The Backbone of a Ministry Library for $6 a Book


Right now through January 15, Crossway Publishers has all of their ebooks for $5.99 or less and many of the plug-in apps for their online site for same price.  This not only means great resources cheap, but an opportunity for me to pontificate on the value of ebooks and make some recommends for building a ministry library. (I’ll try to keep the pontificating short.)

As a committed reader of physical books, I have a love/hate relationship to ebooks.  As I’ve stated elsewhere, the ideal would be for publishers to offer a package deal, selling the physical and digital book together.  Until then, I buy some digital books when they’re free or cheap. I do this especially if they can be used as a key ministry resource.

Kindle has done us a great service by making their books copyable through the free PC app.  So, if I’m planning to teach on any given subject, I can cut and paste large chunks of material very easily into my teaching notes.   I can also search for teaching on a given topic or biblical text in a fraction of the time it would take with a physical book.  Depending on what you’re teaching, you can create an entire curriculum from a book or series of books.   If this appeals to you, then Crossway has done you a major service by offering their books for an amazingly low price (even for digital editions).

While, all of their resources are discounted (and are excellent), I thought about someone who might be entering the world of digital books for the first time.  What would someone in ministry need for their first books, or as some key resources they will use over and over again?  So from Crossway’s catalog of books, here are my recommendations that would make an excellent backbone of resources for a digital ministry library. By that I mean a core set of material from which you build over the years.  This includes a set of pastoral commentaries (named such because the content were originally sermons preached in a local church context) and key works in theology.  Most of these volumes normally cost over $20, even in digital form.  At $6 a piece, it’s a steal.  At a less significant rate of discount are some great books on key areas of pastoral and church ministry.  I’ve added these because they are not only be great for pastors, but might be something you teach through with groups of leaders.

If you bought all 47 items on this list, it would only cost you $282.  That is an amazing deal considering the normal cost of these books would be somewhere between $820 and $1175 (digital or print)!   Nevertheless, if that is still above your price range, then I have place an asterisk (*) by the books I have read and would put on my 15 “must buy” from the below list. Click here to browse all of their ebooks.

Exegetical Theology

  • The ESV Study Bible*
  • Genesis: Beginning and Blessing by Kent Hughes
  • Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory By Philip Ryken*
  • Leviticus: Holy God, Holy People by Kenneth Matthews
  • Numbers: God’s Presence in the Wilderness by Iain Duguid
  • Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God by Ajith Fernando*
  • 1 Samuel: Looking for a Leader by John Woodhouse
  • Proverbs: Wisdom that Works by Ray Ortlund*
  • Ecclesiastes: Why Everything Matters by Philip Ryken
  • Song of Solomon: An Invitation to Intimacy by Douglas Sean O’Donnell
  • Isaiah: God Saves Sinners by Ray Ortlund*
  • Jeremiah & Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope by Philip Ryken
  • Daniel: The Triumph of God’s Kingdom by Rodney Stortz
  • The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom by Kent Hughes
  • Mark: Jesus, Servant and Savior (vol 1) by Ken Hughes
  • Mark: Jesus, Servant and Savior (vol 2) by Kent Hughes
  • Luke: That You May Know the Truth (vol 1) by Kent Hughes
  • Luke: That You May Know the Truth (vol 2) by Kent Hughes
  • John: That You May Believe by Kent Hughes
  • Acts: The Church Afire by Kent Hughes
  • Romans: Righteousness from Heaven by Kent Hughes*
  • 2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness by Kent Hughes
  • Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ by Kent Hughes
  • Philippians: The Fellowship of the Gospel by Kent Hughes
  • Colossians: The Supremacy of Christ by Kent Hughes
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians: The Hope of Salvation by James Grant
  • 1 & Timothy, and Titus: To Guard the Deposit by Kent Hughes & Bryan Chapell
  • Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul (vol 1) by Kent Hughes
  • Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul (vol 2) by Kent Hughes
  • James: Faith that Works by Kent Hughes
  • 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: Sharing Christ’s Sufferings by David Helm
  • Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches by James Hamilton

Biblical Theology

  • Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry by Michael Lawrence*
  • God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment by James Hamilton
  • Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding  of the Covenants by Peter Gentry & Stephen Wellum

Systematic Theology

  • To Know and Love God: A Method for Theology by David Clark
  • No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God by John Feinberg
  • The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation by Bruce Demarest*
  • He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole*
  • Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church by Greg Allison
  • Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ by Robert Peterson*

Practical Theology

  • Jesus Driven Ministry by Ajith Fernando*
  • The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministries edited by D. A. Carson & Tim Keller*
  • Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching edited by Leland Ryken and Todd Wilson*
  • Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry*
  • What Is the Mission of the Church?  by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert*
  • Word Versus Deed: Resetting the Scales to a Biblical Balance by Duane Liften

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