Recommended Books: The Church

BCL rotates recommended books periodically to keep our resource lists compact for ease of use. If you don't see your favorite book on this list, please check back periodically as it may be featured later. (Please note: This page contains affiliate links through which Beautiful Christian Life may receive a commission to help cover its operating costs.)

Getting Started


Know the Creeds and Councils (KNOW Series) by Justin S. Holcomb

The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Council of Orange—why do they matter for us today? Use this handy and easy-to-read guide by Justin Holcomb on the historical creeds and confessions of the church to learn about the important doctrines that the church has fought to uphold over the centuries and which are still critical to hold today. 

Know the Heretics (KNOW Series) by Justin S. Holcomb

Most people don’t start out wanting to be a heretic—but some wind up becoming one anyway. Justin Holcomb gives an easy-to-read summary of the major heresies that have plagued the church over the centuries, helping us to avoid following in the footsteps of those who have chosen to “deviate from traditional teaching in favor of one’s own insights.”

Nine Marks of a healthy Church (9 Marks) by Mark Dever and David Platt

How do you know if you are in a good church? The assortment of styles, vibes, programs, and ministries makes choosing a church mind-boggling at times. Mark Dever and David Platt provide this helpful resource in sorting through the noise and identifying the essentials of a healthy church. 

What Is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

How do Christians understand their part in the world? Is the church supposed to be involved or separate from political and social matters? Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert offer thoughtful answers to these questions and provide the Christian some guidance in understanding how Christians and the Christian community interact with local and global issues.

Going Further

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The Church by EdMund P. Clowney

There is a lot of confusion today about the church and its role in society. Some people think that Christians should market the church, and others think that the church should promote social justice. Follow Edmund Clowney as he explains what the church is and how to biblically understand its creation, purpose, and mission.

The Creedal Imperative by Carl R. Trueman

The historic creeds and confessions of the church help Christians to understand their faith and avoid doctrinal error. Historian and theologian Carl Trueman engagingly explains why they are both “necessary for the well-being of the church” and “consistent with the belief that Scripture alone is the unique source of revelation and authority.”

The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by O. Palmer Robertson

Though we often hear various views on the relationship of Israel and the Church, Palmer Robertson presents the biblical point of view in a well-organized, clear manner. Particularly helpful is the chapter on Israel and the kingdom of God. Robertson also gives us a detailed and careful analysis of Romans 11 regarding ethnic Israel. Anyone who desires to better understand Israel and the church as taught in the Bible will want to read and study this valuable book.

People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology by Michael S. Horton

If you want to have a greater understanding about the identity of the church, and to understand God's purpose for it, join Michael Horton as he teaches from the Bible what the church is and who those are who belong to it.