Good Afternoon Church –
It’s the season of good cheer and gift giving. In the spirit of Proverbs 23: 23 [Buy the truth and do not sell it/ buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding], how about considering giving some Christian literature to your friends and family? (Perhaps to yourself too.) Truly the eternal investment, the gift that keeps on giving.
Below, please find some recommendations, culled both from my reading and from friends in the ministry. The list is not in any particular order. The links are all to Amazon – if you can find these books at a local seller, buy from them.
Merry Christmas, beloved Brothers and Sisters! – Colin
Evidence Not Seen – Darlene Deibler Rose – A missionary faces peril in New Guinea. Enthralling.
The Prodigal God: Rediscovering the Heart of the Christian Faith – Tim Keller – A meditation on the famous parable.
When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty – Joni Eareckson Tada – Wise and faithful words from someone who knows about suffering.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No – Cloud & Townsend – Reflections from Christian counselors about an age-old concern.
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – Jeremiah Burroughs – Warning, words of an old Puritan. But if we have ears to hear, there’s a lot to learn from ye olde Church.
Knowing God – J. I. Packer – A classic treatment of the doctrine of God.
Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper – A great book for late highschoolers and college aged. GIVE IT TO THEM!
The Pursuit of Holiness – Jerry Bridges – This one and the next books are modern day classics on growing up into Christ. You’ll love them. Prepare to be transformed.
The Practice of Godliness – Jerry Bridges
Basic Christianity – John Stott – An excellent summary of the faith, though geared toward those with above average reading skills.
Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis – A mid-century classic. A collection of BBC radio addresses discussing what is essentially Christian.
According to Plan – Graeme Goldsworthy – Toward developing an understanding of the big picture of salvation. A little dense.
Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be – Cornelius Plantinga – The subtitle is, “a breviary of sin.” A great and interesting study about various aspects of sin. More encouraging than you might think. And filled with great anecdotes. A Top 10 book on this list.
Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Another mid-century classic written by a martyr. Have to admit that I tried this several times and just couldn’t get into it. Then, about eight years ago, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Found it to be wonderful. Though translated from the German, and German prose is dense.
God’s Big Picture – Vaughan Roberts – Toward developing an understanding of the big picture of salvation. Relatively short. This is my go-to for Bible studies.
Mood Tides – Ronald Horton – An excellent treatment of the benefits of low spirits. Wonderful prose.
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire – Jim Cymbala – The pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle recalls learning a lesson about the great benefit of a weekly church prayer meeting.
Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton – The hardest book to read on the list. And…since I read it in college I’ve never stopped thinking about it.
The Great, Good Thing – Andrew Klavan – The memoir of a Jewish intellectual coming to faith in Jesus. More accessible than what my summary makes it seem. Moving.
For the Glory – Duncan Hamilton – The biography of Eric Liddell, the hero of the movie “Chariots of Fire.” Wowzer!
The Heart of a Servant Leader – C. John Miller – I don’t know why this book isn’t more popular. So many good lessons about Christian leadership. Any book by this guy is worth reading, including the next entry…
Come Back Barbara – C. John Miller – The combined memoirs of a father and daughter who drifted apart when the daughter lost her faith.
Zeal without Burnout – Christopher Ash – In keeping with its topic, a short treatment about the perils of burnout in serving, and suggestions on how to keep fresh. A wonderful help by a great guy.
Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright – A groundbreaking book about what exactly God has in store for us.
Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis – A great book for young people. But also for old. Imagined correspondence of a seasoned demon to a lower level demon who’s just getting started with his tempting task. Really insightful.
Married for God – Christopher Ash – A philosophical, theological, and practical look at marriage.
Prayer, the Cry for the Kingdom – Stanley Grenz – Another book that deserves to be more widely known.
Seeing the Unseen – Christopher “Kit” Culver – A good exposition of Esther. Dense, though.
Disciplines of a Godly Man – R. Kent Hughes – A classic about…well, just what it says.
A Chance to Die – Elisabeth Elliot – A biography of the missionary, Amy Carmichael
Strange New World – Carl Trueman – Do you want to understand how the sexual revolution turned into identity politics, and why culture goes as it does? A re-working and simplifying of “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.”
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled – Martyn Lloyd Jones – An exposition of John 14:1-2. Eight sermons worth.
The God Who is There – D.A. Carson – Toward developing a big picture understanding of salvation. This is the third such in this list. In other words, I think it’s a VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC. Carson’s book is more thorough than Roberts [above] and more accessible than Goldsworthy [also above].
A Call to Spiritual Reformation – D.A. Carson – Professor Carson takes us through Paul’s prayers in order to discover what we should be asking for. Prepare to be challenged and convicted!
Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality – Nancy Pearcey – A philosophical treatment of the body. Really helpful and relevant. Parents, read and share.
Is God Anti-Gay? – Sam Allberry – An above-average treatment of a pressing question.
New Growth Press – A collection of books and booklets that treat various disorders and bad habits from a biblical worldview.
The Good Book Company – Here’s where to go to find great outreach literature. Maybe pick up some booklets and tracts to accompany Christmas loaves for your neighbor?
Land of Hope – Wilfred McClay – A bonus recommendation! Not a Christian book, but a book written by a Christian. The best one-volume history of America that I know. Balanced. Optimistic.
Honey for a Child’s Heart – Hunt & Hunt – It’s irritating to ask children what they’re reading and hear that a) they’re not reading anything or b) they’re reading contemporary, “woke” trash. Open this volume to get recommendations of great, timeless literature for various age groups. Prepare for your Christmas gift list to get a lot longer!—
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