Recommended Reading

“You are what you read” is more true than we know. Since Scripture teaches that we are transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2), we believe that reading is a key practice for cultivating spiritual growth. Reading, meditation, and study of the Scriptures themselves form the most important part of the Christian’s diet. But other books can help us as well. Here’s a list of recommended books in different categories.


Bible Study 

 

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible (ed. D. A. Carson)

The ESV Study Bible (ed. Crossway)

The Reformation Study Bible (ed. R. C. Sproul)

New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (ed. D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, G. J. Wenham)

New Bible Dictionary (ed. I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, D. J. Wiseman)

The Bible Speaks Today series (ed. J. A. Motyer, John Stott)

The Pillar New Testament Commentary series (ed. D. A. Carson)

The New Studies in Biblical Theology series (ed. D. A. Carson)


The Gospel

 

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ (Ray Ortlund)

A Gospel Primer for Christians (Milton Vincent)

The Prodigal God (Tim Keller)

Who is Jesus? (R. C. Sproul)

Christ All Sufficient (Brian Hedges)

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story (D. A. Carson)

The Gospel According to Jesus (John MacArthur)


Apologetics

 

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story (Michael Horton)

Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical (Tim Keller)

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Tim Keller)

Hope Has Its Reasons (Rebecca Manley Pippert)

Basic Christianity (John Stott)

Mere Christianity (C. S. Lewis)

Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God (Paul Copan)


Church

 

Center Church (Tim Keller)

The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel (Mark Dever, Paul Alexander)

Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emergent and Traditional (Jim Belcher)

Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community (Tim Chester, Steve Timmis)

The Church (Edmund Clowney)

Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (John Ortberg)

Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way (J. I. Packer, Gary Parrett)

The Vine Project (Colin Marshall, Tony Payne)

No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God (Aimee Bird)

Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission (Tim Chester)

Outgrowing the Ingrown Church (C. John Miller)

Worship by the Book (ed. D. A. Carson)


Spirituality

 

Rejoicing in Christ (Michael Reeves)

Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life (Elyse Fitzpatrick)

Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change (Brian Hedges)

Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin (Brian Hedges)

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin (Kris Lundgaard)

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Don Whitney)

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (John Ortberg)

Seeking the Face of God (Gary Thomas)

Habits of Grace (David Mathis)

Desiring God (John Piper)

Future Grace (John Piper)

Overcoming Sin and Temptation (John Owen)

The Religious Affections (Jonathan Edwards)

Children of the Living God (Sinclair Ferguson)

The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction (Sinclair Ferguson)

Studies on the Sermon on the Mount (Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

Choosing Forgiveness (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)

For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, vols. 1 and 2 (D. A. Carson)

The Pursuit of God (A. W. Tozer)

The Christian in Complete Armour (William Gurnall)

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (Thomas Brooks)

Decision Making and the Will of God (Gary Friesen)

Money, Possessions, and Eternity (Randy Alcorn)

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies (Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung)

Hit List: Taking Aim at the Seven Deadly Sins (Brian Hedges)

The Discipline of Grace (Jerry Bridges)

Counterfeit Gods (Tim Keller)


Theology

 

Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (Timothy Ward)

Gospel and Kingdom (Graeme Goldsworthy)

Delighting in the Trinity (Michael Reeves)

Knowing God (J. I. Packer)

The Existence and Attributes of God (Stephen Charnock)

Knowing Christ (Mark Jones)

The Cross of Christ (John Stott)

Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement (Donald Macleod)

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (D. A. Carson)

Turning to God: Reclaiming Christian Conversion as Unique, Necessary, and Supernatural (David F. Wells)

Institutes of the Christian Religion (John Calvin)

The Pleasures of God (John Piper)

The Holiness of God (R. C. Sproul)

Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification (Thomas R. Schreiner)

The Holy Spirit (John Owen)

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (John Owen)

The Knowledge of the Holy (A. W. Tozer)

What is Reformed Theology? (R. C. Sproul)

The Christian Faith:  A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Michael Horton)

With Jesus: Finding Your Place in the Story of Christ (Brian Hedges)

God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (John Piper)

The Holy Spirit (Sinclair Ferguson)

Keeping in Step with the Spirit (J. I. Packer)

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.)

Biblical Authority after Babel (Kevin Vanhoozer)

Reformed Dogmatics (Herman Bavinck)

Heaven (Randy Alcorn)

Introducing Covenant Theology (Michael Horton)

Putting the Amazing Back into Grace (Michael Horton)

The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good? (R. C. Sproul)

The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance (Thomas R. Schreiner, Ardel B. Caneday)


Suffering

 

How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil (D. A. Carson)

Trusting God Even When Life Hurts (Jerry Bridges)

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Tim Keller)

A Lifting Up for the Downcast (William Bridge)

The Mystery of Providence (John Flavel)

Deserted by God? (Sinclair Ferguson)

When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty (Joni Earekson Tada)


Soul Care

 

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (Paul Tripp)

Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life (Brian Hedges)

God and Soul Care (Eric Johnson)

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture (David Murray)

Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling through the Lens of Scripture (David Powlison)

Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free (Tim Chester)

Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken (David Powlison)

Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

When People are Big and God is Small (Edward T. Welch)

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Edward T. Welch)

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Everyday Conflict (Ken Sande)

How People Change (Paul Tripp and Tim Lane)

Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault (Justin Holcomb, Lindsey Holcomb)

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest (Edward T. Welch)


Marriage / Family / Sexuality 

 

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family (Paul Tripp)

When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Dave Harvey)

The Meaning of Marriage (Tim and Kathy Keller)

Sacred Marriage (Gary Thomas)

Sacred Parenting (Gary Thomas)

The Mystery of Marriage (Mike Mason)

Each for the Other: Marriage as It’s Meant to Be (Bryan and Kathy Chapell)

Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime (Maggie Paulus)

Together: Growing Appetites for God (Carrie Ward)

Family Worship (Don Whitney)

Come Back, Barbara (C. John Miller, Barbara Miller Juliani)

Same Sex Attraction and the Church (Ed Shaw)

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Sexuality (Wesley Hill)

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? (Kevin DeYoung)


Children

 

The Jesus Storybook Bible (Sally Lloyd-Jones)

The BIG Picture Story Bible (David Helm)

The Biggest Story: How the Snake-Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden (Kevin DeYoung)

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross (Carl Laferton)

The Prince’s Poison Cup (R. C. Sproul)

The Chronicles of Narnia (C. S. Lewis)

100 Cupboards series (N. D. Wilson)

The Harry Potter series (J. K. Rowling)

The Heroes of the Faith series (Sinclair Ferguson)

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread (Kate DiCamillo)


Prayer

 

Praying the Bible (Don Whitney)

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Tim Keller)

Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (D. A. Carson)

A Praying Life (Paul Miller)

Communion with the Triune God (John Owen)

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name (Bryan Chapell)

A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Prayer and Fasting (John Piper)

The Hidden Life of Prayer (David M’Intyre)

Calling on the Name of the Lord: A biblical theology of prayer (Gary Millar)

Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Michael Reeves)


Culture

 

Christ and Culture Revisited (D. A. Carson)

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (Andy Crouch)

Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Albert M. Wolters)

Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living (Cornelius Plantinga Jr.)

Living in God’s Two Kingdoms (David VanDrunen)

State of the Arts (Gene Edward Veith)

Reading Between the Lines:  A Christian’s Guide to Literature (Gene Edward Veith)

The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth (Mike Cosper)

Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts (Jerram Barrs)

Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism and Liberty (Brett McCracken)

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (Tim Keller)

Saving Leonardo (Nancy Pearcy)

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Nancy Pearcy)

Amusing Ourselves to Death (Neil Postman)

God in the Wasteland: The Reality of God in a World of Fading Dreams (David F. Wells)


Literature

 

The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)

The Great Divorce (C. S. Lewis)

The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis)

Till We Have Faces (C. S. Lewis)

Home: A Novel (Marilynne Robinson)

Gilead: A Novel (Marilynne Robinson)

The Complete English Poems (George Herbert)

The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)

The Holy War (John Bunyan)

Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)

A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

Jayber Crow (Wendell Berry)

The Complete Stories (Flannery O’Connor)


Biography

 

Confessions (Augustine)

Calvin (Bruce Gordon)

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (John Bunyan)

Jonathan Edwards: A Life (George Marsden)

To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson (Courtney Anderson)

The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Iain Murray)

Spurgeon: A New Biography (Arnold Dallimore)

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Roland Bainton)

Memoirs & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (ed. Andrew Bonar)

Life & Diary of David Brainerd (ed. Jonathan Edwards)

J. Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ (Roger Steer)

The Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (Elizabeth Elliot)

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Elizabeth Elliot)

Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Stephen B. Oates)

George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Thomas Kidd)

John Paton: The Autobiography of the Pioneer Missionary to the New Hebrides (John Paton)

The Autobiography of George Muller (George Muller)


Evangelism / Missions

 

Questioning Evangelism (Randy Newman)

Bringing the Gospel Home (Randy Newman)

Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life (Rebecca Manley Pippert)

Let the Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions (John Piper)

Operation World (Patrick Mandryk)

Through Gates of Splendor (Elizabeth Elliot)

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Mark Dever)

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (J. I. Packer)

Ashamed of the Gospel (John MacArthur)

Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel Wholly by Grace Communicated Truthfully & Lovingly (Will Metzger)

Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns (ed. D. A. Carson)

The Master Plan of Evangelism (Robert E. Coleman)

Meals with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (Tim Chester)

Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace (Harvie Conn)


Justice

 

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just (Tim Keller)

Issues Facing Christians Today (John Stott)

Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor (Robert Lupton)

Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road (Tim Keller)

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor (Brian Fikkert, Steve Corbett)

Letters from a Birmingham Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian (John Piper)

United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (Trillia Newbell)

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches (Russell D. Moore)

Answering the Call: Saving Innocent Lives One Woman at a Time (John Ensor)

Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions (Randy Alcorn)


Ministry / Leadership

 

Preaching and Preachers (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Bryan Chapell)

Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism (Tim Keller)

Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today (John Stott)

The Supremacy of God in Preaching (John Piper)

The Heart of a Servant Leader (C. John Miller)

Leading on Empty (Wayne Cordeiro)

Some Pastors and Teachers (Sinclair B. Ferguson)

The Reformed Pastor (Richard Baxter)

The Christian Ministry (Charles Bridges)

The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry (Jared C. Wilson)

The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church (Timothy Z. Witmer)

Spiritual Leadership (J. Oswald Sanders)

Heralds of God (James S. Stewart)

The Preacher: His Life and Work (J. H. Jowett)

Lectures to My Students (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today (David Helm)

Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake (Gary Millar, Phil Campbell)

Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching (Peter Adam)

The Pastor’s Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry (R. Kent Hughes)

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business (Patrick Lencioni)

Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page (Larry Osborne)

Transformational Groups: Creating a Scorecard for Small Groups (Ed Stetzer, Eric Geiger)


Church History

 

The Story of Christianity (Justo Gonzalez)

2000 Years of Christ’s Power (Nick Needham)

Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Michael A. G. Haykin)

The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation (Michael Reeves)

The Theology of the Reformers (Timothy George)

A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (J. I. Packer)

Meet the Puritans (Joel Beeke, Randall Pederson)