A Reading List for Pastors/Ministers by E. E. Jolley
I have just received a letter from Pastor Brooks Coburn from
I graduated from
In the summer of 1995, I was working a Junior Camp in
Bro. Jolley was a prolific reader and student of the Word but he also was a great student of books. He was the only man who did not own a publishing company but did have keys to two of the biggest book houses in the country at the time (’70-90’s). He had keys to Kregel Publications and Baker Books in
Several times Bro. Jolley would take men with him and they would have the entire run of the book house in the after hours. Bro. Lewis related to me that several times that he went with Bro. Jolley to
Anyway back to my story, Bro. Lewis’ directions to contact Bro. Jolley proved to be very fruitful. Bro. Jolley had taught me in youth camps when I was a kid and so he remembered me. I called him and told him that I had to preach a Save Our Children rally in
After service was over that night, little did I know but that the church in
I got the Diet Pepsi and filled the bucket of ice and we got started. The first thing that Bro. Jolley did was pull off his shoes. Then he got a cup fill of Diet Pepsi and he started pacing (slowly) back and forth at the foot of the beds at the Comfort Inn in
He noticed that I looked a little alarmed by this. So this sent him on another path for a little while. The library or personal study is the place where thoughts are born and dreams move into the realm of a vision. A revival could be born in your study long before God allows it to settle into a church where you serve. Be careful how you treat your library/study!!! J. H. Jowett had this to say, “If the study becomes a lounge, the pulpit becomes impertinence.” Without a time clock to punch, the man of God must be honest as he labors in his library before God.
Charles Spurgeon, wrote very directly to his students in this manner: In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the divines and learned men who have labored before you in the field of exposition. If you are not of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what has been revealed to others.
As for arguments against reading, then what of Paul’s request to Timothy for the parchments and books? The passion for books can be encouraged and fanned into a flame. The fire of inquiry need not die but can continue to blaze upon the roadway of our Christian service for years to come.
Bro. Jolley really homed in on this idea: some are of the opinion that reading is a waste of time. Their philosophy is: Open your mouth and God will fill it!!! And He very well can. . . in an emergency. Bro. Jolley told me that there is another maxim worth incorporating: Fill your mind and God will set it on FIRE!!! Bro. Jolley told me that this came directly from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
Preparation is the key to power.
Then as he paced back and forth, time began to race. However, I think that he and I were both quite unaware of the time. Soon it was 3:00 AM and I had filled up several pages of a legal pad and had a box of books that he had given to me.
Many ministers have told me that Bro. Jolley worked the book tables for the Pentecostal Publishing House for years at General Conference. He would take a book and wave it at you and open up a page and underline a single sentence or a few sentences and say that the price of the book was worth what you had just read. Bro. Jolley also told me that if I purchased a book and something in that book stimulated a message then I had gotten my money back for whatever I paid for the book.
I am going to give you the book list that he gave to me back on that night as follows:
- Explore the Book -- This book has some fantastic messages about the lambs of sacrifice and the Lamb of God. It progressively flows through the Bible and pulls out key doctrines of importance.
- Mark These Men -- Very good sermon titles: The Man Who Defied Baal; The Man Who Played the Fool; The Man Who Came Back From Beyond; and others.
E. W. Bullinger
- Great Cloud of Witnesses -- This book is a roll call of Hebrews 11. Some great biographical material on these major characters.
Martyn Lloyd Jones (Bro. Jolley’s favorite)
- Revival (chapters 1, 12, 13, 14)
- The Miracle of Grace
- Evangelistic Sermons from the Old Testament
- Romans (commentary)
- Ephesians (commentary) -- This commentary is full of good material especially the material on Ephesians 6 and the warfare of a Christian.
- Philippians (commentary)
- I Am Not Ashamed (ll Timothy)
- The Sermon on the Mount -- One of the most outstanding books on the SOM that I personally have. One other equivalent might be Arthur Pink on the SOM.
- Commentary from 1, 11, and 111 John (sermons)
G. H. Morrison (Bro. Jolley keyed me into Morrison’s books and I have almost everything that he has written.)
- The Wind on the Heath
- The Wings of the Morning
- The Weaving of the Glory
- Highways of the Heart
- Sun Rise
- Flood Tide
- Morning Sermons
- The Unlighted Lustre
- Salute Thy Soul
- Great Women of the Bible
- Bible Epitaphs
- The Greatest Texts of the Bible
- Paul the Man
- Parallel Lives of the Old and New Testaments
- The Wisest Fool
- 12 Great Questions About Christ
- Great Interviews of Jesus
- Strange Texts But Grand Truths
- The Greatest Questions of the Bible and of Life
- The Greatest Men of the Bible
- The Trials of Great Bible Characters
- The Prayers of the Old Testament
- Great Nights of the Bible
- Bible Oases
- Bible Cameos
- Bible Highways
- Bible Nuggets
- David: His Life and Times
- Bible Characters from the Old and New Testaments -- Bro. Jolley told me that the price of the book was worth the chapter on Ahithophel. It is an incredible study of bitterness.
I took Bro. Jolley’s lead on Whyte and have bought everything that I can find that he has written. He has some classic books but hard to find on the characters of Pilgrim’s Progress.
- The Classic Sermon Series -- This is a fantastic work because what it does is open you up to a host of preachers. Wiersbe pulls what he considers “classic sermons” on different subjects and puts them in a single book.
- The Strategy of Satan -- Very good book on spiritual warfare.
Alan Redpath (Very Good!!!)
- The Making of a Man of God (David)
- The Blessings of the Buffetings (ll Corinthians)
Royal Roadto Heaven (l Corinthians)
- Victorious Christian Service (Nehemiah)
- Victorious Christian Living (Joshua)
- Practical Truth's from
Israel's Wanderings -- This book is loaded with sermons that come from the time spent in the wilderness. I have taken inspiration from this book numerous times. Israel
M. R. DeHaan
- The Tabernacle
- From Romance to Redemption
T. Stanley Soltaur (Hard to find!)
- The God-Pointed Life (about David)
Charles Vince (Hard to find!)
- Lights and Shadows in the Life of King David
- Exploring the Psalms -- Bro. Jolley felt this one was his best work.
- All of the "Exploring" Series
- Lectures To My Students
- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Series (63 Volumes)
- 12 Sermons on . . . . (There are numerous volumes of Spurgeons sermons that are arranged in topical nature.)
Finally, one last tip that Bro. Jolley helped me with and it has helped me in a major way. I have even gone to libraries when I am on vacation. This really excites my kids. They love for me to find a library when we go out of town. However, any library that you go into that is set up on the Dewey Decimal System, the number 252 will always be the sermons. The next time you are in