WTS Books’ Staff Favorite Reads of the Year and Decade

Published on January 12, 2020 by Benjamin J. Montoya

Crossway, 2017 | 112 pages

WTS Books’ Staff Favorite Reads of the Year and Decade


Editor’s Note: staff at places like WTS Books read a lot and often. When they make lists like these, it is wise to read through them carefully to have an idea of what to read next.

Clear-headed, wise and simple, this little book gently steers us toward real and effectual change in the heart and mind. This is thoughtful encouragement toward holiness that goes deeper than abstract aphorisms. Bringing critical doctrine down to earth, these 100 pages are simple enough for new believers, and rich enough to refresh a veteran pilgrim.


About the Author:

David Powlison (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a teacher, a counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation.




“Sanctification is a life-and-death matter. What David Powlison offers in this book is no mere how-to manual on having your quiet time. Instead, behind this straightforward title lies an explosively powerful and practical theology of human transformation. This book is deep enough to instruct those who have spent their lives agonizing over how sanctification really works, and accessible enough to guide those who have never had the question cross their minds. In short, this book will leave you fundamentally changed for the better.”

Alasdair Groves

director of counseling, CCEF New England

“Sanctification is essential to fulfilling our greatest calling in life: namely, to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves. David has not only set forth the essential themes of this process but also described many of the spiritual nuances that guide our steps through this blessed transformation.”

Ken Sande

founder, Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom 360

“In this book, David Powlison sets out a case against simplistic statements that sanctification can be reduced to a just do this or just believe that kind of process. Doing what he always does so brilliantly, he shows us how the riches of Scripture get applied to the details of life. Personal, practical, and bursting with fresh and important insights, here is a book to help Gods people become more like Christ.”

Steve Midgley

executive director, Biblical Counselling UK; Senior Pastor, Christ Church Cambridge

“Sanctification is a very long word. Though many Christians would be able to give a simple definition such as growing in holiness or becoming like Jesus, few have given much thought to the dynamics of how it happenshow it works. In How Does Sanctification Work?, Powlison helpfully identifies five ways our growth in holiness happens. The principles are grounded in Scripture and illustrated by a transparent look at how it has worked in his own life. And this is an encouragement for us to see how itno, how Gods Spiritis at work in our lives, too.”

Timothy Z. Witmer

professor of practical theology, Westminster Theological Seminary; pastor, St. Stephen Reformed Church, New Holland, Pennsylvania; author, The Shepherd Leader and The Shepherd Leader at Home

“When I think about wise men who have shaped my life and thinking, David Powlison consistently rises to the top. His thoughtful and incisive insight into the human heart and what makes sanctification work is something each of us desperately needs. David recognizes that for all the conversation and writing which have taken place on the topic of sanctification, what seems to be left out is you! David helps bring his personal story and others narratives into the discussion surrounding sanctification, and in so doing reminds us of the multifaceted way God works in peoples lives. Grab this book today, read it and soak it in, and join David and many others in the process of becoming more like our Savior.”

Jonathan Holmes

pastor of counseling, Parkside Church; author, The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship

“To know David Powlison is to know a man who is growing in the sweet fruit of sanctifying grace. To witness his ministry is to see one whom the Lord is using to sanctify many. That is why I am so grateful for How Does Sanctification Work? One of the most crucial areas of debate among Christians today concerns the doctrine of sanctification. Davids is a voice of sound, biblical wisdom in the midst of much confusion. If you are looking for a book on sanctification that is profoundly personal, biblically balanced, and deeply relevant, then this is it.”

Heath Lambert

associate pastor, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville; executive director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; author, A Theology of Biblical Counseling and Finally Free

“Every Christian leader or writer or pastor should have David Powlison whispering in his ear, Gods Word is deep and rich . . . dont just sit on one paradigmteach the full counsel of God. This book will do that for you.”

Paul E. Miller

executive director, seeJesus; author, A Praying Life and A Loving Life

“Theres nothing more invigorating in your walk with Jesus than getting up every morning and getting actively engaged in your own sanctification. To partner with the Spirit of Christ in your own change, growth, and maturity is a wonderful way of making it your ambition to be pleasing to him. And Im so excited that David Powlison shows the reader how to do just this in his remarkable new book How Does Sanctification Work? I give it a hearty thumbs-up!”

Joni Eareckson Tada

founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center; author, A Spectacle of Glory and Beside Bethesda

Buy the books

How Does Sanctification Work?

Crossway, 2017 | 112 pages

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