God gave us a book, the Bible. It would seem that God wants us to be readers. Books help us understand the book, the Bible, better. Books help us understand why Christianity is true. Books help us understand how to live as Christians in many areas of life.
The following books are helpful ones that are generally shorter and less technical. (There are some exceptions.) While these books are very helpful, it must be kept in mind that we may not agree with every word or thought in each and every book. These books are available at many bookstores, including Amazon and Christian Book Distributors.
This should go without saying, but the most important book we’ll read is the Bible. You can find links to Bibles and Bible-reading plans and resources here.
We recommend the English Standard Version, particularly the ESV Study Bible. There are also some other interesting ESV Bibles, such as the new ESV Archaeology Study Bible and the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible.
Bible Study. The following books help you understand how to read the Bible.
- Mark Dever, What Does God Want of Us Anyway? An Overview of the Whole Bible
- Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
- George Guthrie, Read the Bible for Life
- Tremper Longman, Reading the Bible with Heart & Mind
- Robert Plummer, 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible
- Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Picture
- Robert Stein, Playing by the Rules: A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible
- Michael Williams, How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens
Books about the Bible. It’s good to know where the Bible came from and why we should trust it.
- Dave Brunn, One Bible, Many Versions
- Barry Cooper, Can I Really Trust the Bible?
- Steve Cowan and Terri Wilder, In Defense of the Bible
- Neil Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible
- Andrew Wilson, Unbreakable: What the Son of God Says about the Word of God
Commentaries. If you want to dig deeper than study Bible notes, you may want to look at The New Bible Commentary, edited by Wenham, Motyer, Carson, and France. To get a list of recommended Bible commentaries, visit www.bestcommentaries.com.
Theology. These books can help us dig deeper into a knowledge of God.
- Gerald Bray, God Is Love
- D. A. Carson, The God Who Is There
- J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism
- J. I. Packer, Knowing God
- Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity
- John Stott, Basic Christianity
- A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
Jesus. These books are specifically about the identity and works of Jesus Christ.
- D. A. Carson, Scandalous
- Timothy Keller, Jesus the King (formerly published as King’s Cross)
- Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God
- John Stott, The Cross of Christ
- Bruce Ware, The Man Jesus Christ
Apologetics. These books provide reasons to believe that Christianity is true.
- Tim Keller, Making Sense of God
- Tim Keller, The Reason for God
- J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
- Nancy Pearcey, Finding Truth
- James Sire, The Universe Next Door.
- James Sire, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?
- David Skeel, True Paradox
Evangelism. These books can help you share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
- Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism.
- Jonathan Dodson, The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing
- Donald Johnson, How to Talk to a Skeptic
- Randy Newman, Bringing the Gospel Home
- Mack Stiles, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus; Speaking of Jesus
Church/Christian History. It’s important to understand the history of Christianity, because it affects how we understand the Bible, theology, and our worship practices. These books, while longer than most of the other books on this list, are good guides to the history of Christianity.
- Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity: Volume 1
- Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity: Volume 2
- Mark Noll, Turning Points
- Bruce Shelley, Church History in Plain Language
Prayer. This is an important aspect of the Christian life. Learn more about prayer by reading these books.
- Arthur Bennett (editor), The Valley of Vision
- D. A. Carson, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation
- Tim Keller, Prayer
- Paul Miller, A Praying Life
Christian Living. In addition to Bible study and prayer, these books will help you understand the nature and practices of the Christian life.
- Thabiti Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member?
- David Naugle, Reordered Loves, Reordered Lives
- Don Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life
- Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
- Jared Wilson, The Imperfect Disciple
Marriage and Family. Some of the most pressing issues we face in life are our marriages and raising children. Here are some excellent resources for marriage, children, and other family-related issues.
- Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say “I Do”
- Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
- Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart
Children’s Bibles and Books. There are many great Bibles and books to help teach children the Christian faith.
- Sergio Cariello, The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story
- Kevin DeYoung, The Biggest Story
- David Helm, The Big Picture Story Bible
- Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible
- Bruce Ware, Big Truths for Young Hearts
Cultural and Controversial Issues
- Hunter Baker, Political Thought: A Student’s Guide
- D. A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited
- D. A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance
- Stephen Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
- Nancy Pearcey, Love Thy Body
- Preston Sprinkle, A People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue
- Mark Yarhouse, Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture