It has been said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” At Big Woods, we want you to provide you with great reading material that will both encourage you, as well as stimulate growth in your faith and understanding of the Bible and the God we serve. Below is a list of books available on the bookshelf and how you can purchase them for your own personal library.
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus instructed his followers to “make disciples of all nations.” But what does this command actually entail? What does it look like for Christians to care for one another’s spiritual well-being and growth? In this introduction to the basics of discipling, veteran pastor and author Mark Dever uses biblical definitions and practical examples to show how Christians can help one another become more like Christ every day. The eighth volume in the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series, this short book explains how discipling should function in the context of the local church, teaching pastors and church leaders how to cultivate a culture of edification and growth in their congregations.
The most important conversations you will have with your kids will be in the context of everyday life. In ‘Everyday Talk, ‘ author John Younts explains how to use ordinary conversations to talk to your kids about God and his world. You?ll be delighted by his clear, practical insight and biblical wisdom. Buy this book and read it. But don’t stop there? Put it into practice. Your children will thank you!
We all know it’s important to study God’s Word. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What’s more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?
Offering a clear and concise plan to help women go deeper in their study of Scripture, this book will equip you to engage God’s Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.
How do you feel about doctrine? Whatever answer comes to mind, this book will not only convince you that sound doctrine is vital for living a godly life, it will also explain the essential role of theology in the life of a healthy church.
Thinking rightly about God affects everything, from guiding us in practical issues to growing a church’s unity and witness. This short, readable book shows how good theology leads to transformation, life, and joy.
The freedom in falling short of God’s standard relies on His gift of grace. Unfortunately, too many of us forget the free offer. We spend our lives basing our relationship with God on our performance rather than on Him. We see our identity as never being worthy of His love. Isn’t it time to stop trying to measure up and begin accepting the transforming power of God’s grace?
The product of more than 10 years of Bible study, Navigator author Jerry Bridges’ Transforming Grace is a fountainhead of inspiration and renewal that will show you just how inexhaustible and generous God’s grace really is.
Many Christians fall victim to one of two main problems when it comes to work: either they are idle in their work, or they have made an idol of it. Both of these mindsets are deadly misunderstandings of how God intends for us to think about our employment.
In The Gospel at Work, Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert unpack the powerful ways in which the gospel can transform how we do what we do, releasing us from the cultural pressures of both an all-consuming devotion and a punch-in, punch-out mentality – in order to find the freedom of a work ethic rooted in serving Christ.
It’s the hot topic of the moment. Christians, the church and the Bible seem to be out of step with modern attitudes towards homosexuality. And there is growing hostility towards those who hold a different view. So is God homophobic? And what do we say, and how do we relate to to both Christians and non Christians who experience same-sex attraction.
In this short, simple book, Sam Allberry wants to help confused Christians understand what God has said about these questions in the scriptures, and offers a positive and liberating way forward through the debate.
What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world.
This book is a compelling read – it gives practical advice and biblical hope to parents of children of all ages. Most parenting books outright, or indirectly, promise a good outcome if you only follow their suggestions. The Faithful Parent gives many practical, biblically-based suggestions but promises that the most important relationship in any family is vertical – between parents and God. it is the Christian parent in being faithful that glorifies God. It is the faithful parent who has the biggest impact on their children.
Becoming a member of a church is an important, and often neglected, part of the Christian life. Yet the trend these days is one of shunning the practice of organized religion and showing a distaste or fear of commitment, especially of institutions.
Jonathan Leeman addresses these issues with a straightforward explanation of what church membership is and why it’s important. Giving the local church its proper due, Leeman has built a compelling case for committing to the local body.
“I’M TOO BUSY!” We’ve all heard it. We’ve all said it. All too often, busyness gets the best of us. Just one look at our jam-packed schedules tells us how hard it can be to strike a well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing it all.
That’s why award-winning author and pastor Kevin DeYoung addresses the busyness problem head on in his newest book, Crazy Busy — and not with the typical arsenal of time management tips, but rather with the biblical tools we need to get to the source of the issue and pull the problem out by the roots. Highly practical and super short, Crazy Busy will help you put an end to “busyness as usual.”
God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.
We’re not. And that’s a good thing.
Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone. Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.
Revealing a biblical picture of what it means to truly be a Christian, Follow Me explores the gravity of what we must forsake in this world, as well as the indescribable joy and deep satisfaction to be found when we live for Christ.
The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it’s a summons to lose your life―and to find new life in him. This book will show you what such life actually looks like.
Drawn from a rich heritage, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines. By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to become more like Christ and grow in character and maturity. Now updated and revised to equip a new generation of readers, this anniversary edition features in-depth discussions on each of the key disciplines.
If you’ve been looking for a book to give non-Christians explaining why the Bible can be trusted, this is it. Logically laid out, carefully argued, and splendidly illustrated (with word pictures), Greg Gilbert’s Why Trust the Bible? should be the new lay-level starting point when it comes to an apologetic for the Bible’s reliability.
Christians often struggle to know where to start when it comes to telling others about God, Jesus, sin, and salvation. In this short book, J. Mack Stiles challenges us to view evangelism as something we do together instead of something we do alone, helping churches cultivate a culture of evangelism that goes beyond simply creating new programs or adopting the latest method. The seventh volume in the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series, this book will help Christians joyfully embrace evangelism as a way of life as it equips them to share their faith with those who don’t yet know Jesus.
“If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ‘amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender,” says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. “Lack of assurance” is epidemic among evangelical Christians. In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. shows that faulty ways of presenting the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often gives false assurance to those who are not saved—and keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality.
We seek the kingdom of God, before everything else. We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches. As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents. As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let’s do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down.
The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that’s no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let’s act like it. Let’s follow him, onward to the future.
Recovering Redemption, written with a pastor’s bold intensity and a counselor’s discerning insight, takes you deeply into Scripture to take you deeply inside yourself, discovering that the heart of all our problems is truly the problem of our hearts. But because of what God has done, and because of what God can do, the most confident, contented person you know could actually be you―redeemed through Jesus Christ.
None of us, really, can do what’s required to change our lives for the better, taking what’s persistently frustrating and making it perfectly satisfying. Yet as hopeless as that may sound, it is the flat-line truth in which good news comes to life . . . to your life. For just as what’s lost can be found, what’s wrong can―even now―be recovered.
Sometimes people lose sight of the core of their ministry. They feel overwhelmed by the needs that surround them on a daily basis. Wise and beloved pastor Warren Wiersbe invites ministry leaders to listen in on thirty short “armchair chats” to encourage and strengthen them for service. He shares what he wishes he had known about ministering to others when he began his own Christian pilgrimage. “Ministry,” he says, “takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.”
Called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, Whitefield crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr. Steven J. Lawson illustrates in this entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profile series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by remarkable piety and deep theology, and whose unswerving devotion to his God led him to risk all that he had to preach the name of Christ.
Does what a church believes about how people become Christians change how we do evangelism? In this concise book, Michael Lawrence explains the doctrine of conversion and helps us consider the relationship between what we believe about how people are saved and our approach to sharing the gospel in the context of the local church. Readers of this book will understand how the local church should participate in the conversion process through ordinary means, such as biblical preaching and intentional relationships.
Drawing from the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed us—for good and bad. Reinke calls us to cultivate wise thinking and healthy habits in the digital age, encouraging us to maximize the many blessings, to avoid the various pitfalls, and to wisely wield the most powerful gadget of human connection ever unleashed.
In The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther, Dr. Steven J. Lawson shows the convictions and practices that fed Luther’s pulpit boldness, providing an example for all preachers in a day when truth once more is in decline.
Christians should have the answers, shouldn’t they? Depression affects many people both personally and through the ones we love. Here Zack Eswine draws from C.H Spurgeon, ‘the Prince of Preachers’ experience to encourage us. What Spurgeon found in his darkness can serve as a light in our own darkness. Zack Eskwine brings you here, not a self–help guide, rather ‘a handwritten note of one who wishes you well.’
Many Christians mistakenly believe that true Christians don’t get depressed, and this misconception heaps additional pain and guilt onto Christians who are suffering from mental and emotional distress. Author David P. Murray comes to the defense of depressed Christians, asserting that Christians do get depressed! He explains why and how Christians should study depression, what depression is, and the approaches caregivers, pastors, and churches can take to help those who are suffering from it. With clarity and wise biblical insight, Dr. Murray offers help and hope to those suffering from depression, the family members and friends who care for them, and pastors ministering to these wounded members of their flock.
We live in a broken world, beset with overwhelming problems: disease, pain, death, sorrow, sin and mental illness–clinical depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and panic attacks. Our culture assumes people diagnosed with mental illness are stuck, doomed to struggle for the rest of their lives against a problem without ever experiencing real and lasting change. As Christians we know better. The world is broken, but God has invaded that world with the power, light, and hope of his Son Jesus Christ. Whether you’re tormented with panic attacks or thinking of committing suicide, Jesus can help.
Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. In this groundbreaking new book, R. Albert Mohler Jr. recaptures the urgency and transformational nature of the prayer, revealing once again its remarkable, world-upending power. Step by step, phrase by phrase, The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down explains what these words mean and how we are to pray them. The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice. The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down shows us how.
The most important questions anyone can ask are: Why was Jesus Christ crucified? Why did he suffer so much? What has this to do with me? Finally, who sent him to his death? The answer to the last question is that God did. Jesus was God’s Son. The suffering was unsurpassed, but the whole message of the Bible leads to this answer.
The central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning. That is what this book is about. John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons in answer to the most important question that each of us must face: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?
God intends for us to play an active and vital part in the body of Christ, the local church. He wants us to experience the local church as a home more profoundly wonderful and meaningful than any other place on earth. He intends for his churches to be healthy places and for the members of those churches to be healthy as well. This book explains how membership in the local church can produce spiritual growth in its members and how each member can contribute to the growth and health of the whole.
Theological and practical, Word-Centered Church focuses on how the church hears, responds to, discusses, implements, and is transformed by Scripture. It’s not about high-octane production, superstar personalities, or postmodern entreaties, but stuff that is really old, really good, and really powerful.
Word-Centered Church is the ministry-model book that churches need, because it advances the model God designed. For anyone who wants to grow or help others grow, Word-Centered Church is indispensable.
Sometimes we ask What is God’s will for my life? when we should really be asking Who should I be? The Bible has an answer: Be like the very image of God.
By exploring ten characteristics of who God is—holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise—this book helps us understand who God intends for us to be. Through Christ, the perfect reflection of the image of God, we will discover how God’s own attributes impact how we live, leading to freedom and purpose as we follow his will and are conformed to his image.
Point blank, this is a punchy, no-holds-barred book for young men that lays out the call and command to be disciplined, godly, and sold-out for Jesus. Addressing topics such as purity in one’s thought-life, peer pressure, and perseverance as a Christian, this specially adapted work stands to influence a struggling generation.
It not only teaches how to live a life of Christian discipline, but also instills the desire to do so into a young heart longing to live a life of integrity, meaning, and fulfillment. This book brings the authority of a trusted name with a new flavor that will engage a younger audience.
Your God is too small. We like God small. We prefer a God who is safe, domesticated, who thinks like we think, likes what we like, and whom we can manage, predict, and control. A small God is convenient. Practical. Manageable. The truth: God is big. Bigger than big. But what if this small version of God we’ve created is holding us back from the greatest experience of our lives—from genuine, confident, world-transforming faith? In Not God Enough, J.D. reveals how to discover a God who is big enough to handle your questions, doubts, and fears, and wants to work out his eternal will through you. God is infinite and glorious, and an encounter with Him won’t just change the way you think about your faith. It’ll change your entire life.
Biblical scholars Brandon O’Brien and Randy Richards shed light on the ways that Western readers often misunderstand the cultural dynamics of the Bible. They identify nine key areas where modern Westerners have significantly different assumptions about what might be going on in a text. Drawing on their own crosscultural experience in global mission, O’Brien and Richards show how better self-awareness and understanding of cultural differences in language, time and social mores allow us to see the Bible in fresh and unexpected ways. Getting beyond our own cultural assumptions is increasingly important for being Christians in our interconnected and globalized world. Learn to read Scripture as a member of the global body of Christ.
Prayer is as necessary to the Christian as breathing is to the human body–but it often doesn’t come quite as naturally. In fact, prayer in the church often gets subtly pushed to the side in favor of pragmatic practices that promise tangible results.
This book focuses on the necessity of regular prayer as a central practice in the local church–awakening us to the need and blessing of corporate prayer by examining what Jesus taught about prayer, how the first Christians approached prayer, and how to prioritize prayer in our congregations.
In How the Nations Rage, political theology scholar and pastor Jonathan Leeman challenges Christians from across the spectrum to hit the restart button. First, we shift our focus from redeeming the nation to living as a redeemed nation. Second, we take the lessons learned inside the church into our public engagement outside of it by loving our neighbors and seeking justice. When we identify with Christ more than a political party or social grouping, we avoid the false allure of building heaven on earth and return to the church’s unchanging political task: to represent a heavenly and future kingdom now. It’s only when we realize that the life of our churches now is the hope of the nation for tomorrow that we become the salt and light Jesus calls us to be.
The wonder and awe of the Christmas season can easily get overshadowed by lights, tinsel, bows, and paper–not to mention last-minute trips to the mall and visits to the in-laws. In all the hustle and bustle, we often lose sight of what’s most important. This book of daily readings for the month of December by best-selling author Paul David Tripp will help you slow down, prepare your heart, and focus on what matters most: adoring our Savior, Jesus.
For the believer who is tired of quasi-spiritual lifehacks being passed off as true, down-and-dirty discipleship, here is a discipleship book that isn’t afraid to be honest about the mess we call real life. Wilson frees readers from the self-doubt and even the misplaced self-confidence they may feel as they walk with Jesus down the often difficult road of life. The result is a faith that weathers storms, lifts burdens, and goes forth to make more imperfect disciples.
All Christians know they should pray, but sometimes it’s hard to know how—especially if the minutes start to drag and our minds start to wander. Offering readers hope, encouragement, and the practical advice they’re looking for, this concise book by professor Donald Whitney outlines a simple, time-tested method that can help transform our prayer lives: praying the words of the Bible. Praying the Bible shows readers how to pray through portions of Scripture one line at a time, helping us stay focused by allowing God’s Word itself to direct our thoughts and words. Simple yet profound, this resource will prove invaluable to all Christians as they seek to commune with their heavenly Father in prayer each and every day.
How do we help our friends who have just become Christians or are young in the faith? In this concise and accessible book, Mike Patton unpacks the basics of the Christian faith, helping new believers think rightly about God and live fully for God as they begin their new life in Christ. In ten easy-to-read chapters, Patton introduces readers to the foundational teachings and life-giving practices of Christianity—from the doctrine of the Trinity to reading and understanding the Bible. Designed for individual use or small group discussion, this handbook on the Christian faith has the potential to become the go-to guide for new believers wanting to follow Jesus with their heads and their hands.
This guide provides a brief, concise overview of personal Bible study for the layperson. Long-time Bible teacher Robert West gives insight into thetypes, tools, and techniques of personal study, offering both practical guidance and encouragement to pursue the command of 2 Timothy 2:15 (“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth”).
Lament is how you live between the poles of a hard life and trusting God’s goodness. Lament is how we bring our sorrow to God—but it is a neglected dimension of the Christian life for many Christians today. We need to recover the practice of honest spiritual struggle that gives us permission to vocalize our pain and wrestle with our sorrow. Lament avoids trite answers and quick solutions, progressively moving us toward deeper worship and trust. Exploring how the Bible—through the psalms of lament and the book of Lamentations—gives voice to our pain, this book invites us to grieve, struggle, and tap into the rich reservoir of grace and mercy God offers in the darkest moments of our lives.
Anyone who has tried to describe God to someone else, especially an unbeliever, knows that it is easy to find yourself at a loss for words. It seems that this part of our lives, which we claim is central, is often difficult to put into words. But if you know God, shouldn’t you be able to describe him? What is he like? How can we put his eternal attributes into words? Join Chip Ingram in this fascinating study of seven attributes of God: his goodness, sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, justice, love, and faithfulness. Readers will see God in a whole new light and discover that our view of God impacts every decision in our lives. God longs for us to know him as he really is. Get ready to meet God again for the first time.
Despite our professions of belief, our baptisms, and our membership in the church, many of us secretly wonder, Am I truly saved? We worry that our love for Jesus isn’t fervent enough (or isn’t as fervent as someone else’s). We worry that our faith isn’t strong enough. We struggle through the continuing presence of sin in our lives. All this steals the joy of our salvation and can lead us into a life characterized by legalism, perfectionism, and works righteousness–the very life Jesus freed us from at the cross!
But Greg Gilbert has a message for the anxious believer–be assured. Assured that your salvation experience was real. Assured that your sins–past, present, and future–are forgiven. Assured that everyone stumbles. Assured that Jesus is not your judge but your advocate. With deep compassion, Gilbert comforts readers, encouraging them to release their guilt, shame, and anxiety to rejoice in and follow hard after the One who set them free.
Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life. Shepherding a Child’s Heart gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing.
Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks our world’s constricted, small view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship as God meant it to be.
As the family unit grows more unstable and the average age of marriage increases, a shift is taking place in our culture: for many people, friends now play the role of family. And just as with family relationships, our friendships often don’t turn out quite as we envisioned or hoped, and we wonder, Is there a better way to do this?
In Friend-ish, Kelly Needham takes a close look at what Scripture says about friendship. She reveals the distorted view most of us have of it and recasts a glorious vision for a Christian understanding. By teaching us how to recognize symptoms of idolatry and dependency, she equips us to understand and address the problems that arise in friendship–from neediness to discord and even sexual temptation. With hard-fought wisdom, a clear view of Scripture, and been-there perspective, Needham reorients us toward the purposeful, loving relationships we all crave that ultimately bring us closer to God.
“If you’re prone to wander, this book is for you.” ―Matt and Lauren Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; and his wife Lauren, writer; speaker; singer
“Paul’s writing encourages those who have grown weary of the struggle, living under the weight of the world.” ―TobyMac, hip hop recording artist; music producer; songwriter
Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.
Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day.