“Of making many books there is no end.” - Solomon, (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
I have always loved to read. My earliest childhood memories are of bookmobiles and libraries. Whenever and wherever we vacation it is the bookstores, more than the sights that draw my attention. I don’t know exactly how many books we have, but I do know they represent a substantial investment which has paid dividends over the course of my life and ministry. So when I was asked this past Sunday to recommend some Christian books I considered worth reading I was more than willing. However, as Solomon so wisely noted, the sheer number of worthy Christian books is way beyond the scope of this blog.
Therefore, we offer up a sampling of good books that have made a positive and measurable impact on our lives. Here are Rick (and Rayna’s) top 20.
#1. The Bible. (No surprise there!) I prefer the NIV and NASB translations which are also available in excellent study Bibles formats like The Life Application Study Bible. (You might also be interested in The Book of God written by master storyteller Walter Wangerin Jr. The author presents the Bible as a novel in chronological order. It really helps the Scripture come alive in your imagination.)
(Note) The rest of this list is in no particular order. Each author has blessed us in special ways. Also, if an author is mentioned here, it means we are confident you will benefit from reading anything else he has written. The list is comprised of works of fiction as well as theology; history as well as devotional. (Note #2) Those italicized are highly recommended!
#2. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
#3. The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges
(I have every one of his books, but these two I try to read every year)
#4. The Jesus I Never Knew by Phil Yancey
#5. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
#6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
#7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
#8. Love Your God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland
#9. Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby
#10. Seeking the Face of God by Gary L. Thomas
#11. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
(These two books will change the way you think of spiritual warfare.)
#13. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
#14. The Pilgrim’s Progress (in Modern English) by John Bunyan
#15. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
#16. Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
#17. A Life of Prayer by Paul Cedar
#18. The Indwelling Life of Christ by Ian W. Thomas
#19. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
#20. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala
I hope you will take a look at some of these books. Most of them are available in digital formats for your iPad or Kindle. And don’t forget to check Half Price Books. I have found some great bargains there.
And finally, it was not our intention to ignore the many wonderful Christian books written by women for women. Popular authors Kay Arthur and Beth Moore come to mind.
Our prayer would be that our quest to develop a Christian mind will encourage our entire church family to enter an ongoing discussion of these life-changing resources.
In the meantime, it’s freezing outside! I’m off to grab a good book and some coffee.
Rick Amerine is the Senior Pastor at Maple Grove.