- J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
- Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield: The Life and Times
- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I like this list that Packer has put together a lot. But it got me to thinking, what would be considered my top 5 must-reads, not just for my children, but for all Christians living in America. And so far, this is what I have come up with (this list will likely change frequently):
D'Souza's work and ability to argue logically is phenomenal and he brings his A+ game in this one. It is essentially a rebuttal of the claims made by the recent assault by the new atheist. But it goes beyond that. It is essentially a defense of Christianity and also an offensive against other worldviews. Though at times this book is very deep with a lot of philosophy and science thrown in, it is nonetheless imperative that Christians read it, understand it, and apply it.
I find this book so important that I have not only read it, but continue to read it over and over again. In fact, I have purchased the audio book and try to go through it as much as possible whether at work, in the car, or at home.
This was one of the first Christian books I ever read. Since then, I continue to read John MacArthur and listen to him daily. This book stands out from the rest essentially because of it's topic: the crucifixion of Jesus. Obviously, this is the most important issue in Christianity (along with the resurrection of course) and should be on every Christian's bookshelf. I can't wait to put this in my children's hands and have them experience it the way I did and continue to. To go deeper into the Passion brings one closer to Christ and humbles us greatly.
When I first met John MacArthur, this was the book I had him sign because it is so important to me and my Christian walk.
Since I have seen these two books together in one volume, I thought that I would include them as one. The reason for why these books should be included is obvious, and I don't need to go into any detail. Mere Christianity lays out a defense and explains the Christian faith. His foundation for belief in God as revealed through the existence of morality is phenomenal and has a great impact on me and others (like Francis Collins).
Screwtape is a little more deeper, but the way it is written continues to blow me away. I always find myself in these pages.
In fact, do yourself a favor and read all of the signature classics and thank me later. I did this over one Christmas break and was glad I did. Do dive into the world and mind of Lewis is a blessing.
How Christians understand and engage the culture is important. Therefore, I find Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcy's book, "How Now Shall We Live?" to be critical to doing just that. It is a thick book, but a fairly quick read. It starts at creation and goes on from there. A defense of Christianity is given while at the same time, Colson and Pearcy expose the many many holes in our secular culture and it's worldview.
Nancy Pearcy has also written a book similar to this one called "Total Truth," and I also recommend it as well. I also would want to recommend another Colson book, "'The Faith" because it discusses the basics of the faith and why they are important as we engage our culture.
I am a fan of Martin Luther and this is the classic biography on him. Bainton, somehow, manages to cover his entire life while at the same time diving deep into his theology, writings, disputes, and his teachings/sermons. If anyone wants to read a biography on a great Christian in history, start here.
Well, here's my list. What is yours? Leave your thoughts if you'd like. Some of the runners up include:
- David Wells: Courage to Be Protestant
- David Aikman: Billy Graham: His Life and Influences
- John MacArthur: Truth War
- Robert Stein: Jesus the Messiah
- James MacDonald: Gripped By the Greatness of God
- Lee Strobel: The Case For the Real Jesus (actually any in these series will do)
- Justin Martyr: Apology I & II
- Philip Jacob Spener: Pia Disederia
- Kevin Deyoung & Ted Kluck: Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be