When I was a lot younger than today I despised the task of reading books. Part of this is because when I was in high school I had only 6 weeks of grammar in grade 9, plus another 6 weeks in grade 12 and all the rest of the time concerning the balance of those English classes I had to deal with literature. The other reason, I found out later is that I had trouble in my comprehension (I still do today). Thus I hated to read. O’ by the way, my fiery-sidekick still says I am “comma impaired! ” :~)
Well after God redeemed me in Jesus Christ (1975), I began to desire to learn about my Lord, the Bible, and Christianity. Consequently, I now appreciate and love to read. The majority of my reading is of course the Bible, books on Theology, Christian History, and Bio’s of some of the Lord’s precious saints.
My friend Allen Raynor (SBTS) has for the last couple of years sent me his annual reading list on his web-blog (firstname.lastname@example.org). His list has encourage me to read some of the books he has listed. Hopefully my list here will encourage others to do the same.
2010 | BOOK READING LIST
1. Abstract of Systematic Theology – by James P. Boyce | As its title indicates this is a book concerning theology. If someone wants to have a deeper understanding concerning the theology of Scripture this book would be a good choice. However, if one is a new Christian instead of reading this particular book I would recommend that you should read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology first, and then consider Boyce.
2. Before God – by Mike J. Sarkissian | This book is about prayer and praying. I highly recommend this book. Sarkissian looks at all aspects of prayer, praying, and one’s prayer life.
3. How We Got the Bible – by Neil R. Lightfoot | This book is an excellent account of how the Bible has been preserved and handed down to our generation. It begins with the history of the ancient writings, the birth of the Bible, OT and NT manuscripts, the transition from Hebrew/Greek into English, and continues up to today with our English translations.
4. The Bible in English – by David Daniell | This book is a history of the different English translations of the Bible. This book is long (700 reading pages) and laborious to read. I enjoyed reading the history aspect, but I was tired of reading the book by the time I reached the end.
5. The Two Babylons – by Alexander Hislop | This book compares the pagan practices of ancient Babylon to many of the same practices (at least in appearance) as found in the Roman Catholic church up to his time era.
6. The Babylon Connection – by Ralph Woodrow | This book is an examination of Hislop’s Two Babylons. The author’s intent was to refute Hislop, but he approached it is such a malicious way his point was lost or at least diminished. Fortunately it was a short book.
7. The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | It is PC to “dumb down” God today. Dr. Mohler looks at this reality and warns of the dangers of such teaching in regards to God, sin, hell, etc., and the shifting sands undergirding Christianity today.
8. Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | Our culture today is transforming at a fast exploding pace. This book addresses how to stand up for the truth clearly, biblically, and passionately when facing such an ever changing worldview.
9. Words from the Fire: Hearing the Voice of God in the 10 Commandments – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | The Ten Commandments – not the Ten Suggestions. This book examines the Ten Commandments and how they apply to our minds, hearts, and lives today.
10. The Truth War – by John MacArthur | This book is about the war our culture is waging against Divine Truth. Seen ever so prominent in our postmodern society, so too, being waged openly among those within the Lord’s church. Dr. MacArthur reveals such with this book and encourages that the Lord’s people to stand for the truth of God’s decrees despite the heat of the battle being not afraid of the enemy. Though deceivers may think that they have won the battle, ultimately they will lose, for the truth will always prevail.
11. Pilgrim’s Progress: In Today’s English – by John Bunyan, retold by James H. Thomas | This is the 3rd time that I have read this wonderful classic. The first two times was in the Old English, this time in modern English. I found it much easier to read. But I would not rule out not reading the old style again. If you have never read the book I highly recommend that you do so.
Bios – Anytime you get the opportunity to read about the saints of old – I highly recommend that – God’s people of the past are an inspiration to His people today.
12. James Petigru Boyce – by Dr. Tom Nettles
13. George Mueller of Bristol – by Arthur T. Pierson
14. John Newton – by Jonathan Aitken
15. Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret – by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
16. The Shadow of the Broad Brim [About Spurgeon] – by Richard Ellsworth Day
17. Jonathan Edwards – by Iain H. Murray
18. Arthur W. Pink: Born To Write – by Richard P. Belcher
19. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. 1 – by Justo L. Gonzalez | This is a 2 volume set. The book is a decent general history of Christianity. If you want more detail perhaps Schaff’s or Sheldon’s historical works on Christianity may best suit your needs. – Currently, I am now reading vol. 2.