xclose menu

Books for Growing Christians


(Updated & Revised, June, 2020)

Bringing good Christian books into your home is like inviting godly, wise Christian leaders to share their insights with you and your family. It’s a worthwhile investment. I recommend that you budget money to purchase good Christian books. If you spend money for cable TV, videos, & movies, why not budget some money for books to help you and your family to grow in Christ? I usually purchase books rather than borrow because I can mark them and write comments in the margin as I interact with the authors. I also set goals on how many books I want to read each year to help me keep at it. I try to vary my reading between devotional (often sermons from the godly men of the past), biographical (see my separate book list entirely on this), and theological.

I usually buy books either used or at a discount. One source: for some harder-to-find, but solid books: Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service, P.O. Box 613, Carlisle, PA 17013. Phone: (800) 656-0231. Web: www.cvbbs.com Even with shipping costs, you can usually beat retail prices. Also, try www.monergism.com & www.Amazon.com. Go to www.campusI.com to compare prices on books. There is now a lot of helpful free stuff available on the web (see my favorite links on fcfonline.org).

This list is selective. There are many other worthwhile books. I’ve listed some that have helped me. Being on this list does not imply total endorsement. Read critically and prayerfully, comparing everything with Scripture!


Note: You can now purchase many of the following works in various combinations in electronic format. Generally, you can get far more books for your buck this way, if you don’t mind having them in this form. And, you can find many Bible study helps such as concordances, commentaries, and sermons online at monergism.com, Bible.org, Sermonaudio.com, and other sites. You will have to search around and determine what best fits your needs.

  1. New American Standard Bible. It is the most literal translation, although sometimes not smooth. Get the updated version.
  2. English Standard Version Study Bible. This is a literal translation also, attempting to be a bit smoother than the NASB. There are extensive helpful notes and articles.
  3. New International Version Bible. For alternate reading & study; less literal than the NASB, but easier to read. The New King James Version is a modern update of the popular old version. Generally the Greek text behind the KJV & NKJV is not as authentic as the text behind the NASB & ESV (although this is hotly debated!).
  4. Exhaustive Concordance to the NASB. A concordance lists every word in the Bible and where it occurs, so you can locate a text if you can remember one word from the verse; or do a theme or word study by tracing every occurrence of a word in the Bible.
  5. The New Bible Dictionary.
  6. The New Unger’s Bible Handbook.
  7. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 vol. Best evangelical, multi-volume commentary set. This set has been abridged into the two-volume NIV Bible Commentary, Kenneth Barker & John Kohlenberger III, eds. If you purchase this shorter set, you could also purchase vol. 1 of the Expositor’s set, which contains some very helpful articles.
  8. The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament & New Testament (2 vols.). Brief commentary on the whole Bible (dispensational perspective, written by Dallas Seminary faculty).
  9. Calvin’s Commentaries. Expensive and does not cover whole Bible. But he is devotionally as well as exegetically good. You can read these on the web (monergism.com).
  10. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (5 vols.).
  11. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W. E. Vine. Word studies for students who don’t know Hebrew or Greek.
  12. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Colin Brown, ed. (4 vols.). More scholarly word studies than Vine, but you can use it even if you don’t know Greek. There is also a one volume edition of Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.
  13. Any good Bible atlas.
  14. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter Elwell, ed.
  15. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, J. D. Douglas, ed.
  16. Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, ed. by Tim Dowley.
  17. Unlocking the Scriptures, Hans Finzel (principles of inductive Bible study; or, there are several other good books that help you learn to study the Bible on your own).


Don’t be scared off by this section! Christian families used to teach their children through catechisms, which are great summaries of biblical truth. John Piper offers a Baptist catechism on DesiringGod.org. American Christians need sound doctrine! In addition to the specific works listed below, I highly recommend that you read any of the Puritans. Also, men like Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, J. C. Ryle, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones have many sermons in print that combine solid theology, devotion to God, and practical application. 

  1. The London Baptist Confession of 1689 (this is now available from Cumberland in a modern version called A Faith to Confess: The 1689 Confession in Modern English).
  2. The Westminster Confession of Faith (along with the Longer and Shorter Catechisms; I don’t agree with their position on baptism and the Sabbath, but it is an excellent summary of solid doctrine).
  3. Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin (buy the edition by J. T. McNeill, translated by Ford Lewis Battles, which is more up-to-date than the Beveridge edition). While some sections are hard to read, others are outstanding (the section on prayer is great)! Next to the Bible, Calvin’s Institutes is far and away the most profound book I’ve ever read (twice at this date)!
  4. The Institutes, Tony Lane. A greatly condensed edition of the original. Maybe start here.
  5. Calvin: An Introduction to His Thought, T. H. L. Parker (synopsis of the Institutes).
  6. Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem. Contemporary, Reformed on salvation. I do not agree with his charismatic views. A condensed version of this book is called, Bible Doctrine.
  7. Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge (get the one-volume abridged edition; Hodge was a solid Reformed professor at Princeton in the 19th century).
  8. The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 vol.). Edwards is difficult to read, but immensely rewarding. He knew and loved God as few men have.
  9. The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther (a classic; a modern English edition is available from Cumberland called “Born Slaves”).
  10. Faith Works, John MacArthur, Jr. On “lordship salvation.”
  11. The Holiness of God, R. C. Sproul.
  12. The Most Encouraging Book on Hell Ever, Thor Ramsey. Brief, helpful, at times humorous, defense of hell.
  13. Knowing God, J. I. Packer.
  14. The Existence and Attributes of God, Stephen Charnock (2 vol.). Very good, although wordy and repetitive.
  15. The Doctrines of Grace, James Boice & Philip Ryken (on Calvinism).
  16. Chosen by God, R. C. Sproul. Clear, convincing, and practical.
  17. Chosen for Life, Sam Storms. Helpful treatment of divine election.
  18. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen. The best defense of “particular redemption.”
  19. Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, John Murray. The Reformed doctrines of salvation.
  20. Still Sovereign, ed. by Thomas Schreiner & Bruce Ware. A collection of essays on the vital subject of God’s sovereignty. Some are very helpful.
  21. The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, D. A. Carson. Short, but provocative.
  22. The Love of God, John MacArthur.
  23. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Bruce Ware. Short, helpful treatment of the trinity.
  24. Our Triune God, Philip Ryken and Michael LeFebvre. Basic, non-technical treatment of the trinity.
  25. Living for God’s Glory, Joel Beeke & others. Helpful, devotional, practical.
  26. The Blessed Hope, George Ladd. Argues irenically, yet convincingly, for the post-tribulation rapture.
  27. The Presence of God, Ryan Lister. Really helpful. He ties all of Scripture together around the theme of God dwelling with His people.
  28. The King in His Beauty, Thomas Schreiner. Overview of the Bible, tying everything into the theme of God’s kingdom and Jesus as the beautiful king.
  29. Five Views on Law and Gospel, ed. by Wayne Strickland. Point/counterpoint on a difficult subject!
  30. God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants, Peter Gentry & Stephen Wellum. Condensed version (300+ pages) of their Kingdom through Covenants (800+ pages). Both are good! Traces the story line of the Bible through God’s covenants.
  31. The Temple and the Church’s Mission, Greg Beale. Provocative and insightful.
  32. How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament, Jason DeRouchie. Overall, very helpful. You can skip his more scholarly sections on using Hebrew.


  1. Any of Spurgeon’s sermons (many are available in paperback and online: spurgeon.org). They’re a bit wordy, but devotionally meaty. Worth the effort!
  2. Any of John Bunyan’s sermons or devotional writings. The Acceptable Sacrifice and Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ are now available from Banner of Truth. Both are wonderful!
  3. Newton on the Christian Life, Tony Reinke. One of the best books on the spiritual life I’ve ever read!
  4. Edwards on the Christian Life, Dane Ortlund. Good treatment of Edwards’ spiritual life.
  5. Schaeffer on the Christian Life, William Edgar. Helpful overview of Schaeffer’s life and thought by a man (now a seminary professor) whom Schaeffer led to Christ.
  6. Spurgeon on the Christian Life, Michael Reeves. Convicting on prayer!
  7. Owen on the Christian Life, Matthew Barrett & Michael Haykin. Not easy to read because of long quotes by Owen, but helpful.
  8. Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life, Jason Meyer. Good overview of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
  9. Augustine on the Christian Life, Gerald Bray. Difficult at points, but overall helpful.
  10. The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, Richard Baxter (a Puritan, old English, but a wonderful exposition of the fact that our hope is in heaven, not in this life).
  11. A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, J. I. Packer. (Packer isn’t easy to read, but this is a great book. I’ve read it four times so far.)
  12. Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life, Donald Whitney. A study guide is also available.
  13. Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper. I wish this had been available when I was in my 20’s.
  14. Desiring God, John Piper. Provocative and life-changing.
  15. When I Don’t Desire God, John Piper. How to fight for joy and against depression.
  16. The Pleasures of God, John Piper. What God delights in.
  17. God’s Passion for His Glory, John Piper. The first half is Piper’s introduction to Jonathan Edwards. The second half is Edwards’ difficult, but rewarding essay, “The End for Which God Created the World.”
  18. Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints, ed. by John Piper and Justin Taylor.
  19. One Thing, Sam Storms. On God’s greatness and glory.
  20. Temptation and Sin, John Owen (a condensed, modern English version is, What Every Christian Needs to Know) This is the best treatment of how to deal with temptation. I’ve read it at least 4 times. Owen, a 17th century Puritan, is meaty, but very hard to read in his original works. You might try Overcoming Sin & Temptation, by Owen, ed. by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor.
  21. The Enemy Within, Kris Lundgaard. A modern version of Owen’s Temptation and Sin.
  22. The Obedience Option, David Hegg. Basic, helpful study of obedience and overcoming temptation.
  23. Practical Religion, J. C. Ryle (a 19th century Anglican, but contemporary and solid; read anything of his you can find. This work is now in a modern, condensed version titled “Walking With God,” available from Cumberland).
  24. Holiness, J. C. Ryle. A classic. The last chapter, “Christ is All,” is wonderful.
  25. Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, 4 vol., J. C. Ryle. Great devotional insights on every paragraph in the gospels. This makes for great daily devotional reading as you read through the gospels. It is available for free online.
  26. Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan. Get a modern English version. Read and reread it yourself & to your kids. Spurgeon read it through yearly!
  27. Revival, Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
  28. The Sermon on the Mount, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (incisive analysis of Matthew 5-7). All of Lloyd-Jones’ books of sermons are devotionally rich. He has 8 volumes on Ephesians and 14 on Romans.
  29. Our Sufficiency in Christ, John MacArthur, Jr. Attacks the modern intrusion of psychology & pragmatism into evangelical circles.
  30. The Ultimate Priority, John MacArthur, Jr. (on worship). Excellent!
  31. A Praying Life, Paul Miller. One of the best I’ve read on prayer.
  32. A Journey to Victorious Praying, Bill Thrasher. Another helpful book on prayer.
  33. Taking Hold of God, Joel Beeke and Brian Najapour. On the Puritans and prayer.
  34. A Method for Prayer, Matthew Henry. Helpful, but convicting.
  35. The Hidden Life of Prayer, David McIntyre. Short, helpful, on prayer.
  36. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law (18th century, get a modern English abridgement if you can). A bit out-dated, but it shows you the solid spirituality of these godly men of the past in comparison with the flimsy spirituality of today.
  37. From Pride to Humility, Stuart Scott. A short booklet, excerpted from The Exemplary Husband. Every Christian should read this booklet repeatedly! It is really good and practical.
  38. Humility, C. J. Mahaney. Short, helpful look at this important virtue.
  39. How Does Sanctification Work? David Powlison. Shows the multi-faceted way that God sanctifies His people.
  40. No Quick Fix, Andrew Naselli. He refutes the Keswick view of the “higher life.” However, I thought that his favorable citations of Martyn Lloyd-Jones overlooks Lloyd-Jones’ view of the Holy Spirit, which is similar to the erroneous Keswick view.
  41. An Infinite Journey, Andrew Davis. Very helpful treatment of sanctification and discipleship.
  42. A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament, Alec Motyer. Helpful, short treatment from a scholar in his nineties who obviously loves God and His Word.
  43. The Gospel of the Kingdom, George Ladd. Helpful, devotional study of the kingdom of God.


(I have benefited much from reading in this area. See, also, my more extensive biographical bibliography, “A List of Christian Biographies,” on fcfonline.org. Some of these are of more interest to preachers, but would benefit any believer. I’ve listed them separately below.)

  1. George Muller, Roger Steer (Muller was a giant in faith and prayer).
  2. George Muller of Bristol, A. T. Pierson. An older treatment. This book profoundly influenced me.
  3. Hudson Taylor, Roger Steer (recent treatment of this great pioneer missionary to China).
  4. Hudson Taylor and Maria, John Pollock.
  5. It is Not Death to Die, Jim Cromarty. Longer, helpful biography of Hudson Taylor.
  6. Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden. Longer bio on Edwards. Very good.
  7. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards, George Marsden. Good shorter bio on Edwards.
  8. Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life, Stephen Nichols. Good introduction to Edwards.
  9. The Legacy of Sovereign Joy, John Piper. God’s triumphant grace in Augustine, Luther, & Calvin.
  10. Contending for Our All, John Piper. Short bios on Athanasius, John Owen, & J. Gresham Machen.
  11. The Hidden Smile of God, John Piper. How God used affliction in the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, & David Brainerd.
  12. The Roots of Endurance, John Piper. How John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce persevered through many difficulties.
  13. A Camaraderie of Confidence, John Piper. Short bios on three giants of faith: Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, and Hudson Taylor.
  14. The Reformation, Stephen Nichols. Short, helpful introduction to this important movement in history.
  15. Martin Luther, Stephen Nichols. Short introduction to Luther.
  16. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, Ruth Tucker (great, moving historical biography of missions).
  17. John Paton Autobiography. Amazing story of a 19th century missionary to cannibals in the South Pacific.
  18. Bruchko, Bruce Olson. Exciting story, great for reading to family.
  19. The Tapestry, Edith Schaeffer. Life of Francis & Edith Schaeffer, a real-life drame of how God leads as wek walk with Him.
  20. Worldly Saints, Leland Ryken. A great book on the Puritans; it will surprise you!
  21. To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson, Courtney Anderson. Life of the pioneer missionary to Burma. Judson is a phenomenal example of endurance in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Top notch!
  22. Adoniram Judson, Vance Christie. A more recent treatment of Judson’s remarkable life and ministry.
  23. Shadow of the Almighty, Elisabeth Elliot. Life of Jim Elliot, martyred husband of the author. Life-changing!
  24. Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot. Story of five missionaries martyred in Ecuador.
  25. William Carey, Pearce Carey. An amazing man who persevered through many trials and setbacks to impact India.
  26. The Legacy of William Carey¸ Vishal and Ruth Mangalwadi. Shows how Carey helped change India’s culture.
  27. For the Love of India: The Story of Henry Martyn, Jim Cromarty. Early missionary to India and Persia.
  28. Peace Child, Don Richardson. Couple goes to stone age, cannibal tribe with the gospel. Fascinating.
  29. Lords of the Earth, Don Richardson. If this were a movie, you’d swear it couldn’t be true. But it is true!
  30. The Power to Save: A History of the Gospel in China, Bob Davey. Excellent. The early missionaries persevered against overwhelming odds. Chinese believers have suffered much.

Biographies especially for pastors, those interested in preaching:

  1. Walking With the Giants and Listening to the Giants, Warren Wiersbe (short biographies of great preachers).
  2. John Calvin, H. L. Parker (best biography, by leading Calvin scholar).
  3. Calvin’s Preaching, by Parker (Great book! Calvin’s emphasis on expository preaching).
  4. Spurgeon, Arnold Dallimore (best shorter biography of this giant).
  5. Autobiography of C. H. Spurgeon (2 vol., [Banner of Truth]). Well worth reading!
  6. Living by Revealed Truth, Tom Nettles. Lengthy but helpful bio of Spurgeon showing his commitment to Scripture.
  7. The Forgotten Spurgeon, Iain Murray. Shows the theological issues Spurgeon faced and stood for.
  8. M. Lloyd‑Jones, 2 vol., Iain Murray. Lloyd‑Jones is called the best preacher in 20th century. (Vol. 2 is 800 pages, but worth it! I was sad when it ended. I’ve read it twice now.)
  9. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Christopher Catherwood. A shorter bio of MLJ by his eldest grandson.
  10. Jonathan Edwards, Iain Murray. Colonial New England revival preacher and theologian.
  11. Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden. Excellent bio on Edwards.
  12. Revival & Revivalism, Insightful history of American evangelicalism from 1750-1850, showing how modern American evangelicalism got this way. I’ve read it twice.
  13. The Puritans, Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
  14. Knowing the Times, Lloyd-Jones.


  1. The Soul Winner, C. H. Spurgeon. Meaty, but nourishing. I come back to it often.
  2. A Pastor’s Sketches, (2 vol.), Ichabod Spencer. Remarkable accounts of a 19th century Brooklyn pastor’s evangelistic conversations.
  3. Share Jesus Without Fear, Bill Fay. Helpful ways to bring up spiritual matters and share Christ.
  4. Concentric Circles of Concern, W. Oscar Thompson, Jr. Argues for witnessing to those closest to you.
  5. 8 to 15, Tom Mercer. Simple, non-guilt approach to evangelism, similar to Thompson.
  6. The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman.
  7. How to Give Away Your Faith, Paul Little. The basics on how to witness.
  8. Evangelism Explosion, James Kennedy.
  9. Evangelism for the Rest of Us, Mike Bechtle. Helpful for all introverts who are threatened by witnessing. You have to filter out some psychobabble, though.
  10. The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel. I don’t like his chapter on psychology, but the rest of the book is a solid presentation of the evidence for the faith. Use it in your witness.
  11. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell. Wealth of information on the resurrection.
  12. Darwin on Trial & Defeating Darwinism, both by Phillip Johnson (a bit technical at times, but excellent attacks on evolution).
  13. Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Martin. A good reference work on the major cults.
  14. Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse, by David Reed. Helpful if you’re witnessing to a JW.
  15. The Fatal Flaw & Answers to Roman Catholic Claims, both by James White. His web site is aomin.org
  16. Operation World, Patrick Johnstone & Jason Mandryk. A wealth of statistics and prayer needs for every country in the world. Get the most recent edition.
  17. Eternity in Their Hearts, Don Richardson. Fascinating stories of how God prepares people groups for the gospel.
  18. Let the Nations be Glad, John Piper. Not easy to read, but worth the effort!

(For further reading on Missions, see the numerous missionary biographies in my Christian Biography book list.)


(See the above section of biographies especially for pastors.)

  1. Lectures to My Students, C. H. Spurgeon.
  2. An All-Round Ministry, C. H. Spurgeon.
  3. The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper. Excellent!
  4. Preaching and Preachers, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His lectures on the task of preaching. He was a master!
  5. The Preacher and His Models, James Stalker (probably out-of-print, but excellent).
  6. Ashamed of the Gospel, John MacArthur, Jr. Critique of the “market the gospel” approach and call for biblical methods. There is an updated 3rd edition now (2010).
  7. Reckless Faith, John MacArthur. He hits the rampant subjectivism in evangelical circles today.
  8. Radical Together, David Platt. Helpful look at what the church should be.
  9. Strange Fire, John MacArthur. Strong exposé of the charismatic movement. Even if you don’t agree with MacArthur’s cessationist views, you should read this.
  10. Pastoral Graces, Lee Eclov. A great book for all church leaders. He balances grace and truth in shepherding the flock.
  11. The Compelling Community, Mark Dever & Jamie Dunlop. Provocative, overall helpful.
  12. What is the Church’s Mission? Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert. They argue for the Great Commission.


Most of the current Christian books in this and the next two headings are badly tainted by worldly psychology, rather than based on Scripture alone, which is sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16) and our only source for God’s wisdom in these crucial areas. I have tried to select books that are not psychologically tainted (although note the comments below).

  1. Self-Confrontation, John Broger, chapters 9-15 (a study workbook, not a book to sit and read; see below under “Counseling”). Practical, loaded with Scripture references.
  2. What is a Family?, Edith Schaeffer. Now out of print, but a creative, warm approach to biblical family life.
  3. When Sinners Say “I Do,” Dave Harvey. Shows how we need to face our own sin, not blame our mate.
  4. Love that Lasts, Gary and Betsy Ricucci.
  5. Reforming Marriage, Douglas Wilson.
  6. The Exemplary Husband, Stuart Scott. The best book for husbands that I’ve read.
  7. The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace. Same comment as #5.
  8. The Fruit of Her Hands, Nancy Wilson (I have not read it, but my wife thinks it is excellent for wives).
  9. Christian Living in the Home, Jay Adams.
  10. This Momentary Marriage, John Piper. Helpful on marriage and also the single life. I disagree with his view that remarriage after divorce is not permitted for any reason.
  11. Love Life for Every Married Couple, Ed Wheat. Although tainted a bit by worldly “self-esteem” teaching, his overall treatment of biblical love and responsibility in marriage is excellent.
  12. Intended for Pleasure, Ed Wheat. A Christian medical doctor deals with the sexual relationship in marriage.
  13. Resolving Everyday Conflict, Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson. Basics on an important topic.


(See comments and some titles under Marriage/Family.)

  1. Self-Confrontation, John Broger, chapters 16-17 (see below under “Counseling”).
  2. How to Really Love Your Child, by Ross Campbell. A lot of psychology needs to be filtered out, but Campbell has some helpful, practical insights into how to make your children feel your love.
  3. The Duties of Parents, C. Ryle.
  4. You and Your Child, Charles Swindoll.
  5. Leading a Child to Independence, Paul & Jeannie McKean. Although tainted by worldly “self-esteem” teaching, they have some helpful insights on setting practical goals in child rearing.
  6. Parents in Pain, John White. Although you have to filter out numerous psychological “insights” that aren’t based on Scripture, White has some helpful wisdom for parents of wayward children.


I encourage families to get a modern catechism (see #1 under THEOLOGY/DOCTRINE) and work through it with your children. John Piper also has a catechism. See www.desiringgod.org (Search = catechism)

  1. The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, Kenneth Taylor. Brief Bible stories for reading to pre-schoolers.
  2. The Muffin Family series, Gilbert Beers. Bible stories coupled with a short story which applies it. Good for 4-8 year-olds.

(I’m sure that there are probably many more resources now available, but since my children are grown, I do not keep up with them. World magazine has reviews of children’s books in every issue.)


  1. Master Your Money, Ron Blue.
  2. Your Finances in Changing Times, Larry Burkett.
  3. Your Money Matters, Malcolm MacGregor. It may be out of print; I like his humor.
  4. When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Wisdom about giving.
  5. Giving Wisely, Jonathan Martin. Excellent guidelines for giving wisely.
  6. Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey. Humorous, practical. Main message: Get out of debt!


(Grouped somewhat topically):

  1. Self‑Confrontation, John C. Broger (available from Biblical Counseling Foundation, P.O. Box 925, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270). A helpful, biblically based approach to personal discipleship and to helping others with their problems. Study workbook format.
  2. The Christian Counselor’s Manual, Jay Adams.
  3. How to Counsel From Scripture, Martin & Deidre Bobgan. They have since renounced their own book and the entire Christian counseling movement, but I think it has some helpful guidelines. Their web site is: psychoheresy-aware.org
  4. Christian Psychology’s War on God’s Word, Jim Owen (EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA 93110). Shows the harmful influence of “Christian” psychology.
  5. PsychoHeresy, Martin & Deidre Bobgan (EastGate Publishers). Hard-hitting, biblically sound critique of “Christian” psychology.
  6. 12 Steps to Destruction, Martin & Deidre Bobgan. Exposes the false teaching of the “Christian” recovery and “codependency” movements.
  7. Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology, Ed Bulkley. I think that he is balanced in his approach.
  8. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. A spiritual classic.
  9. The Last Thing We Talk About, Joseph Bayly (on death & grief).
  10. Affliction, Edith Schaeffer.
  11. When God Weeps, Joni Eareckson Tada & Steve Estes.
  12. From Forgiven to Forgiving, Jay Adams.
  13. Resolving Everyday Conflict, Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson. Short, helpful.
  14. The Peacemaker, Ken Sande, a more thorough treatment of the subject than the previous book.


  1. Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald.
  2. Strategy For Living, Edward Dayton & Ted Engstrom. On setting goals.
  3. First Things First, Stephen Covey, Roger & Rebecca Merrill. This is the only non-Christian book on this list, so read it with discernment. But I think they have a lot of wisdom on ordering your life according to your goals. Just make sure that your goals are biblical goals!
  4. Crazy Busy, Kevin DeYoung.
  5. Do More Better, Tim Challies.
  6. What’s Best Next? Matt Perman. Kind of overwhelming to put in practice, but helpful.


  1. No Place for Truth, David Wells. Not easy to read, but a great analysis of our culture and how the church has become worldly to the core.
  2. God in the Wasteland, David Wells. Sequel to the above. Calls for a return to God-centeredness.
  3. Losing Our Virtue, David Wells. Hits the worldly, market-driven American church.
  4. The Truth War, John MacArthur.
  5. Recovering the Christian Mind, Harry Blamires. Insightful!
  6. Worldly Amusements, Wayne Wilson. Hits Christians for their indiscriminate involvement with corrupt movies. Calls us to honor Christ in our entertainment choices. Every Christian should read this book!
  7. Lifeviews, R. C. Sproul. Easy-to-follow treatment of differing worldviews and philosophies.
  8. What You Should Know About Inerrancy, Charles Ryrie. Simple, brief treatment of an important theological issue.
  9. Men and Women in Biblical Perspective, James Hurley. Good on male and female roles.
  10. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, ed. by John Piper and Justin Taylor. Helpful.
  11. What Ever Happened to the Human Race? Francis Schaeffer & C. Everett Koop. A bit outdated and maybe out of print, but God used it years ago to wake me up to the horrors of abortion.
  12. Politics According to the Bible, Wayne Grudem. Excellent, helpful thinking on many modern issues.
  13. Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen. Written almost 100 years ago, but still relevant. He shows that liberal “Christianity” is not Christian at all.