Friday, July 14, 2006

My Top Twenty favorite books

Here's a list of 20 books that have meant a lot to me over the years, in no particular order:

1) Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan - I've read it many times and led studies of it; it never fails to inspire, convict, and encourage
2) The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis - helped me understand how evil Satan is and the many ways he tries to destroy us
3) The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis - my wife and I read each book in the series to our kids, and loved them as much as they did
4) Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge - helped me understand that there is a glory in each believer that must be revealed, not suppressed
5) Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge - of course there are flaws to it, but it's one of the few books out there that tells men it's good to be a man
6) Redemption Accomplished and Applied, by John Murray - a beautiful explanation of each aspect of our salvation
7) The Saint's Knowledge of Christ's Love, by John Bunyan - very formative in my first years as a Christian to help me get hold of grace
8) The Religious Affections, by Jonathan Edwards - a classic definition of what makes a Christian a Christian
9) George Whitefield, a 2-volume biography by Arnold Dallimore - an inspiring account of the Great Awakening that shook America and Great Britain in the early 1700's; it gave me a craving for revival in our day
10) Holiness, by J. C. Ryle - another book formative in my early Christian experience, calling me to aspire to be holy as God is holy
11) Desiring God, by John Piper - gave me a whole new paradigm through which to view my relationship with God: "Man's chief end is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever!"
12) Knowing God, by J. I. Packer - the guys who discipled me in college gave me this book to read soon after I became a Christian; next to the Bible it did the most to help me understand God and the Christian life; a must read for every believer
13) The Pleasures of God, by John Piper - I grew to like this book more than Desiring God; it taught me that God's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Himself forever
14) Between Two Worlds, by John R. W. Stott - fueled the fire of my love of preaching and pastoring
15) The Puritan Hope, by Iain Murray - introduced me to postmillenialism and an optimistic view of the future
16) Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther - the best defense of predestination ever written
17) Christ of the Covenants, by O. Palmer Robertson - this book, along with his classes at Covenant Theological Seminary, changed me from a Baptist to a Presbyterian
18) Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin - a treasure chest
19) Prayer, by O. Hallesby - early on, influenced me to see prayer as helplessness
20) Dynamics of Spiritual Life, by Richard Lovelace - helped me as a pastor understand that only a grace-oriented ministry helps people change

4 comments:

karin said...

#17: me too! (minus the studying under him at Covenant). I read it at RTS and that book is what made this whole covenant theology make sense to me. Goodbye baptist, hello presbyterian.

Anonymous said...

Christ of the Covenants...amazing book! Ugly cover, great stuff inside!

kelly

Anonymous said...

On #15: Are you postmill or optimistic amill?

Mike said...

I am postmillennial. I also hold to the partial preterist interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Books that persuaded me were those of R. C. Sproul ("The Last Days according to Jesus"), Dave Chilton ("Paradise Restored"), and Ken Gentry ("The Beast of Revelation" etc.), among others.