John MacArthur’s 10 Best Books

This is the first time that I have ever created a post that documents a Top Ten List from a long established Christian author/theologian. I have read nearly all of pastor John MacArthur’s books, and decided that I give my take on which books represent the author’s best work. It was very hard to compile this list, especially since the books are so different from each other, and have been influential to the Christian community in their own ways. However, I gave it my best shot.

Note: This list does not include study Bibles, commentaries, devotionals, prayer books, sermons, or editorial compilations.


10. Called to Lead











A great book that outlines 26 crucial keys to an effective Christian leader and/or overseer in the church. It is biblically grounded, and helpful to any person, whether they are Christian or not. Based on the life of the Apostle Paul, we get an inspiring picture of a leader and have every reason to imitate Paul, just as the apostle commands (1 Cor 11:1).


9. Ashamed of the Gospel











With its first release in 1993, this book has grown timelier in its message and appeal since then. It is a necessary critique of contemporary evangelism, and a call to return to the biblical model of doing ministry in contrast to pragmaticism and immaturity that plagues many local churches today.


8. The Gospel According to the Apostles











Written as a follow-up to the wildly successful, yet controversial, book The Gospel According to Jesus, this book is near as stellar and expands on many of the themes discussed in the prequel book. Through the teachings of the apostles, we come to see what the Christian life looks like according to the disciple’s teaching and example, which excludes the idea that a person can call himself a believer, yet live licentiously.


7. The Master’s Plan for the Church

The Master's Plan










What should a church function in God’s eyes? This book is the key to that answer. Based on Scripture, it is an extremely helpful guide as to what comprises a healthy church, which includes what the Bible teaches concerning the qualifications of a minister, as well as practices that define a healthy church. No library of a minister is complete without this work.


6. Worship











The ultimate priority in every Christian’s life is Worship. This introductory book on theology proper is both informative and inspiring, delving into the wondrous nature of God, as well as what it means to live a life of worship in spirit and in truth. Like JI Packer’s Knowing God and AW Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy, Worship by John MacArthur does an excellent job in exploring the holy character and attributes of God, and the importance of worshipping Him, because we were created to do so.


5. The Truth War











Like Ashamed of the Gospel, The Truth War is a timely apologetic that has grown more important and relevant since its release over a decade ago. The author critiques both the church and secularism’s attack on the notion of absolute truth, and calls the church to stand firm amidst Satan’s attempts to relativize standards of morality and practice in society.


4. Strange Fire

Strange Fire










A couple of decades after the release of Charismatic Chaos, MacArthur returns to a similar theme in this important book Strange Fire, which is one of the most controversial books released this decade, but also one of the most impressive. It is a biblical critique on the mainstream charismatic movement which presents the case for cessationism pretty well, as well as examining the “fruit” of those who attempt to seek sign gifts in this present age.


3. Because the Time is Near











A book entirely devoted to explaining the book of Revelation, this work by MacArthur is one of the best developed books on Revelation, being completely faithful to the plain sense of the text but not over speculating on events portrayed in this prophetic book. It is insightful, scholarly, easy to read, shocking, as well as inspirational.


2. Charismatic Chaos











One of the MacArthur’s most controversial books is also one of his best and timeliest books, which critiques the modern charismatic movement. It gives a candid and clear analysis on the legitimacy of mainstream Charismatic theology, always linking his discussion based on what the text says regarding the purpose of sign gifts in the 1st century. Whether one agrees with his analysis or view on the topic, Charismatic Chaos is definitely worth reading, especially if you are trying to figure out your stance on this issue.


1. The Gospel According to Jesus











The Gospel According to Jesus is arguably MacArthur’s best work as an author. It is one of those books that is not only well presented, but also important enough that you would want to pass it out to every professing believer you know. The Lordship of Christ in salvation is a big issue, and one that should not be taken lightly, especially if there is a biblical basis for it. That is an excellent theological treatise on this topic.