Recommending

I updated this page on 12 June 2020.

Bible Study

Bible Reading with Your Kids is essential reading for anyone with kids. Aimed at fathers but just as helpful for mothers, grandparents, or any other caregiver.

Songs for the Old Testament and the New Testament will help you learn the order of the books of the Bible.

These Bible Flash Cards help you memorize scriptures grouped by doctrine.

The ESV Study Bible and Thompson Chain Reference Bible are two of many good study Bibles. A study Bible is great because it’s a mini theological library all bound up with your Bible. Really helpful!

From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible is a book-length treatment on how to study the Bible.

Memorizing brief outlines for the books of the Bible and watching the animated video introductions produced by The Bible Project can help you learn and remember the Bible.

Know Your Covenants provides an very brief overview of each covenant of the Bible.

Judy Rogers writes and sings beautiful songs from Scripture for kids.

Church Government

Book of Church Order of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

How Jesus Runs the Church is an easy-to-read biblical introduction on how Presbtyerians follow Jesus in the ways we organize ourselves, think about our leaders, stay on mission, and more.

Hospitality

Hospitality Requires “Systems, Not Just Smiles”

The Number of Hours it Takes to Make a Friend is usually underestimated. Realistic expectaitons can help you.

The New Rules of Etiquette: A Young Woman’s Guide to Style and Poise at Work, at Home, and on the Town is a brief guide to the science of compassion, also known as etiquette. Aimed at women, good for men too.

Introducing Christianity

Christianity Explored classes are available all over the world.

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story

The Covenant of Grace

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology

Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored

The Story of Reality

Why You Can Trust Your Bible is what God originally gave us.

Learn the Shorter Catechsim by singing it.

Language Learning

Bible Vocab App is for memorizing Greek and Hebrew vocabulary from the Bible.

The Moss Method for Greek is the best way to learn classical Greek online.

Daily Dose of Hebrew sends out Hebrew mini lessons every day.

First 1,000 Words in Latin

LatinPerDiem is like Daily Dose of Hebrew but for Latin. Also has videos for classical Greek and tons of other great resources.

Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg is an amazing series that will you help learn good Latin that sticks. Start by reading the hardcover version of Pars I: Familia Romana. And use the corresponding audio-visual flashcard deck created by Patrick M. Owens on Memrise.

Marriage and Family

Building a Godly Home is a three-volume set of books written by eminent puritan William Gouge. Way better theology than almost any marriage book available today with lots of careful applications of Scripture.

Catching Foxes: A Gospel-Guided Journey to Marriage is probably the best book for most couples looking for something to help them prepare for marriage.

Don’t Fear the Sex Recession debunks some myths about the frequency of intimacy.

Holding Hands, Holding Hearts is a sane, Christian perspective on dating.

On Marriage and Family Life shares one ancient Christian perspective on marriage. It’s good to get out of the modern rut. You will notice things you wouldn’t otherwise.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a goldmine of advice and help, as is John Gottman’s similar book, The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships. While these books are not written from a Christian perspective, Gottman and his research team have learned so much from general revelation that Christians should learn and follow. These books also debunk some common myths and include many questionnaires and exercises for you to work through.

The chapter on sex in The Way That Leads There: Augustinian Reflections on the Christian Life by Gilbert Meilanender and the article, “In Praise of the Humble Condom”, give helpful guidance on questions around contraception. For more on this and other issues related to the beginning of life (marriage, procreation, contraception, infertility, assisted reproduction, abortion, stem-cell research), read David VanDrunen’s Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions.

Ordained Offices

The Deacon: Biblical Foundations for Today’s Ministry of Mercy is about deacons.

The Shepherd Leader is being used by many for training elders.

The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations Through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus helped me avoid a breakdown/burnout once. And its lessons have shaped my ministry since. Some of what I learned made it into an article I wrote called “The Productive Pastor”.

The Unbusy Pastor is a near perfect summary of Eugene Peterson’s writings, which give color and depth to what he writes in this essay—one of the most important essays on pastoral ministry any pastor can read.

Orthodox Presbyterianism

Confessions and Catechisms of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, with Scripture proofs and this summary by B. B. Warfield.

Shorter Catechism set to music. Helps for memorizing. Available on streaming services.

Lest We Forget is a long-form piece on the origins of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church: What’s Our Name Means is a short explanation of the name of my church.

Prayer

21 Prayers for Mealtime is a list of prayers I found in a family Bible and then updated for you.

A Way to Pray teaches you how to pray using the words of the Bible. This is a good way to learn theology.

Preaching

How to Preach like a Child introduces Samuel Miller’s advice for “the most perfect specimen” of preaching style.

Paul’s Theology of Preaching: The Apostle’s Challenge to the Art of Persuasion in Ancient Corinth should be required reading for every preacher.

Reformation

Did the Church Really Need Reforming? Yes. And Here’s Why.

Sharing the Gospel

Dispatches from the Front is an inspiring and eye-opening DVD series about the work of the Holy Spirit around the world.

Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus

Get Real: Sharing Your Everyday Faith Every Day

Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus Even When It’s Tough

Reformed Evangelism conference lectures by Eric Watkins

Some Core Biblical Concerns

Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ

Grounded in Heaven: Recentering Christian Hope and Life on God

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will

Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview

Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture

The Marrow of Modern Divinity

On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518

Ordinary Means of Grace explains the ordinary ways in which God does the extraordinary in our lives.

Why Am I Suffering? reflects on Jesus’ promise to a dying criminal.

Teaching

Effective Bible Teaching

Links for Improving Your Teaching

Why Oral Latin?

Tech

START HERE -» Digital Minimalism is for sanity.

Accordance is for computer-assisted Bible study.

Bible Vocab App is for memorizing Greek and Hebrew vocabulary from the Bible.

Brave is for browsing the web.

DuckDuckGo is for searching the web.

NetNewsWire is my favorite RSS/JSON reader. Sync it with Feedbin to also follow Twitter feeds and even email newsletters in the same place.

iPad Pro is the cheapest Apple laptop—that’s one way to look at it—and is good for so much.

Micro.blog is for blogging and microblogging.

Notebooks App is for all my writing and note-taking, which I do using Markdown.

ProtonMail is for email.

Thinking and Working

calnewport.com

Conversations on Focus and Distraction will challenge and help you to think more carefully about how we apporach everything from work to worship.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds shows how thinking is always relational. Thinking well requires one to take a certain posture toward the truth, oneself, and others.

Lead with Wisdom: How Wisdom Transforms Good Leaders into Great Leaders

Lo-Fi is great for writing, house cleaning, and probably other stuff too. Custom playlists are available on vaious streaming services.

Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People is focused on the question of whether we know God, but the answer will teach you about knowing in general.

Ted Hughes talks about thinking, concluding with a poem-example of the kind of thinking one does to collect one’s thoughts on a thing, which is also known as meditation.

A Christian on the Mount by the readable and encouraging Thomas Watson is the best guide I know to Christian meditation. I wrote a poem in response to what I read in this book.

Tukey, Design Thinking, and Better Questions is focused on data analysis, but it lays out some important presuppositions for learning in general.

What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions

Using Words Well

A Writer’s Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work

Becoming a Writer

Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

From Topic to Thesis: A Guide to Theological Research

Garner’s Modern English Usage

No One Listening? Maybe You’re the Problem

You’re Probably Using the Wrong Dictionary and should secure a copy of Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged © 1934.

Various Anthologies

The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories

Lapham’s Quarterly

Mars Hill Audio Journal

Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in an Age of Moral Confusion

Worship

Directory for the Public Worship of God is the official directory of worship for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship by D. G. Hart and John Muether explains the important presuppositions behind why we do what we do and gives examples for what faithful, biblical worship might look like.

A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship will help you think about worship in a robustly biblical way. Expand your thinking on this important topic.

How God Changes our Worship is a sermon I preached to help my church understand how certain things God has done and will do effects how we worship him.

A Letter to the Inactive Member

Celebrating Jesus’ Birth—Without His Picture seems like crazy talk to a lot of people, but it’s not. Read this article to see why.

Is Reformed Worship Boring? Maybe.

Distacting Ourselves to Death is a White Horse Inn episode that discusses the connection between our distracted age and expecations for worship and even the Christian life in general. Very important.

Simple Liturgies for when a pastor is unavailable to preach or lead worship.

When Can My Child Receive the Lord’s Supper?

Christopher Chelpka @christopherchelpka