It is important to read good Christian books. There are a variety of reasons why they are worth our time and energy. For instance, good Christian books help us understand God’s Word better. They serve as gifted teachers steering us to the truth. They also help us understand specific issues better. For example, they may speak to the need for change in our lives, develop our grasp of who God is, and explain the practical application of biblical principles in our daily lives. Good Christian books can also tell us the story of how God has worked through his church down through the ages. They can introduce us to spiritual giants who will encourage us to continue our faithfulness to Christ.
I recently heard from a friend who shared this story with me, and I thought it was one of many good examples of why we need to read good Christian books. She told me she was meeting with a non-Christian woman in a mentoring situation who just couldn’t believe in God. The woman had been raised in a different culture and in a home that didn’t believe in God. She had been taught Eastern religions and believed in evolution. Needless to say, Genesis and God presented huge obstacles for her. Although they had been studying the Bible, my friend struggled with what to say that might persuade this woman to open her heart to God. I recommended she read Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God. Perhaps it would offer some insights for her.
It’s a rather challenging book, but my friend read it and found one particular chapter especially appropriate for sharing with her friend. Together they read through the chapter a few pages at a time and discussed each of his arguments. Although her friend hasn’t made a profession of faith yet, that chapter and Keller’s reasoning resonated with her to the point that now she is considering that there just might be something to God after all. It exposed her to lines of reasoning my friend had been unable to offer before.
Good Christian books can offer helpful insights for sharing your faith. They can also educate, inspire, strengthen your faith, teach new skills, and minister to you. But one caveat, Christian book reading is not to be a substitute for Bible reading, only supplemental to it. Books about the Bible and Christian faith can never replace Bible reading.
Here is a list of seven other books I think every Christian should read. We’ve ordered a supply for our bookstore. You can also buy them at a local Christian bookstore or order them on line.
- According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy (InterVarsity, 2002)
- Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp (P & R Publishing, 2002)
- Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C. J. Mahaney (Multnomah, 2006)
- A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love by Milton Vincent (Focus Publishing, 2008)
- The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul (Tyndale House, 2000)
- Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper (Crossway, 2003)
- Knowing God by J. I. Packer (InterVarsity, 1993)
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