My number one piece of advice to people studying academic theology at doctrinally mixed or liberal universities is to read good evangelical commentaries on the relevant passages. I find here a good place for recommending evangelical commentaries on books, though I disagree with some of their selections.
A while ago, I was asked about the NIV Application Commentaries series. I've recently had occasion to skim quite a lot of commentaries, and I can make the following points:
- They're probably more consistently solid as a series than Tyndale (or even BST). Some of that is down to the format. On the other hand, I don't think there's anything spectacularly amazing in the series - I think that's also down to the format.
- They're not heavyweight in terms of textual stuff, translation issues, etc but they do mention them. A few of them are shortened versions of other stuff in print (e.g. Smith's very good commentary on Amos).
- They're ok at applications (better than Tyndale / BST) - they probably make it a lot easier to preach a decent sermon on a passage, but not much easier to do an excellent one