In light of my recent article at Lifeway Leadership, here are a few books I recommend reading if you feel exhausted by ministry, lackluster about the church, or distant from Jesus:
On The Brink – This book blends empathy, challenge, and biblical exhortation very well. An excellent help to anyone who feels “on the brink” or wants to better understand what pastors, in particular, often face.
Leading on Empty – This book combines science with sage advice. It contains some great best practices from an experienced pastor.
Near Unto God – A life-giving devotional by Abraham Kuyper. His brief devotional entries are packed with spiritual insight and stir religious affection.
This summer I wrote a study guide for 2 Peter & Jude. These are prophetic book letters for our time. It became clear to me that the straight forward truths, difficult texts, and glorious promises in these letters are just what our church needs to hear. So, we’re preaching through these two letters this Fall. Here are a few resources I’d recommend if you want to know the letters better.
The Message of 2 Peter & Jude – This is written by some of the most well-known British preachers. In fact, Dick Lucas had considerable influence on Tim Keller. This commentary is exegetically rich, well-footnoted, but also sensitive to culture and application.
Acknowledging the Divine Benefactor – This is a unique commentary more suited for the academic. It stands out in its sensitivities to Hellenistic backgrounds. The premise is intriguing, that 2 Peter follows a Greek form of paying homage to a benefactor. Peter may be adapting this form to encourage believers to honor Jesus Christ as their divine benefactor by living a life of virtue.
1, 2 Peter & Jude (Schreiner) – This is my favorite all round commentary on 2 Peter/Jude for its clarity and succinctness yet attention to detail.
*Jude & 2 Peter (Bauckham) – I’ve read a lot of Richard Bauckham over the years and studied under one of his proteges. He’s creative, textually rigorous, a fantastic biblical theologian, and learned in backgrounds. However, this commentary is a bit exhausting and I can’t stand the layout of Word commentaries.