Below are ten of the books that have made an impact upon me. This might be a unique list. It is certainly not an exhaustive list. Each of these books is accessible and readible. They are not overly technical and specialized. Some of them are perennial favorites—books I keep coming back to year after year. Some are brand new and have recently been a help to me. I tried to give an assortment of genres and authors, so there is theology, history, and cultural commentary. These ten are not in any order except the order I pulled them off my shelf.
1. Ashamed of the Gospel - John MacArthur
This is one of the first books that I ever read by Dr. MacArthur. It is in the vein in which he typically writes: out of love and concern for the purity of the gospel which he sees quickly diminishing. He examines the relevant gospel that so pervades our day.
2. The Mortification of Sin - John Owen
John Owen has become very dear to me in recent years. He is an old English puritan whose mind was brilliant and his output tremendous. Because of its antiquity and the style that Dr. Owen possessed, it is one of the more difficult reads in this list. Yet (as is true of all of Owen’s writings) an unhurried reading yields much fruit.
3. 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power – Nick Needham
In such times as these, where the ties to history are being cut, we need to be deeply rooted in the history of the church. It is messy and (often) confusing. There is much to lament, yet there is also much in which to rejoice. This series by Dr. Needham is easy to read. It was written for the laymen, yet it is so useful that it was assigned reading in seminary.
4. The Triumph and Rise of the Modern Self – Carl Trueman
Dr. Trueman’s book is the newest on this list. I only finished a few days ago. He asks the question, “How can the sentence, ‘I am a man trapped in a woman’s body,’ make sense to those who hear it today when only a few years ago it would have been completely nonsensical?” He answers this question by pulling together the lines of philosophical, artistic, and political thought that have seeped into the very thinking of this generation. It may be one of the more difficult reads in this list (I need to reread it!), but it is greatly informative.
5. The Forgotten Fear – Albert Martin
I chanced upon this little book some years ago at a pastor’s conference and picked it up because I recognized the name of the preacher. It develops the biblical theme of the fear of the Lord. It profoundly changed my attitude toward God.
6. Heaven – Randy Alcorn
This is one of the more accessible books about heaven. It is written for the layman. It is biblical, and it is designed to answer specific questions about Heaven. My only critique is that I wish the author had been more concise. It is a long and repetitious read (though it is well worth it).
7. Strange Fire – John MacArthur
You will have to forgive me for including Dr. MacArthur twice in this list. He has been very influential to me since I sat under his preaching and attended The Master’s Seminary. This is one of the best books that exposes the dangers of what has become the mainstream charismatic movement.
8. Judge Not – Todd Friel
There seems to be a trend to the books that I suggest. This book by the host of “Wretched TV/Radio” exposes the insanity that has overtaken Evangelicalism. Mr. Friel is witty and concise. The chapters are short.
9. Christless Christianity – Michael Horton
Keeping with the trend of this list, Dr. Horton highlights things that have changed, reshaped, and flat-out replaced the gospel in the life of the church.
10. None Greater – Matthew Barrett
Since reading this book, I have started to collect everything I can by Dr. Barrett. This was one of my go-to books as I taught some lessons on the attributes of God. Dr. Barrett lets the Scripture speak for itself so that an “undomesticated” picture of God develops in the reader’s mind. This is easily one of the best books on the attributes of God.
Recommended Christian Books
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