Christian Classics Curriculum

Christianity is a historic religion.  As moderners in western culture we tend to know very little about our history, especially history that is ancient.  In the anti-intellectual climate of pop culture this becomes especially dangerous as it requires the intellect to dig into history accurately and enjoy its fruit.  Nothing beats learning history like reading history for yourself.  Hence, we recommend the Christian Classics Curriculum developed by Dr. Mark Dever and Michael J. Thate.  This is an easy way for you to learn the history of Christianity from various voices throughout time.  All of the books below can be purchased at and most can be read for free at  We recommend embarking on this curriculum with a partner to keep motivated and to have fellowship so that as you learn you can discuss and be edified in fellowship.   


January (Early Church):
Year One: Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Early Church and The Martyrdom of Polycarp 
Year Two: Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians and Irenaeus, Against All Heresies 
Year Three: Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians
Year Four: St Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St John and The Epistle to the Hebrews


February (Augustine):
Year One: Confessions
Year Two: City of God
Year Three: Doctrinal Treatises (especially On the Holy Trinity), and Moral Treatises
Year Four: Anti-Pelagian Writings


March (Martin Luther):
Year One: Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther and Heiko A. Oberman, Luther: Man Between God and Devil
Year Two: Timothy F. Lull and William R. Russell, eds., Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings (2d ed.; Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005)
Year Three: Luther, The Bondage of the Will
Year Four: Luther, Table Talk and the prefaces of his commentaries on Romans and Galatians


April (John Calvin):
Year One: Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume One
Year Two: Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume Two
Year Three: Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography and Theodore Beza, The Life of John Calvin
Year Four: Read through various passages in his many commentaries on Genesis, Psalms, Romans, Galatians, Philippians, or your other favorite books of the Bible. 


May (Richard Sibbes and Richard Baxter):
Year One: Sibbes, The Bruised Reed and the Smoking Flax and Sibbes, The Glorious Feast of the Gospel 
Year Two: Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, and Baxter, The Practical Works 
Year Three: Sibbes, The Spiritual Man’s Aim and Sibbes, A Glance of Heaven 
Year Four: Sibbes, The Saint’s Comforts, and Sibbes, Salvation Applied


June (John Bunyan and John Owen):
Year One: Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress and Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor, eds., Communion with the Triune God (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007).
Year Two: Kapic and Taylor, eds., Overcoming Sin and Temptation: Three Classic Works by John Owen (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2006). 
Year Three: Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and Owen, Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Year Four: Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith


July (Jonathan Edwards)
Year One: Iain H. Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography (Banner of Truth, 1996), George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004). 
Year Two: Edwards, Freedom of the Will and Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits
Year Three: Edwards, Religious Affections and John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (With the Complete Text of “The End for Which God Created the World”) (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998).  
Year Four: Wilson H. Kimnach, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Douglas A. Sweeney, The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), and Edwards, Resolutions.   


August (Charles H. Spurgeon):
Year One: Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students and Autobiography 
Year Two: Spurgeon, Till He Comes
Year Three: Spurgeon, The Treasury of David
Year Four: Spurgeon, any number of his various sermons


September (B. B. Warfield):
Year One: Warfield, Revelation and Inspiration (vol. 1 of his complete works)
Year Two: Warfield, Biblical Doctrines (vol. 2)
Year Three: Warfield, Calvin and Calvinism (vol. 5)
Year Four: Warfield, Studies in Theology (vol. 9)


October (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones):
Year One: Iain H. Murray, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years (1899 – 1939) and David Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith (1939 – 1981) 
Year Two: Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures
Year Three: Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
Year Four: Lloyd-Jones, Great Doctrines of the Bible: God the Father, God the Son; God the Holy Spirit; The Church and Last Things

November (C. S. Lewis and Blaise Pascal):
Year One: Lewis, Mere Christianity and Lewis, Surprised by Joy
Year Two: Lewis, The Abolition of Man and Lewis, God in the Dock
Year Three: Pascal, Pensées and Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms 
Year Four: Lewis, Screwtape Letters and Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress


December (Contemporary Authors):
Year One: J. I. Packer, Knowing God and Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God
Year Two: John Stott, The Cross of Christ and Carl F. H. Henry, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism
Year Three: Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is ThereEscape from ReasonHe Is There And He Is Not Silent
Year Four: Any of the books by the Council Members of The Gospel Coalition (see their writings at our About Us page)