. If you are in pastoral ministry or are considering pastoral ministry, you will benefit from reading The New Pastor’s Handbook and its practical tips on reading, leading, busyness, friendship, suffering, and much more.

We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong

Al Mohler closely and critically examines the defining moral issues of our day—gender and sexuality—and stands firm on the unpopular, traditional, biblical viewpoints. He looks at the cultural shifts that preceded and birthed this revolution, tracing the movement’s history and growth to the present: “The moral revolution is now so complete that those who will not join it are understood to be deficient, intolerant, and harmful to society.” While the book is unsettling and even discouraging, Mohler helps Christians see the challenges as an opportunity in which the gospel will shine brighter in contrast to the cultural darkness.

Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told

In this book MacArthur shows how Jesus used parables to reveal the unfolding mystery of God’s kingdom. He describes the context in which Jesus delivered various parables, explains what Jesus meant to accomplish, and shows what the parables teach about God and His kingdom. But before he does any of this, MacArthur helps the reader understand the parable as a literary form: What is a parable? How should we define it? He then explains how to interpret and teach parables. This book shines a light on Jesus’ stories and, through them, on the Savior who told them.

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is a favorite of progressive Christians. Her New York Times best-selling books earn praise for storytelling and transparency, but they are also irreverent and excessively profane. Let me say it candidly: Bolz-Weber has no business being a pastor or writing as a pastor. She proves through her temper, interactions with parishioners, endlessly foul mouth, and novel interpretations of Scripture that she does not take seriously the office of pastor. She is outrageous for the sake of being outrageous, and that makes for the worst kind of book.


We live in a world that encourages self-absorption. Our kids are surrounded by abundance. Too many parents think their job is to make their kids happy and smooth out life’s bumps. In Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes (Tyndale Momentum, January 2016), Kristen Welch untangles our wrong thinking and offers practical guidance for taking the countercultural path. With examples from her life, she shows how parents often struggle with their own entitlement issues, which blind them to the problem. Engaging anecdotes help her tell the story of one family’s struggle to learn the difference between wants and needs and to make service the center of its life. She encourages readers to wage their own war against unthankfulness—and offers hope that committed parents can do it. —Susan Olasky

Tim Challies

Tim is a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto and a former WORLD correspondent.


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