Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three Books That Should Be on Ministry Reading Lists

Here are three books I wish had been on at least one of my reading lists. (And one that I'm glad wasn't!)

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp

This is the best book I have ever read on pastoral care. It is the best book I have ever read on pastoral counselling. It is one of the best books I have ever read on psychology from a Christian point of view. It is one of the few books I have read that seems to understand the depths of idolatry in the human heart, and that seeks to bring people to proper worship of God. Brilliant.

Deliverance by Michael Perry

This a book version of the official guidelines from the Church of England working group on Deliverance ministry. Given that fact, it's surprisingly good. They don't seem to have any anti-supernatural bias or anything, and have done their research into the nature of the phenomena and best practice very well. Well worth a read for anyone in ministry who comes across situations where deliverance is requested or an option. Recommended by my Training Incumbent.

Rid of My Disgrace by Justin & Lindsey Holcombe

This is a great book for those who have suffered from sexual abuse and those working with them. I wish I'd known about it earlier. In my somewhat limited experience, those who have suffered from such abuse often need someone who really understands what they are going through. The Holcombes really seem to, and speak grace into that situation really well.

Conduct Gospel-Centred Funerals by Newton and Croft

This book, on the other hand was a big disappointment. If you've never really thought about how to conduct a funeral, and don't know anyone who does them regularly whom you can ask for help, this is probably a useful guide. Except even then, so much of it is tied up in US culture and so on. Maybe worth reading as a discussion starter for people who have never led a funeral or if your theological college missed that bit out completely. But for those of us who were trained in how to do funerals and aren't ministering in the US, pretty much useless.

Having said that, I do read and recommend other stuff written by the authors.

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