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Recommended reading for young ministers

David made a good request in light of Broadus’ advice in my last post. He asks, “What works would you suggest to the young pastor as being indispensible for a starting place?”

There are numerous books that have been of invaluable help to me through the years. By God’s grace I was spared investing too much money in books that were not helpful early in my theological training and ministry. Unfortunately, I have many friends of who cannot say the same. God exposed the frailty and shallowness of my theological foundations early in the process. Consequently, the books I purchased for my own benefit were those that were recommended by experienced men whose insights I esteemed.

Here is my list of 25 old books that I recommend to young ministers. The limit forces some tough choices, and there are many valuable books not on the list. I would be grateful if others would add their opinions of which books ought to be on the top 25.

Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
Augustine, Confessions
Luther, Bondage of the Will
Calvin, Institutes
Owen, Mortification of Sin
____, On Temptation
Flavel, Method of Grace
Fuller, Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation
Gill, The Cause of God and Truth

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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