Part 4: A “Starter Set”
Here I’m going to give some recommendations. Many would quibble with this short list, and that’s understandable; but it’s just a starter list.
Classics (Must Reads)
- Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan- An allegory on the Christian life. You won’t get it the first or second time. But it’s probably worth re-reading every year.
- Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis- A defense of Christianity that is excellent for both Christian and non-believer. Like a savory steak, you have to chew each of the short chapters slowly.
- Knowing God, by J.I. Packer- This work is accessible to all kinds of people. Packer’s hope is that by reading his book, you will want to put it down and read Scripture.
- The Valley of the Vision, compiled by Arthur Bennett- Don’t be fooled by the 2-page “chapters.” This “collection of Puritan prayers and devotions” goes deep. All at once, it will make you want to dance and weep.
(Random Yet) Really Helpful
- The Unquenchable Fire, by Michael Reeves- This is a brief and entertaining overview of the Protestant Reformation. It is by no means dry, and I found myself laughing out loud at times.
- O Love That Will Not Let Me Go. Nancy Guthrie has compiled and edited sermons spanning hundreds of years by some of Christianity’s most influential pastors and thinkers on the theme of “facing death with courageous confidence in God.” Each
selection while concise and understandable drips with hope.
- Living the Cross Centered Life, by C.J. Mahaney- This short power-packed volume introduces an “every day” problem: “…we all face the temptation to move away from the gospel, to let it drop from our hands and hearts…. The cross and its meaning aren’t
something we ever master.”
"O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me."
- Thomas à Kempis