Having recently preached a series on the doctrine of salvation (from original sin to glorification), I read through several books in a short amount of time. While there are many great books out there on specific aspects of salvation and salvation in general, these are the one that I found to be the quickest to repay my time reading them.
These are the best of the best, as it were. They not only filled my head with excellent biblical theology, they also moved my heart me to passionate, Christ-centered doxology.
Incidentally, these are not just great for sermon preparation, they would also make excellent reading for any Christian who would desire to better appreciate the Bible’s teaching on the salvation God has graciously given his people in Christ.
This book is considered a classic and it’s easy to see why. Stott was right on target on all matters related to the atonement itself (doctrines like propitiation, justification, redemption). He not only provided clear exegesis but also presented the doctrines with an apologetic dimension that was also helpful give the amount of books critiquing biblical views of the atonement these days.
This was a excellent read on the under-served doctrine of regeneration. The chapters of this book began as a series of sermons, which only adds to the book’s value. Piper writes with a theologian’s mind and a pastor’s heart. The book somehow felt both like vintage Piper and a fresh work all at the same time.
Another book considered a classic. That reputation is well-deserved; this book should be on every book shelf. While there is much of value in this work about salvation, as far as this series goes, though, Packer was a superb help on the doctrine of adoption. There is nothing else that so presents the glories of God’s adopting love towards his people.
The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
Another classic (there’s a reason they’e called that). This was surprisingly easy to read and offered both biblical understanding as well as practical help on the matter of sanctification. Packer also leaves his mark on this work, providing an introduction for this edition that was biogrpahical in nature and amazingly helpful.
This was a surprise treat, as I had never heard of Barnes as an author before coming across this book. He has clealy done his work, providing an amazing amount of biblical information in an easily digestable way. He presents the doctrine of glorification in such a way that he hopes Christians will be built up in their faith by knowing it better. Excellent for writing a sermon on the “hope of glory.”
The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest
Both of these book were great as “catch-alls” picking up on themes and elements of salvation not covered in the other books listed (e.g. election, justification, etc). Though both cover the doctrines of salvation, they approach it different and provide a great supplimkent to each other. What Ryken does from a pastoral perspective (the chapters feel like sermons), Demarest does from a theologians perspective. Demarest presents the general idea of the doctrine, followed by different historical understanding of it, ending with his exegesis of the relvant passage to provide his summary of the Bible’s teaching on the matter. Both of these books became standard works for me.