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Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.   II Timothy 2:5   

Pastor Murray's Top Ten Book Recommendations











“The Whole Christ” by Sinclair Ferguson

This is a watershed book for our age.  No one whom I know in our times has written a book stating that the main problem personal and pastorally in the Christian life is practical legalism.  When I started listening to the three taped messages on The Marrow Controversy over twenty years ago, it gradually changed everything for me: my Christian life, my marriage, my family, my preaching, and my pastoral ministry. 


Dr. Ferguson holds for the big-picture themes of union and communion with each member of the Trinity and he keeps Christ’s justifying righteousness central in it. I highly recommend reading it and listening to the tapes on the Marrow Controversy. Reading Level: Intermediate

“The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification,” by Walter Marshall

John Murray once said that no greater work has ever been written on sanctification, and I believe that he was right.  Having failed for many years even as a pastor to make any progress overcoming his besetting sins or experiencing peace with God, Walter Marshall went to Thomas Goodwin and asked for help.  Goodwin said that he had failed to confess the greatest sin of all, his unbelief. 


He had trusted Christ for his justification, but not for his sanctification.  It changed his perspective and he began preaching themes related to sanctification by faith.  In justification, faith rests in Christ’s finished work.  In sanctification, faith works because of Christ’s finished work.  Marshall will teach you how to make use of Christ for the whole of the Christian life.  Reading Level: Intermediate to Difficult

“Our God,” by Octavius Winslow

Perhaps no one is warmer, keeps Christ more central, and is more experiential than Octavius Winslow.  He can’t talk about one member of the Trinity without talking about them all.  Reading Level: Beginning to Intermediate

“Communion with God,” by John Owen

Very few writers in church history have ever taught how to hold communion with each member of the Trinity.  You must read this book.  Reading Level: Intermediate

“The Mortification of Sin,” by John Owen

No one has helped me understand Romans 8:12-13, and what it means to live upon the perfect righteousness of Christ and be free from the authoritative power and obligation of sin better than Owen.  You must read this book, and it’s best not to read anyone’s edited version.  Reading Level: Intermediate

“An Ark for All God’s Noahs,” by Thomas Brooks

In the first 14 pages Brooks teaches 15 ways that God is our very best portion.  It’s a marvelous book and Brooks is the consummate preacher to teach how to savor God from every possible angle. Reading Level: Intermediate

“The Pilgrim’s Progress,” by John Bunyan

There is no better pastoral theologian than Bunyan and he will teach you more about how to shepherd your soul than perhaps anyone else. Reading Level: Beginning to Intermediate

“The Holy War,” by John Bunyan

An allegory like Pilgrim’s Progress about the Christian life and the life of the church. His insight into inner workings of the soul is masterful.  You must read this book.  Reading Level: Beginning to Intermediate

“Religious Affections,” by Jonathan Edwards

For the modern Reformed Church there may be no more important pages to read and reread than pages 165-217.  In these pages Edwards will teach you that the new birth is the first foundation of the Christian life and the forgiveness of sins the second foundation because God designs that our faith and love rise out of a sense of who God is, and not first out of anything at all that God does for us. 


And if you get these wrong, you may easily sell out to serving self-interest for the rest of your life because you may never move away from mercenary love, the kind of love we have because of what we gain from it. Reading Level: Intermediate to Difficult

“Analytical Exposition of the Epistle of Romans,” by John Brown of Edinburgh

John Brown taught me how to read books of the Bible for the flow of thought, and not to isolate the meaning of words, phrases, verses, paragraphs, chapters, and doctrines from the flow of thought. No one whom I have ever read comes close to rivaling John Brown as a commentator.  Learn his method and then apply to every book of the Bible.  Reading Level: Intermediate

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Honorable Mentions
  • "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges - Reading Level: Basic

  • "Follow the Lamb" by Horatius Bonar - Reading Level: Basic

  • "Walking with God" by J.C. Ryle - Reading Level: Basic

  • "Attributes of God" by A. W. Pink - Reading Level" Basic to Intermediate

  • "The Excellency of Christ" by Johnathan Edwards - Reading Level: Intermediate

  • "The Doctrine of Repentance" by Thomas Watson - Reading Level: Basic to Intermediate

  • "Evil of Evil" by Jeremiah Burroughs - Reading Level: Intermediate to Difficult

  • "The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification" by Walter Marshall - Reading Level: Intermediate

  • "God is the Gospel by John Piper" - Reading Level: Basic

  • "The Word of God and Family Prayer" by Thomas Doolittle - Reading Level: Basic to Intermediate

  • "The Necessity of Prayer" by E. M Bounds - Reading Level: Basic

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