Reflections – 2012.02

Top Six – February 2012

I was speaking with one of you a couple of weeks ago about books and the suggestion was made that I present to the congregation my top ten reading list. Well, I decided to give you six. Let me begin by saying that for me to write, “The Bible,” as my #1 book would seem, um, religious or Sunday School-y. Besides, as the Word of God, the Bible is something entirely different than a book in one sense, so much so that it would be a degradation of the Bible to place it on a list in the first place. So, my list will not include the Bible. But read your Bible. Read it before you read anything on this list. And then, read this list:

All Things for Good by Thomas Watson

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

The Power of Prayer in the Life of the Believer by Charles Spurgeon

The Golden Booklet of the Christian Life by John Calvin

The Life of Joy and Peace by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Holiness by J.C. Ryle

These six books, actually, these six authors, have served as faithful guides as I have walked with Christ over many years. All of them have written other works, which you can read once you are done these six. For example, Spurgeon is probably best known for his Treasury of David, his exposition of every psalm, which can be found online. Calvin wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, from which the Golden Booklet of the Christian Life came. Eugene Peterson has authored numerous books, including The Message, his own unique translation of the Scriptures into “American” language. Thomas Watson was my introduction to the Puritan preachers, and to a series called the Puritan Paperbacks, which I am now working through. His little book, All Things for Good, will be a blessing to you. J.C. Ryle’s Holiness was my second Ryle book, with the first being The Duties of Parents, an excellent little book on Christian parenting. The Life of Joy and Peace is Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposition of Philippians. This is one of many books written by Lloyd-Jones that look at Scripture verse-by-verse.

So start with these six books and then read these authors again and again … you will be glad you did. And may the Lord bless us as we follow Him together.