10 Books You Should Read in 2012
With a new year comes new resolutions, and if you are like me you are resolving to get more reading done. My friend Adam Ford suggested making a top 10 list of books, so here I will commend some titles to you that have had a big impact on my understanding of and walk with the Lord over the last several years.
This was a tough list to whittle down, but I made my selections based on the following criteria:
- Was this book so good that I’ve felt compelled to read it multiple times?
- Which books have had the greatest influence on me?
- Is it easily accessible?
- I wanted books that cover a variety of subjects (i.e. not all books on the attributes of God—I all but failed in this).
NOTE: If I don’t offer this disclaimer someone is going to be breathing down my neck, “What, the Bible didn’t make your top 10 list?” So besides the Bible these are my top 10 book recommendations. The Bible is #1! Okay. We good? Good.
10. The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
This is the go to book on personal one-on-one discipleship. It’s just a goldmine of Biblical principles and practical advice on how to intentionally come alongside a brother or sister and help them to grow in understanding and obedience to God. I highly recommend this one if you are seeking to have a discipleship ministry.
9. The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
I admit, this classic seemed daunting to me at first. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up. Thankfully, Luther’s wit made it an engaging as well as informative read.
8. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
This is just a magnificent work. Sproul demonstrates how God’s glorious righteousness and His complete other-ness is distinct from His other attributes and really lies behind who God is. I love this book because it awoke in me a feeling that I can only describe as holy dread as I comprehended just how righteous God is and how despicable sinful me is. Oh, but how much sweeter the gospel becomes in light of such an understanding!
7. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
This is just a very practical guide on what it takes to be a leader. Actually, one of the most influential parts for me was the section on the discipline of reading. If you are in a leadership position or are moving that direction this is a prime piece of papyrus.
6. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Now here’s a book among books! I have read this one almost a dozen times. Reading Lewis was the impetus that first started me down the road of thinking more deeply on divine things. Besides the woman who later became Lewis’ own wife, more than a few well known Christians attribute their conversion to the reading of this book—Charles Colson and Francis Collins (the geneticist who lead the team that mapped the entire human genome) to name two.
5. What is Faith? by J. Gresham Machen
This one will probably earn a higher spot with time, but since I just finished it I feel like I should give it a bit to simmer. I can never resell this book now because of how much I marked it up, not that I would want to! Machen’s work is defined by his battle against modernism, yet the words of this defender of the faith seem almost prophetic today as our generation bears the consequences of not heeding his warnings.
4. Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
This is a book about the attributes of God. I remember reading this one night while laying in bed and just crying in fear—more of that holy dread—as I read Tozer describe God’s holiness and immense power. This book helped me to better understand who this God is that I worship.
3. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
What can I say about this book? It is mostly in the line of “attributes” books like #4, but it delves into other areas too. This was one of those books that almost every time I picked it up I found myself saying, “that’s so true! How did I not see that before?”
2. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Personal holiness seems to be a theme that is almost absent from today’s Christianity. I struggled for a long time in trying to understand the difference between fighting sin under grace and legalism. Bridges helped me to understand how that works (the answer isn’t “a healthy balance” between law and grace). You will not walk away unchanged after reading this book.
1. Desiring God by John Piper
As we work to understand God’s Word we develop a sort of framework as to where certain doctrines sit in relation to one-another. This framework is ever evolving as we grow in our understanding of doctrine and the amount of emphasis Scripture puts on each specific theme. Desiring God played a very large role in erecting my doctrinal framework. Not only because it was my first serious introduction to Reformed Theology but also because of Piper’s ability to clearly communicate complex ideas with appropriate passion.
It’s Very Lonely With No Comments:
- What books do you recommend for 2012?
- Is there a book that you have been meaning to read for along time but have never got around to it?