I wanted to post my recommended reading list (the list is also found next to the “About” page above), as I know that many people will be searching for new books to read during the new year! Each of the books I have listed have been extremely helpful in my own walk, and I wholeheartedly recommend them all.
*All the links will take you to Amazon.com to make things easy if you want to check any of them out!
ESV Study Bible - One of the most wonderful resources for anyone, and was written in such a way that there would be enough supplementary information included for any pastor to be fully equipped in their ministry with only this text. The ESV translation is a great word for word translation of the Scriptures (for more information on the translation, click here: Why Our Church Switched to the ESV.pdf by Kevin DeYoung)
Anything written by John MacArthur – I have profited more from the ministry of John MacArthur than any other pastor today. His dedication to expositing the word of God with clarity is wonderful! He is a faithful man of God, concerned with the truth above all else.
Particularly: Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus, The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?, A Simple Christianity: Rediscover the Foundational Principles of Our Faith, The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, and The Murder of Jesus
Knowing God by J.I. Packer – This book is, perhaps, the single most significant book of Christian literature I have read. Renowned theologian and pastor, J.I. Packer discusses the importance of rightly knowing God, and examines the character and nature of God and His relationship with us in a rich and thorough manner. Every Christian should read and re-read this book throughout their lives.
Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God by J.I. Packer – Packer examines the Bible’s teaching on the Holy Spirit and how He relates to believers. A rich and worshipful examination of the glorious Third Person of the Trinity, and one that has opened my eyes to the wonderful counsel of the Holy Spirit.
After Darkness, Light: Distinctives of Reformed Theology: Essays in Honor of R. C. Sproul edited by R.C. Sproul, Jr. – An anthology of essays from 10 different authors, which constitute a Festschrift in honor of R.C. Sproul Sr., that explains the essential nature and biblical truth of the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation to the Christian faith, and also the Scriptural foundation for the doctrines of grace (ie. total depravity, unconditional election, definite atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints). This book has fundamentally revolutionized my understanding of God’s nature and His unimaginable grace towards His children.
Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges – Jerry Bridges explains a God honoring and theologically rich explanation of how an all-powerful, good God can perfectly account for suffering and evil in the world. This book has encouraged me to have such a great confidence in God, trusting that He works all things for the ultimate good and for the fulfillment of His purposes.
Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry by Mike Wilkerson – author addresses the reality and depth of the freedom we receive in Christ, from both our sinful idols and the wounds we have sustained. This book is about the true Christian life–freedom!
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan – As the title would suggest, this book is a call for Christian to live out of a radical love for God that both transforms us and helps us to live lives that would help transform the world around us. One of the most read Christian books of recent times, sure to be a classic.
Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan – This book is a call to live a life that is so dependent on the ministry and presence of the Holy Spirit, that we would be incapable of surviving apart from Him. In a worshipful manner, Francis Chan explains and encourages Christians to give their lives fully to the Holy Spirit, our Great Counselor and earthly Advocate.
Humility by Andrew Murray – A very short book, and yet packed with some of the most important biblical truth on the issue of humility. Andrew Murray, 19th and early 20th century pastor and missionary, shows how humility should be the crowning jewel of each Christian, and has been a huge blessing to me. Truly one of the best books I have ever read.
Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray discusses how Christian can and should be dedicated to God with absolute surrender. Short book, but remarkably powerful.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem – This is an absolutely wonderful and remarkably thorough exposition of the doctrines of the Christian faith, saturated with Scripture and wholly practical. Topics span from the nature of God (communicable and incommunicable attributes), the nature and work of each Person of the Trinity, salvation, angels, the Church, etc. An exhaustive text and extremely helpful.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton – An exhaustive systematic theology that covers every aspect of the Christian faith. Although Horton’s systematic theology is more philosophical than Grudem’s, I have found that they are both extremely useful in their own way. Grudem’s is more practical in many ways, whereas Horton’s could be said to be more deep (and therefore, often more difficult to understand). It is a wonderful resource to have, but is exhausting to read.
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper – The main premise of this book is that, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” John Piper encourages us to make God our highest joy, seeking fulfillment in Him alone. In this way God is glorified! “What is the chief aim of men? To glorify God by enjoying Him forever!”
Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen – Written in 1923, Presbyterian churchman and theologian J. Gresham Machen compares the teachings and claims of the historic orthodox Christian church to the claims of liberal Protestantism. In a denomination that was warring over the supremacy of the Scriptures as the sole arbiter of truth and orthodoxy, J. Gresham Machen stood against the tides of cultural change, founding the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary. In a society and church that is overwhelmed with postmodern sympathies, this book is extremely practical and beneficial, even (perhaps particularly) for a church that is almost a century removed from his situation.
The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul – Perhaps one of the most popular Christian books of this century (and certainly Dr. Sproul’s most well known). Sproul discusses the holiness of God in a way that is accessible to any Christian, and wholly awe inspiring. This book inspires worship of the Lord, in no uncertain terms. R.C. Sproul is a world renowned Reformed theologian, an accomplished and knowledgable author, and one of the greatest Bible teachers of this century. To see other books by him, click here
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin – One of the most significant, influential texts written in the history of the Christian faith. Calvin identifies the false teaching of his day, exhorts fidelity to the Scriptures alone, and presents a thorough exposition and defense of the absolute Sovereignty of God.
The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – Luther’s response to Erasmus of Rotterdam and his Discourse on Free will. This is a powerful and thorough case for the power and sovereignty of God in the case of human salvation. Should be essential reading for every Christian.
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller – the author provides a compelling argument for God, drawing on numerous disciplines to make his case.
The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel - This is the first book I read when I became a Christian, written by an atheist (at the time). Lee Strobel became a Christian after investigating the evidence for the claims of Christianity by interviewing experts in different scientific and historical fields of study, and it provided me with a significant amount of information on the historical, empirical evidence.
The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Lee Strobel – Author interviews scientists from different fields (ie. biology, physics, astronomy, neuroscience, etc.) to determine whether or not science may suggest the existence of a Creator.