I once read a survey which listed top books recommended by evangelical leaders. It was fascinating to discover which books had influenced the minds of great pastors and leaders. Theological titles comprised most of the list, while some were biographical or fictional.
Have you ever considered what books have impacted you?
I browsed the bookshelves (using Delicious Library!) and recalled some titles here. I haven’t included older works or fiction.
Teaching To Change Lives (Howard Hendricks): when I was a teen, this simple book helped me understand some basic teaching principles. Hendricks’ conversational style is also engaging and easy to read. If you are a beginning teacher or looking to refresh your teaching, there is helpful advice here.
Mere Christianity&Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis): Mere Christianity is Lewis’ classic apologetic work, originally written as a series of English radio broadcasts during World War II. As a former atheist and sympathetic toward Roman Catholicism, Lewis often demonstrated faulty views, such as his understanding of Christ’s atonement, justification, and his claim that God is able to save “those who have not explicitly accepted him in this life.” These unorthodox views are also reflected in his children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia. Despite his errors, Lewis also possessed a great ability to lucidly explain and describe truth in ways which speak powerfully both to children and adults, Christians and non-Christians.
Changed Into His Image (Jim Berg): one of the best discipleship tools you can use, for your own personal growth or for helping others. With practical language and analogies, Berg clearly lays out the biblical way for making progress as a Christian. Buy this book for yourself.
Decision Making and the Will of God (Gary Friessen): how can I know God’s will for my life decisions? Well-meaning Christians have struggled with this question by looking to their circumstances or “inner peace” or “the Lord’s voice” in order to follow God’s blueprint for their lives. Gary Friessen wrote this detailed, extensive work to critique problems with this approach, and he proposed a more accurate alternative which combines God’s moral will (revealed in the Bible), God’s sovereign will, and wisdom. (read a great review here) The book is long but it’s worth wrestling through the main concepts.
The Deliberate Church (Mark Dever): before Rouse Hill Bible Church was planted, I found that this book described the kind of church we want to see established: a church that lives on the Gospel. The Deliberate Church is a handbook for churches, focusing on the biblical approach to church growth rather than using marketing, programs or business strategies. Recommended for church leaders.
Australian Christian Life from 1788: An Introduction (Iain Murray): as the snooty food critic says in Ratatouille, “You know what I’m craving? A little perspective.” Church history gives a sense of perspective, showing God’s work in past generations and confirming His faithfulness to His church. These stories of past Christians remind us that God has already been at work here, across Australia! Convicting and inspirational.
Read any good books lately? (theological or not) Share it with us…