John’s Books

Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers)

When sin is disguised as virtue, the path to cultivating righteousness becomes impossible. Such is the challenge Christians face in the modern age. Not long ago, most people would agree that the seven deadly sins are in fact deadly. But ask them today, and you’ll hear a different answer. A study of the nature of sin and righteousness. Each chapter has discussions for personal reflection. Click here to find free videos and discussion guides that can be used with your small group!

Cover of Practicing the Present

Practicing the Present: The Neglected Art of Living in the Now (Moody Publishers)

The present is more than a place where the past comes to rest. It is more than a staging ground for the future. The present is where God shows up. We live our lives in the present, but often our minds are racing toward the future or overwhelmed by the past. We want to change the past and control the future, but usually all we really do is exhaust ourselves in the here and now. Writing especially with church leaders in mind, Dr. John Koessler, a former pastor and professor, teaches you how to evade the tyranny of past regrets and future plans and meet God right where you are, in the present.

The Radical Pursuit of Rest: Escaping the Productivity Trap (InterVarsity)

We live in a culture that values activity, achievement and accomplishment. Whether in our careers, churches, schools or families, busyness is the norm in our lives, and anything less makes us feel unproductive and anxious. We have to work all the harder, then, to pursue true rest in a 24-7 world that is constantly in motion. The book includes reflection and discussion questions designed for both individual and group use. You will discover the true meaning behind Jesus’ idea of the yoke of rest and restoration for your mind, body and soul.

The Surprising Grace of Disappointment: Finding Hope When God Seems to Fail Us (Moody Publishers)

Disappointment is a feeling everyone knows well—failed relationships, buyer’s remorse, unmet expectations, and so on. In a broken world, disappointment surrounds us.But Christians know that Jesus will never disappoint us, right? Wrong. John Koessler explains how Jesus disappoints everyone. He never fails, but he does disappoint. We come to Jesus with false expectations, demanding or expecting things he doesn’t promise, and then when he doesn’t deliver, we are disappointed by Him. Disappointment takes our wrong expectations and sets them straight, bringing us closer to Jesus and into a deeper understanding of his very surprising grace.

Folly, Grace, & Power: The Mysterious Act of Preaching (Zondervan)

Why does one sermon have a powerful effect on the audience while another falls flat? Why should listeners heed what the preacher says? Is human language adequate for facilitating an encounter with God? What is the point of preaching a sermon? Folly, Grace, and Power is a must-read for pastors, seminarians, and lay leaders charged with the task of preaching God’s word. This essential book is both a stern reminder of the sacredness of the awesome “job” of being a preacher, as well as a how-to that reveals the key to speaking powerfully on God’s behalf.

The Moody Handbook of Preaching (Moody Publishers)

Unnatural. Supernatural. A gift. Hard work. Exhilarating. Terrifying. These words only begin to describe the challenge and reward each pastor experiences. With contributors like Michael Easley, Joseph Stowell, and George Sweeting, these pages will reinvigorate you with an energizing love for preaching. And with topics such as evangelism, homiletics, and historical narrative, this book will equip you to be effective in today’s postmodern age. The Moody Handbook of Preaching encompasses the philosophy, formation, and delivery of preaching.

Cover of A Stranger in the House of God by John Koessler

A Stranger in the House of God: From Doubt to Faith and Everywhere in Between (Zondervan)

Growing up the son of agnostics, John Koessler saw a Catholic church on one end of the street and a Baptist on the other. In the no-man’s land between the two, this curious outside wondered about the God they worshipped—and began a lifelong search to comprehend the grace and mystery of God. A Stranger in the House of God addresses fundamental questions and struggles faced by spiritual seekers and mature believers. It traces the author’s journey and explores his experiences with both charismatic and evangelical Christianity. John Koessler provides a poignant and often humorous window into the interior of the soul as he describes his journey from doubt and struggle with the church to personal faith.

Cover of Foundational Faith by John Koessler

Foundational Faith: Unchangeable Truth for an Ever-Changing World (Moody)

Are Christian truths timeless or not? At various times, some within the Protestant community have compromised core Christian principles to “fit the times.” Challenging these truths, many members of the evangelical community have stood up for the key doctrines that, in their view, remain essential to the Christian faith. In Foundational Faith, John Koessler, a professor at Moody Bible Institute, joins several of his colleagues in introducing fundamental truths of the Christian faith to a generation increasingly unfamiliar with the original and true essence of Christianity.

Cover of True Discipleship: The Art of Following Jesus by John Koessler

True Discipleship: The Art of Following Jesus (Moody Publishers)

Most of us would answer ‘No’ when asked if we were like Jesus. So how do we become more like Jesus? John Koessler believes the answer is by understanding and developing the marks of a true disciple in our lives. In True Discipleship and the companion guide, he provides a straightforward presentation of the characteristics Jesus laid out for His disciples. As he offers teaching on the practice of discipleship and the responsibility of being a disciple, readers will be stretched in their thinking and encouraged in their journey. Perfect for individual study, small groups, or the classroom.

True Discipleship: A Companion Guide (Moody Publishers)

Designed to be used with True Discipleship: The Art of Following Jesus, this workbook is a good resource for personal or group study. The workbook format will enable you to look deeply at many of the biblical passages that are referenced in True Discipleship.

Cover of God Our Father by John Koessler

God Our Father (Moody Publishers)

What is God like? This profound, simple question reverberates through the centuries. And it is a question that not only finds delight, but a kind of wonder, in the shocking and surprising answer found throughout Scripture: God is a Father. Answers like that deserve exploration. Koessler writes in an understandable, pastoral manner, carefully walking the reader through the various aspects of God’s character and purposes as Father. His approach is marked by historical sensitivity, breadth of reading, and everyday examples. Along the way he explores such topics as: God as the Helper of the Poor and Oppressed The Father’s Role in the Trinity How God Disciplines His Children How to Talk to God as We Would a Father This is theology at its best: warm, wise, and thoughtful.

Names of Israel (Moody Publishers)

What’s in a name? More than you can imagine when it is God who calls you by that name? Part of the Names series by Moody Publishers, this devotional book explores the spiritual significance of the names that are given to God’s Old Testament people in the Scriptures.

Cover of Names of the Believers by John Koessler

Names of the Believers (Moody Publishers)

Another in the Names series by Moody Publishers, this devotional book explores the many titles and descriptions ascribed to the church in the New Testament. These names are more than labels. They reveal the grace and power of God displayed to His people through Jesus Christ. They also remind us of the high calling and rich privileges that come with being a part of the church.

No Little Places: The Untapped Potential of the Small-Town Church (Baker)

Warren W. Wiersbe says of No Little Places, “You’ll learn a lot about small-town America and the changes occurring in American society today. Written by two seasoned veterans of ministry in small-town America, No Little Places is a heart-to-heart account of cross-cultural evangelism right here in the United States. It’s a primer on how to discover a church’s potential and build on it. It’s a transparent, how-to-do-it book that pulls no punches. It reads like another chapter in the Book of Acts or extra verses in Hebrews 11.” Originally published by Baker, No Little Places is now available through RHMA.

Books With Chapters by John

Cover of The Moody Bible Commentary

The Moody Bible Commentary (Moody Publishers)

General editors Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham have led a team of contributors whose academic training, practical church experience, and teaching competency make this commentary excellent for anyone who needs help understanding the Scriptures. This comprehensive and reliable reference work includes and maps as well as bibliographies for further reading and a subject and Scripture index. 

Cover of The Art & Craft of Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson

The Art & Craft of Biblical Preaching (Zondervan)

The 11 major sections contain almost 200 articles, which cover every possible preaching topic, including changing lives, sermon structure, “the big idea,” introductions,outlining, transitions, conclusions, passionate delivery,application, leveraging illustrations, telling stories,preaching narrative texts, topical preaching,expository preaching, evangelistic preaching,preaching to post-moderns, using humor, speaking with authority, and many others.

Prophetic Preaching (Hendrickson)

The first book in Hendrickson’s “Preacher’s Toolbox” series brings together a “who’s who” group of today’s most influential pastors, who share their understanding of prophetic preaching as well as their skills. The book is divided into two sections, “The Calling of Prophetic Preaching” and “The Craft of Prophetic Preaching,” which deliver clear themes and practical takeaways on the art of preaching prophetically. 

Cover of Inspirational Preaching by Craig Brian Larson

Inspirational Preaching (Hendrickson)

Here is an opportunity for pastors and seminary students to learn from the best. In this second book of the “Preacher’s Toolbox” series, more of today’s most popular Christian leaders offer sage advice on “Inspirational Preaching” that will motivate and encourage readers to deliver more effective and inspirational sermons.

Cover of Interpretation and Application by Craig Brian Larson

Interpretation and Application (Hedrickson)

Book three of the Preachers Toolbox series focuses on one of the most important foundations for sound sermons: the importance of approaching scripture with an accurate understanding of the historical text along with the ability to speak in new and powerful ways in a contemporary setting. In other words, how does one best make ancient biblical texts pertinent to the 21st century listener while maintaining the integrity of the scripture?

Inside the Small Church (Rowan & Littlefield)

Even as so-called megachurches capture the attention of many church watchers, small congregations continue to dominate America’s religious landscape in both rural and urban settings. Although sometimes obscured by their larger siblings, these small churches play a prominent role and hold a unique place in both local and national cultures. How can leaders help to keep these often at-risk churches alive and to meet their potential for ministry? Small-church expert Tony Pappas has gathered a cornucopia of essays into an indispensable book for anyone interested in the rich life of these small but significant congregations.

Cover of Sunday's Best by Matthew Woodley

Sunday’s Best (Hendrickson)

Published in conjunction with Preaching Today includes sermons from some of today’s leading pastors and preachers.

Cover of The Master's Perspective on Pastoral Ministry

The Master’s Perspective on Pastoral Ministry (Kregel)

Part of the Master’s Perspective Series A series designed for pastors and Bible students to bring the writings of notable Bible scholars and teachers on topical issues to a wider audience. Chapters in this series previously appeared in The Master’s Seminary Journal.