A little while ago I linked to a Kevin DeYoung blog post on reading over your head. In a follow-up post, Pastor DeYoung recommended some specific over-your-head reading:
Read whatever you can in the New Studies in Biblical Theology Series (edited by D.A. Carson). I’ve read Alan Thompson on Acts, Tim Laniak on pastoral ministry, Kostenberger and O’Brien on mission, Craig Blomberg on money and possessions, Mark Seifrid on the righteousness of God, David Peterson on holiness, and Mark Thompson on the clarity of Scripture.
In the same genre, but more all encompassing, try Greg Beale’s magnum opus, A New Testament Biblical Theology.
Also, read everything in the IVP Contours of Theology Series. Pure gold. I have Bray on thedoctrine of God, Letham on the work of Christ, Helm on providence, Ferguson on the Holy Spirit, MacLeod on the person of Christ, and Clowney on the Church.
For big books on mission, you’ll learn a lot from Eckhard Schnabel (both Early Christian Mission and Paul the Missionary). And speaking of mission, the best full length treatment I know of on the Insider Movement is Doug Coleman’s dissertation A Theological Analysis of the Insider Movement Paradigm.
I have all seven volumes of Hughes Oliphant Old’s magisterial work The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church. I’ve read one or two volumes most of the way through and have enjoyed dipping into the others. A great reference work and not hard to read.
Every pastor should read David Wells. Start with either the first or the last of his five theological-sociological works: No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing our Virtue,Above All Earthly Pow’rs, The Courage to be Protestant.
The next time you get an itch to read a biography, try one of the more scholarly ones (even if you don’t agree with every thing). Maybe Marsden on Jonathan Edwards or Oberman onLuther or Bruce Gordon on Calvin.
Gary Dorrien’s three volume work on The Making of American Liberal Theology is invaluable.
Mike Horton has a heady four volume theology series which is much less well known than his popular works. The volumes are Covenant and Eschatology, Lord and Servant, Covenant and Salvation, and People and Place.
Robert George and Jean Bethke Elshtain have edited an important book on The Meaning of Marriage. You may also want to read the new book What Is Marriage by Gergis, Anderson, and George. And for the world’s expert on homosexuality in the Bible, pick up Robert Gagnon’s masterpiece The Bible and Homosexual Practice.
There are many more book recommendations when you read the entire post here.