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There are a lot of great books available today that can enrich the hearts, souls and minds of believers (the opposite is equally true, there are many books that can cause much damage). With modern writers and those of old, there is also much to be gained from those across the denominations.
This selection of “Reformers Recommends” titles are specifically chosen for those who hold to a reformed baptist profession. More books could certainly have been mentioned, but this is a good starting point!
There is no better place to begin a recommended book list for reformed baptists than with the confession itself! The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith in Modern English, rendered by Dr. Stan Reeves is a thin paperback edition of the confession which, in Dr. Reeves’ own words is “affordable, consistent and modern in style, and meticulously careful in preserving the meaning of the original”. This is a book that should be in the household of every baptist (and those of other confessions too!), with the next title for those who wish to dive deeper in the study of or teaching of the confession to others.
The cover of this book may not be the greatest of designs, but the content contained within A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (5th Revised & Corrected Edition) by Samuel Waldron is an amazing work that has benefited me greatly. Each chapter in this book is broken up in this format: confession chapter, outline of the chapter, commentary of the chapter. With helpful appendixes and a study outline at the back, this is a book that you will find yourself going back to time and time again. This book will enrich your love for God and His truths.
A Toolkit for Confessions (Helps for the Study of English Puritan Confessions of Faith) by James Renihan, is book 4 of the “Recovering our Confessional Heritage” series from Reformed Baptist Academic Press. Dr Renihan explains the background, history, context, structure, and contents of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith as a means or interpreting it as the original english language intended, not through our modern understanding.
For those who are husbands and fathers, this book is essential reading. Samuel Waldron’s book A Man as Priest in his Home addresses the means in which men lead their families: with biblical roots, humility and sacrificial service. Prayer-dependant intercessions as a priest in their home, this book spurs men to love and lead their families in a manner pleasing to the Lord. This solid book deserves a place on your bookshelf and time carved out of your life to read with the great desire to love God and others better.
One of the doctrines that sets baptists apart from other confessional groups is the understanding of what baptism is and who it is for. W. Gary Crampton in his book From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism: A Critique of the Westminster Standards on the Subjects of Baptism challenges and debates the paedobaptist position as flawed and unbiblical, as baptism is only for those who believe. As a reformed baptist myself I greatly encourage the reading of this book for those wishing to better understand the credobaptist position. It is firm and written with great conviction, and should be read by those on both sides of understanding and practice.
One of my favourite books is this beautiful collection of catechisms by Thomas J. Nettles: Teaching Truth, Training Hearts: The Study of Catechisms in Baptist Life. We have many catechisms available from different confessions (see “Reformers Recommends: A Guide to Catechisms for Family Worship”), but this one is particularly noteworthy. Nettles includes seven catechisms with helpful introductions to each. There are catechisms I never new existed, and there is much beauty contained within.
To finish, I wanted to included one of the questions and answers from one of the catechisms in in “Teaching Truth, Training Hearts”: The First Principles of the Oracles of God, by John Sutcliff:
Q.1 - My dear child, why should you wish to learn your catechism?
A. - I should wish to learn it, that though a divine blessing, I may gain some acquaintance with those things which are of the greatest importance.