5 Books That Changed My Life: Matthew Dudreck

Posted On March 06, 2024

Books can play a significant role in shaping who we are and how we view the world. We recently asked Dr. Matthew Dudreck, our associate professor of New Testament, to share five books that have been formative in shaping his life and ministry.

1. Novum Testamentum Graece (Greek New Testament)
One might think this is the biggest cop-out, but it is the furthest thing from that. Learning to read the Greek New Testament fundamentally changed how I read, think, and communicate, not just about the Bible and theology, but anything. I can’t think of a single book that has made a greater impact on me both spiritually and intellectually.

2. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had was reading through Calvin’s Institutes cover to cover over the course of about half a year. Reading Calvin gave me such an incredible love for a theology centered on the exceedingly practical principle that it is through the right knowledge of God and our relationship with Him that we understand true wisdom and render proper worship.

3. George Eldon Ladd, The Presence of the Future
On the subject that this book covers, I would probably today favor Herman Ridderbos’ The Coming of the Kingdom and Geerhardus Vos’ The Pauline Eschatology. But George Eldon Ladd’s book The Presence of the Future first helped me understand the significance of God’s kingdom having been inaugurated through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, instead of being something wholly future and reserved for a different era.

4. G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission
Beale’s book on the temple was the first book that opened my eyes to the beauty of biblical theology and the unified, organic nature of redemptive history as it progresses toward the goal of God dwelling with His people in a new creation.

5. Kevin Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text?
When I was in my first year of graduate school, I was wrestling with all kinds of questions and criticisms coming from postmodern philosophy challenging the viability of understanding the meaning of Scripture, or even the reasonableness of Scripture having a defined meaning at all. Vanhoozer’s work took these perspectives head-on, and the Lord used his work to renew my confidence in Scripture. It also gave me a framework for further work and study.