Here’s a fine book for pastors to help with building a biblical and theological library. There are a few books on the market that give book reviews and recommendations, but this one stands out by recommending both old and new titles as well as both theological volumes and commentaries. Most other works review commentaries only and operate on the theory that new is always the best. While we would always want some of the newest exegetical works available, we must not overlook the treasures of the past. He tells us in the preface that The Minister’s Library by Cyril Barber was his inspiration. When I think about books that came after Spurgeon and went through 1985, Barber is my go-to reviewer. I’ve often thought that we needed a modern-day Barber-type volume. That’s exactly what Mr. Yost has done and done well. There may be several books on the market, but the author has truly found his niche. Pastors will be pleased.
Though Mr. Yost favors conservative books, he is fair in recommending some of the more well done critical works. He has a simple system where a book that is recommended to be obtained, a recognized classic in the field, a work of liberal scholarship, and a work that is very technical but of scholarly value are all marked in the book. I love how he has included several classic volumes. He has even recommended many of the wonderful Klock & Klock volumes that should never be forgotten. I’d say my only fault with this book is his near obsession with a hatred of transliterations – I’m confident it isn’t that life-and-death an issue.
He gives recommendations for Old Testament introductions, theologies, Hebrew language works, and a nicely wide-ranging list of commentaries. After doing the same for the New Testament, he jumps into a section on systematic theology, church history, and theological topics. There’s a final section on practical theology that covers all sorts of topics.
I was amazed at how often I agreed with his recommendations. It’s really a balanced, helpful list. I’d be happy to see it in the hands of a brand-new pastor and would recommend it to any of them without hesitation. Since no one has every book printed, some of us that’s been building a library for decades can still find much help and enjoyment in this book. In fact, I’d recommend this book be purchased along with John Evans’ work on biblical commentaries where he covers even more commentaries but none of these other subjects. I’m a great fan of a library with a balance between old and new works and give this book of recommendations five big stars!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.