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The Best Books I've Read

I love getting a good book recommendation, and am often asked for reading suggestions.  After looking over my reading log from the past few years, I picked a few of my favorite titles to share with you. 

Feel free to comment and pass this list along.  I would love to know what books you have enjoyed or are hoping to read.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.  While Lewis was certainly more sacramental than I am, this book is an essential read because it forms the foundation for so many contemporary works.
The New Testament Documents by F. F. Bruce.  Although somewhat short and outdated, this easy book provides evidence for the basic reliability of the biblical texts.
From God to Us Revised and Expanded by Geisler and Nix.  My favorite overview of texts, translations, and manuscript reliability.
On Guard by Craig. A great thinker presents the powerful “kalam argument” for God’s existence.  
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Qureshi.  A moving autobiographical account of conversation.  
Tactics by Koukl.  How to be effective in sharing your faith when the other person is more intelligent or educated than you are.

50 People Every Christian Should Know by Wiersbe. Easy introduction to many significant people.
Bonhoeffer by Metaxas.  One of the best biographies I have ever read.  Chronicles the life of a German pastor who died in World War II.

The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko. This is where I learned the most millionaires are “first-generation rich” and have never paid more than $30,000 for a car.
Smart Money Smart Kids by Ramsey and Cruz. Practical tips on raising kids with good financial sense.

Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy Zuck.  A classic overview of essential hermeneutical skills.
Grasping God’s Word by Duvall and Hays. Thoroughly covers basic hermeneutical principles and elaborates on “hermeneutical bridge” principle.
Plowshares and Pruning Hooks by Sandy.  Looks at what can be learned from fulfilled prophecy and how those lessons may be applied to future prophecy.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick.  This book tells the powerful stories of North Korean defectors.
Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath. The history of Protestantism.
The Baptist Heritage by McBeth.  The best book on Baptist history that I’ve read.
1776 by McCullough.  Gripping account of the revolutionary war.
The Arsenal of Democracy Baime.  Considered the contribution of the Ford empire to the war effort.
Unbroken by Hillenbrand.  The book behind the movie! Incredible story of survival and redemption.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Diamond.  Provides reasonable explanation for historical trajectory of great civilizations.

Marriage (consider reading together if married!)
His Needs, Her Needs by Harley.  While the author sometimes overstates his case, these principles are incredibly helpful. 
When Sinners Say “I Do” by Harvey.  Gospel-centered teaching on marriage.
Starting Your Marriage Right by Rainey.  This book isn’t only for engaged couples!

The Road Ahead by Paul Chappell.  A call to biblical ministry.
Dangerous Calling by Tripp.  A powerful call to never outgrow the gospel.
All Around Ministry by Spurgeon. A collection of addresses given at his annual conference.

Philosophy and Ethics
Body & Soul by Moreland and Rae. This book provides a scholarly defense of the soul, conditional mortality, and includes some ethical implications.
Legislating Morality by Geisler and Turek. Somewhat simple but insightful introduction to a New Testament approach to law and politics.
Retrieving the Natural Law by J. Daryl Charles.  Vital foundation to a Christian understanding of ethics.  While slightly academic, this book is well worth the read.
Defending Life by Beckwith. Academically lays out the definitive case against abortion and dismantles weak arguments on both sides of the debate.

Self-Help/ Leadership
Getting Things Done by David Allen.  This is the best book I’ve read on time-management.
EntreLeadership by Ramsey.  Great business book that does not simply repackage old ideas.
Margin by Swenson.  Learn now to create a buffer zone in critical areas of your life.
Outliers by Gladwell.  An insightful look at the statistics of success.  
The 360 Degree Leader by Maxwell.  Probably the best Maxwell book I have read.  Good overview of his best principles.
Boundaries by Cloud/Townsend. Learning when to say “no” to others.  It’s an important skill!

The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown by Kostenberger.  Terrific introduction to the New Testament.
Salvation and Sovereignty by Keathley. Compelling defense of Molinism.
Strange Fire by MacArthur. Presents the theological case for cessationism.  (Just as an FYI, I get a small commission for each purchase made from the links above.)

So that's my list.  What are some books that you recommend?


  1. Great reading list! Here are a few that I would add:
    Apologetics - "Reason for God" (Keller)
    Biography - "Jonathan Edwards" (Marsden)
    Marriage - "What Did you Expect?" (Tripp) and "Meaning of Marriage" (Keller)
    Ministry - "Brothers, We are not Professionals" (Piper) and "Deliberate Church" (Dever)
    Theology - "Kingdom through Covenant" (Wellum, Gentry) and "The God Who is There" (Carson)

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