recommended reading

Reading was a practice that I was never encouraged to do when growing up.  In fact, I believe the first time that I read a whole book was in the summer of 2001 at the age of 20.  Since then, I have read anywhere from 50-70 books per year.  Some small, some large, some for fun, and some for learning. 

Regardless of what we read we must take into consideration that every book does not deserve the same amount of our attention.  Take the words of Francis Bacon for example,  He once said that “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”  This means that every book that we read does not deserve the same amount of attention.  Some will need to be skimmed alone, while others deserve to be completely read, and then there will be those rare few that are skimmed, read, reread, highlighted, and marked throughout.  To better understand his point, I encourage you to read Mortimer J. Adler’s, “How to Read a Book.” 

Nevertheless, everything that we read must be subjected to the revealed will of God in the Scriptures of the Bible.  The Bible is the only source given by God that enables us to know His good, acceptable, and perfect will (read Romans 12.2).  It is the only source given by God to know exactly what we are to believe about Him and what He requires of us. 

So, when you are reading, read through the lens of Scriptures.  Wear them as glasses on your heart so that you may look through them and compare what you are reading with the will of God.  If we do not learn to do this, then we will be tossed around in life as a small boat on the ragging sea by every new idea that we come across.

Finally, we are not to read for the sheer excitement of obtaining additional information.  No, no, no.  We are to read to take the information that we have read and apply it to our lives.  This is true in the Biblical sense as well.  We read in James 1.22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  So be doers of what we read.  Let us not become encyclopedia’s, but rather people who grasp what we are reading so that it may be compared and contrasted to the Scriptures, to then be applied it to our lives. 

Overtime I will include a recommended reading list on a variety of topics.  If you are interested in a particular subject and would like a few suggestions, just let me know and I will see what I can do.  Happy reading, learning, and applying! 

American History:

  1. Angels in the Whirldwind by Benson Bobrick
  2. Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis
  3. Patriots by A.J. Langguth
  4. 1776 by David McCullough
  5. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville 
  6. Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton
  7. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution by the Oxford History of the United States
  8. A History of the American Revolution by John Alden

Apologetics:

  1. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler
  2. Right Answers for Wrong Beliefs by Matthew Slick 

Bible and Bible Study:

  1. Favorite Bible Translations: New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the English Standard Version (ESV).
  2. Inerrancy edt. by Norman Geisler 
  3. Scripture Alone by R.C. Sproul
  4. New Testament Exegesis by Gordon Fee
  5. The Hermeneutical Spiral by Grant Osborne
  6. A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible by Robert Stein

Biographies:

  1. Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore
  2. George Whitefield by Arnold Dallimore
  3. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader by Dinesh D’Souza 
  4. Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  5. Grace Abounding by John Bunyan
  6. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  7. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
  8. Dutch by Edmund Morris

Community:

  1. Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam
  2. Theology for the Community of God by Stanley Grenz
  3. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Dating and Courtship:

  1. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
  2. Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
  3. Virgin Territory: Biblical Courtship in a Secular Age by Nate Atwood 

Devotions:

  1. Teaching Hearts and Training Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism by Starr Meade
  2. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  3. Taste and See by John Piper
  4. Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray
  5. Morning by Morning by C.H. Spurgeon
  6. How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson

Government and Politics:

  1. God and Government, three volume series, by Gary DeMar
  2. Christianity and the Constitution by John Eidsmoe
  3. Original Intent by John Barton
  4. The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater 

Holiness and Purity:

  1. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
  2. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
  3. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges 

John Piper:

  1. Anything by John Piper, in particular the following titles (at least this is what I have read)
  2. Desiring God
  3. When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God and Joy
  4. Let the Nations Be Glad
  5. God’s Passion for His Glory
  6. Counted Righteous in Christ
  7. God is the Gospel
  8. The Passion of Jesus Christ
  9. The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9.1-23
  10. Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die
  11. Dangerous Duty of Delight
  12. The Supremacy of God in Preaching 

Leadership (I have been typically unhappy with a number of books that I have read on this subject, but here are a few that will be worth your time and investment):

  1. The Making of a Leader by Robert Clinton
  2. Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
  3. Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2.9-15 edt. by Andreas Kostenberger
  4. Leaders on Leadership edt. by George Barna
  5. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
  6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Manhood and Womanhood:

  1. Rediscovering Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism edt. by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
  2. What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible by John Piper
  3. Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? by Wayne Grudem
  4. God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas Kostenberger

Parenting:

  1. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp 
  2. Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
  3. Bringing up Boys by James Dobson
  4. Dare to Discipline by James Dobson
  5. The Family Worship Book by Terry Johnson
  6. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
  7. Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman
  8. Confident Parenting by Jim Burns
  9. Building Strong Families edt. by Dennis Rainey
  10. God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas Kostenberger

Suffering:

  1. Problem with Pain by C.S. Lewis
  2. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edt. by John Piper and Justin Taylor
  3. Surprised by Suffering by R.C. Sproul
  4. When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

Teaching and Preaching:

  1. Creative Bible Teaching by Lawrence Richards
  2. Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson
  3. Preaching and Teaching with Imagination by Warren Wiersbe 
  4. The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper
  5. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text by Sidney Greidanus

Theology:

  1. Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof
  2. Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin, edt. by John McNeill
  3. Essential Truths to the Christian Faithh by R.C. Sproul 
  4. What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul
  5. Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
  6. A Theology of the New Testament by George Ladd
  7. The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented by David Steele, Curtis Thomas, and S. Lance Quinn

Youth Ministry:

  1. Family Based Youth Ministry by Mike DeVries
  2. Passing on the Faith: A Radical New Model for Youth and Family Ministry by Merton Strommen
  3. Partnering With Parents in Youth Ministry coauthored by Jim Burns and Mike DeVries
  4. Family Friendly Church by Ben Freudenburg
  5. Critique of Modern Youth Ministry by Christopher Schlect
  6. The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry coauthored by Kenda Dean and Ron Foster

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