Hello, my name is Matt and I am a book addict (i.e., well read, sophisticated, sad and lonely here is evidence). But I want my sickness to help you. Here are the five books every Christian should own if they want help living out the faith:
1. The ESV Study Bible (Crossway 2008). The ESV Study Bible is THE best study Bible available. The articles are very helpful and the study notes are first-rate. It is a study library in-and-of-itself.
2. Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem and Jeff Purswell (Zondervan 1999). Dr. Grudem’s Systematic Theology (1996) is the most accessible overview of the tenets of the Christian faith possibly ever produced. But many are intimidated by its size. This condensed version is still a great tool for introducing lay Christians to systematic theology.
3. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney (Navpress 1996). A follower of Jesus must be ground in sound doctrine but must also be spiritually close to the Lord. Whitney presents a helpful, clear and theologically rich introduction to the spiritual disciplines one must regularly engage in order to make room for the spirit to do its work.
4. The Reason for God by Tim Keller (Dutton 2008). Dr. Tim Keller is quickly becoming the “new C.S. Lewis” and this is the postmodern “Mere Christianity.” A great defense of the faith.
5. Tactics by Greg Koukl (Zondervan 2009). How do we Christians obey our Lord’s command to make disciples (Matt. 28: 16-20) when there is so much hostility to the faith in our culture? Radio host and apologist Greg Koukl has provided an invaluable resource with this book. A couple of reads (and some time in reflection and practice) and you can deftly handle any challenge to the faith and graciously give the skeptic a new way to think about eternal matters.
Now, I’m a guy who loves to read and believes every Christian leaders needs to have an extensive library but these five are the ones I believe every Christian SHOULD read and own. In fact, I would recommend having as many copies as one can afford to give away to others as well.
Check back for more recommendations next week.
Until then, grace and peace.