Disclaimer: The following books comprise a brief list of resources that we have found helpful for our church planters. In endorsing each of these books we are not saying that we agree on every point, but rather find the book as a whole helpful.
by Scott Thomas
As we examine movements of God, David Garrison said that every movement possesses biblical authority as one of its characteristics.* Ed Stetzer argued that a movement has theological integrity. ** Dr. Alvin Reid stated that a movement must have clarity and theology was implied.*** Seth Godin wrote in his book, Tribes, “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” Drawing from the wisdom of these men, I would further state that a movement must possess not just theological integrity or clarity but also theological unity. We can all be clear on our own theological positions and we can all believe the Bible is the authority and still lack the theological unity we need to be a sustainable and reproducible movement.
by Wayne and Elliot Grudem
Christian Essentials Made Plain and Simple God doesn’t call every Christian to go off to seminary, but there are certain matters of doctrine—that is, the church’s teaching—that every Christian simply must know. Theology is important because what we believe affects how we live. If you’re a relatively new believer in Jesus, or if you’re a more mature Christian looking for a quick brush-up on basics of the faith, Christian Beliefs is for you. This readable guide to twenty basic Christian beliefs is a condensation of Wayne Grudem’s award-winning book on systematic theology, prized by pastors and teachers everywhere. He and his son, Elliot, have boiled down the essentials of Christian theology for the average layperson and made them both clear and applicable to life. You will learn about the Bible, the characteristics of God, what it means that we are created in the image of God, what God has done for us in Christ, the purpose of the church, and much more. Each chapter includes questions for personal review or group discussion. These truly are twenty basic beliefs that every Christian should know. Wayne Grudem is a master teacher with the ability to explain profound truths in simple language. He is a man of deep conviction and theological passion—and those who read this book will be both educated and encouraged in the faith. R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky Based on Systematic Theology, this summary will certainly help beginners with Christ to get the hang of their faith. J. I. Packer, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia As Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology contracts into a compact book, I do not lose my enthusiasm for the truth he loves and the clarity of his words. –John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota
by Gordon Lewis, Bruce Demarest
Integrative Theology is designed to help graduate students in a pluralistic world utilize a standard method of fruitful research. Each chapter on a major doctrine: (1) states a classic issue of ultimate concern, (2) surveys alternative past and present answers and (3) tests those proposals by their congruence with information on the subject progressively revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Then the chapter (4) formulates a doctrinal conclusion that consistently fits the many lines of biblical data, (5) defends that conviction respectfully, and finally (6) explores the conclusion’s relevance to a person’s spiritual birth, growth and service to others, all for the glory of God. Why the title Integrative Theology? In each chapter, steps 2-6 integrate the disciplines of historical, biblical, systematic, apologetic and practical theology.
by Wayne Grudem
This introductory textbook has several distinctive features: a strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine; clear writing, with technical terms kept to a minimum; and a contemporary approach.