Steve Nichols:
We are joined once again by our friend, Dr. John MacArthur. Dr. MacArthur, it’s great to see you.

John MacArthur:
Thank you so much. Wonderful to be here.

SN:
I’m going to give you a little bit of a dream. We’re going to let you go off to a deserted island. You have no pressures. You can set the work aside, and you can just read. Now as you go, what five books will you take with you to this deserted island?

JM:
This will take you back to a conversation we had about books.

SN:
I remember that.

JM:
I told you at the time that the book that introduced me to Puritans was Stephen Charnock’s The Existence and Attributes of God, and I said at the time that I read it that it’s a book to be read your whole life. R.C.’s favorite response to the question, What’s the greatest need among evangelicals? was “The greatest need in the church is the knowledge of God.” I think it’s an inexhaustible treasure to go back through that. I would like to have that book, depending on how long you’re going to leave me there.

SN:
Stay as long as you want.

JM:
It would take me a while to get through that. Obviously, I’d have a Bible. Another book that has been an incredible treasure to me is The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, which is basically a list of Bible verses categorized around the same idea in a verse. Not the same word, like a concordance, but the same idea. You read, “While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us,” and it lists all the scriptures where that similar notion is considered in Scripture. It allows you to move through Scripture, single-author inspired, and tie everything together. I am so desirous of seeing the big picture of how everything comes together. So Treasury of Scripture Knowledge would be another one.

SN:
And what a rich resource that is. Perhaps many in the current generation coming up aren’t aware of it, so thank you for mentioning that.

JM:
I mention that also because I don’t know how long I’m going to be there on the deserted island, and that’s inexhaustible. Again, with the Bible and Treasury and Charnock, that’s pretty inexhaustible.

SN:
You have a one-way ticket, so just call when you want us to come pick you up.

JM:
Okay. I’m trying to think about theology, and I think I would stash some of Jonathan Edwards. I don’t know that you could pin me down on exactly what, but I think he brings forward the Puritans and also adds new dimensions of richness in theology; I don’t know that anybody’s really improved on since him.

SN:
We’ll let you take two volumes of Edwards, and as a bonus I’ll even let you take along your dear friend Iain Murray’s biography of Edwards, so you can have all of those as your third book.

JM:
That would keep me happy for a long time.

SN:
And your fourth book?

JM:
Now you’re pressing on me. I will give an ode to my friend John Piper. He has a new book, Providence, and I need to take it because I’m only 150 pages in, and it’s 650 pages long, and so far it’s a treasure of Scripture. It’s basically a biblical theology. There are a lot of ways you can do biblical theology. There are a lot of themes you can use to drive through Scripture, themes of redemption or the kingdom or whatever. But he takes, as you would expect, for the sake of the name, for the sake of the name, for the sake of the name, for the glory of his name, for the praise of the glory of his grace. And everything connects from Genesis to Revelation for the sake of the name and for the glory of his grace. And he has all the scriptures linked together all the way through. But as I said, I’m 150 pages in and I’m loving it, so I have to take it so I can finish it.

SN:
And that leaves you one more.

JM:
Yeah, and that’s a bit difficult. I don’t know, maybe those four would do me for a while since you gave me three of Edwards.

SN:
We’ll count those as worthy of two.

JM:
Okay.

SN:
Well, we’re going to leave you be now. You can enjoy these books, and I want to thank you again for spending this time with us and reminding us of these great books, both from the church’s past and from the church’s present as well.