Recently, I was in attendance at a social gathering with several church members. As is often the case, people began to break off into smaller groups for conversation and fellowship. A man there asked me this question: “If you could pick just ten books that you think every Christian should read, besides the Bible, what would they be?”
What an excellent question! I know everyone has their own “Top Ten” list when it comes to reading. I am rarely asked mine.
Criteria For Selecting These Books
I want to give my reasoning for selecting these books. A book made this list for some combination of the following four criteria. First, does it stand the test of time? Second, has the book had a profound impact on Christians? Third, is it properly edifying (meaning – is it “orthodox enough” to cause growth in the believer)? Fourth, is it “readable?”
The fourth criterion of “readability” is significant. There are a number of books I think people ought to read, but I know that the daunting task of doing so is usually a blockade to success. As an example, I think people ought to read Calvin’s Institutes or Edwards’ Religious Affections. I also know that the sheer size of these works is enough to cause most people to quit before they begin. The books listed here are manageable.
What To Do With This List
I will list the books in the historical order they were written. If the author is known, it will be listed after the title of the book. There are three things you can do with this list.
First, you can satisfy your curiosity. You can say, “Look, this is Phillip’s Top Ten Books reading list.” I hope you don’t just do that!
Second, you can slowly and progressively begin reading through these books. It would be a worthwhile endeavor.
Third, you can follow along with me. I am going to re-read these books this year. February through November makes ten months. One book a month. I will be using this blog to make posts about these books while I am reading them and once finished. If you would like to give this a try – let’s go for it!
So, without further ado, here is my “Ten Books Every Christian Should Read” list.
Ten Books Every Christian Should Read
The Letter of the Romans To The Corinthians [a.k.a. 1 Clement] (70-96AD)
Martyrdom of Polycarp (155-160AD)
On the Incarnation, Athanasius (~319AD)
Confessions, Augustine (397-400AD)
Why God Become Man Anselm (1098)
Imitation of Christ, Thomas á Kempis (1418-1427)
Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther (1525)
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan (1678)
Created In God’s Image, Anthony Hoekema (1986)
The Cross of Christ, John Stott (1986)
Want to take this reading journey with me? Share this post (and the upcoming posts related to it). Get copies of these books (either in print or audio form) and let’s read!