Top list of important sermons and books worth reading

Again, Justin Tayler, VP of Editorial at Crossway, has come up with a list of articles, sermons and books that have influenced these great leaders of our time. Perhaps, read a couple, enjoy!

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A few days ago I was thinking back to a few classic sermons and essays that have made a significant impact on my own thinking and ministry. They are the sorts of pieces that can get lost in the shuffle in the midst of book recommendations, classic and contemporary. For example, a few that came to mind were:

Thomas Chalmers, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”
Jonathan Edwards, “The Excellency of Christ”
B.B. Warfield, “The Religious Life of Theological Students”
B.B. Warfield, “The Emotional Life of Our Lord”
So I thought it might be helpful to ask some pastors and theologians what they would recommend as sermons or essays that have had a special impact on them, or that they would seriously urge students and pastors to consider reading.

I’m thankful for all of the responses. I’ve tried to add as many links as possible to free versions online:

Bryan Chapell

J.I. Packer, “What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution”
Francis Schaeffer, “A Day of Sober Rejoicing”
Thomas Chalmers, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”

Graham Cole

“The Martyrdom of Polycarp“
Adolphe Monod, Adolphe Monod’s Farewell to His Friends and to His Church [note from JT: I just received from Amazon this print version and wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a typographical nightmare. If anyone is interested in scanning and editing a clean version of it, drop me a note and we’ll try to get a free version available online.]
B. B. Warfield, “Imitating the Incarnation“

Mark Dever

Jonathan Edwards, “A Farewell Sermon“
Dever also mentioned three books:

Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry

Kevin DeYoung

John Piper, “Boasting Only in the Cross” (Passion OneDay 2000 sermon)
C.S. Lewis, Introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation
J.I. Packer, Introductory Essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Jonathan Edwards, “Heaven, a World of Love“
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “What Is Preaching?” (included in Knowing the Times)
J. Gresham Machen, “What Is Christianity?” (in Selected Shorter Writings)
J. Gresham Machen, “History and Faith” (in Selected Shorter Writings)
J. Gresham Machen, “What Is the Gospel?” (in Selected Shorter Writings)

Stephen J. Nichols

J. Gresham Machen, “The Good Fight of Faith“
Jonathan Edwards, “The Most High, A Prayer-Hearing God“
John Chrysostom, “Homily 21, On Ephesians 6:1-4“

Ray Ortlund

Francis A. Schaeffer, “The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way“
C. S. Lewis, “Three Kinds of Men“
Martin Luther, Letter to Jerome Weller, in Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, edited by T. G. Tappert, pages 84-87.
Jonathan Edwards, on spiritual pride, in “Thoughts on the Revival,” in Works, I:398-403.

John Piper

C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory” (first sermon in the book by that title)
C.S. Lewis, Introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation
J.I. Packer, Introductory Essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Jonathan Edwards, “A Divine and Supernatural Light Immediately Imparted to the Soul“
Martin Luther, “Justification by Faith” (Luke 16:1-9) in The Protestant Pulpit, ed. by Andrew Blackwood
Charles Spurgeon, “The Minister’s Fainting Fits“
Charles Spurgeon, “The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear“
Geerhardus Vos, “The Scriptural Doctrine of the Love of God“

David Powlison

B. B. Warfield, “Imitating the Incarnation“ (“The last page and a half offers the most riveting description of the goal of Christian living that I’ve ever read.”)

Fred Sanders

Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man
Athanasius, “Letter to Marcellinus on the Reading of the Psalms“
Lancelot Andrewes, Private Devotions

R.C. Sproul

Jonathan Edwards, “A Divine and Supernatural Light“
This section of Luther’s last sermon at Eisleben

Carl R. Trueman

R. V. G. Tasker, “The Biblical Doctrine of the Wrath of God“
Martin Luther, “Two Kinds of Righteousness“
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” [the most brilliant statement (and example) of clear prose—something which pastors and theologians need to grasp.]

Bruce Ware

R.C. Sproul, Lecture on “The Locus of Astonishment” (A brief summary is available here. For a similar talk, listen to “When Towers Fall.”)

Donald Whitney

Charles Spurgeon, “The Minister’s Fainting Fits,” from Lectures to My Students.
Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on “The Eternal Name,” from Ps. 72:17, no. 27 (New Park Street Pulpit), May 27, 1855 PM
Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on “Baptismal Regeneration“
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “‘But God’: The Christian Message” (Ephesians 2:4)

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