Saturday, May 24, 2008

Influential Books

While we are still on the topic of books, I want to turn us to a new arena. Not your favorite books, not the books that you think are the best books. I want you to tell me what books have been most influential in your life. Which books got you started thinking about this or that truth. Which book opened your eyes to a crying need in your life. Which book lit your fire for reading, or for the course of your life. I will go first.

The Hobbit - Tolkien - this was the first that I can remember reading and it gave me a hunger for reading, for a sickly little kid it showed me that my world could be much bigger by the use of my mind.

Doctrines that Divide - Erwin Lutzer - this was one of the first books that I read after becoming a Christian (thank you John) and for a postmodern kid it was powerful to see that truth is real and how important truth can be, and it created a hunger in me to know and embrace truth.

Systematic Theology - Wayne Grudem - I read this for the first time my junior year of college (thanks again John) and it helped me understand the depth and breadth of Christian truth. It was absolutely intoxicating, I was crushed to discover that I had lost it in the move to Louisville. (I immediately bought another).

Preacher's Portrait - John Stott - I read this during my senior as I was grappling with my call to be a pastor, this book was very useful in understanding what it meant for me to be a pastor in the future and useful today for my understanding of what I am to be as a pastor.

The Cross of Christ - John Stott - Before reading this book my understanding of the Cross was pretty general, Jesus died for my sins and through faith and repentance I can be saved. Through Stott's masterwork I came to see the greater depth and beauty of what Christ has done for me. Not the easiest read but will repay the effort.

The God Who Is There - Francis Schaeffer - Schaeffer showed me the importance of worldview. The prison of a non-biblical worldview and the necessity and beauty of a biblical worldview. A Must Read.

Future Grace - John Piper - this book really set me free and straight on the motive for Christian obedience. Through this book I learned how faith is to function in all of the Christian life. Gratitude is not sufficient for living in a fallen world, we need faith in the future grace of God or we will be cowards or compromisers.

Slave of Christ - Murray J. Harris - He clarified for me part of the Lordship of Christ that I had not understood in depth before. That as the One who has ransomed us, He has set us free to become His slaves and now as His slaves we find our joy in obeying Him, we do not have the freedom to decide anything, all of life is lived under the Lordship of Christ, we are either good slaves or bad slaves. Also a call to learn how to discern what His will is, a call to deep study of His Word.

1 comment:

John Lucas said...

OK brother, here is my list in no particular order:

To the Golden Shores, Courtney Anderson; this is the biography of Adoniram Judson, which broke my heart for global missions and reminded me that true heroes of the faith are those whom i will never know their name or service on this side of eternity

Gospel Reconciliation, Jeremiah Burroughs; this is a great Puritan's collection of sermons that opened my eyes to the depth of sin and rebellion and how God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself.

Knowing God, JI Packer; nothing else needs to be said. it is the finest work in the field.

How to Give Away your Faith, Paul Little; the first book i ever read on personal evangelism, and still one of the best. it helped me to openly and conversationally take Jesus to people, knowing i had the best news in the world.

The Invisible Hand, RC Sproul; the first book of theology of any real depth in my life. it not only explained why suffering and evil happens in the world, but introduced me for the first time to the sovereignty of god. a great book.