Jesse recently recommended 10 Books Every Christian Should Read In Quarantine; in view of that I thought I would recommend 10 books as well, for quarantine, or any other time, that every Christian should read, or even re-read at some point.
God is sovereign… completely and totally sovereign. And, man is responsible… Both are true… This small book is packed with solid truth, and reading it will not only help you get a grasp on God’s role and your role in this thing called life, but it will also grow your view of God which may very well transform your life.
What is the gospel? Why does it matter? What is so good about the good news? This book answers all of those questions and many more. And as is typical of Piper, in this book he calls us to see and savor the glory of God in Christ, to treasure Him above all else and in so doing to truly glorify Him.
This is the work that set the tone for the whole of R. C. Sproul’s ministry, and in it he masterfully lays out a vision of the holiness of God that not only inspires awe, but compels us to put sin to death and pursue holiness as well.
Ray Ortlund is a unique gift to the church; he’s a combination of conviction, kindness, devotion, and contagious joy. In this book he lays out the gospel in a beautiful way, and with that he shows how the church should be and can be centered on and saturated with the gospel because when a church has both gospel doctrine and gospel culture the church portrays the beauty of Christ.
The great Puritan pastor and theologian John Owen (1616-1683) beautifully tells us of the glory of Christ and how we were made to behold and enjoy the glory of God in Christ forevermore. He walks us through how that has happened, is happening now, and will happen forever for those who know and love Jesus. Along with that he shows how beholding the glory of Christ now in God’s Word is the key to sanctification. Read this book and behold glory.
Originally titled, The Heart of Christ in Heaven towards Sinners on Earth, is truly a treasure… In it Goodwin (1600-1680) shows how the great and glorious God and Savior, Jesus Christ, not only loves His people, but has the greatest affections in existence for His people. This book will move you to tears of joy as Goodwin walks you through how much Jesus loves you.
I often refer to this Puritan classic as my favorite book, and it may very well be (I have a lot of favorites). It’s an allegory that lays out the whole of the Christian life, helping us to know what to expect and how to fight the good fight of faith, stay on the narrow road, make it to the river, and cross over into the Celestial City. In many ways this book lays out the life of the Baptist Puritan, John Bunyan himself (1628-1688); but, this book has been a best seller for years because it’s a book that every Christian can identify with and be helped by. Take the time to read this book; and if you’re like me, once you read this book once, you’ll want to go back to it again and again.
Dane is clearly Ray’s son; he too is a combination of conviction, kindness, devotion, and contagious joy. And in this book all of that comes out, but more importantly the heart of Christ comes out. This seriously may be my new favorite book. Every page stirred me to greater love and affection for Christ, and more importantly every page helped me understand how great the love and affection Christ has for me is (as well as for all His people). The book focuses on the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers, and since we are all sinners and sufferers it is incredibly relevant for us all.
Michael Reeves is what I like to call a joyful Calvinist or joyfully reformed. Like the Ortlund family, he is a combination of conviction, kindness, devotion, and contagious joy. And in this book, as only he in all his joy can, shows that if we want to know who God is, the best thing we can do is look at Christ. If we want to live the life to which God calls us, we look to Christ. In Jesus we see the true meaning of the love, power, wisdom, justice, peace, care and majesty of God. Read this book, and let Reeves joyfully help you marvel at Christ, and rejoice in Christ.
Michael Reeves is by far my favorite living preacher, author, and theologian. His knowledge of church history, God’s Word, and his passion for the glory of God in Christ come through in everything he does; and the love he has for, and the joy he has in God are contagious. And not only does all of that come through in this book, but more importantly who God is in all of His glory and grace comes through vividly and beautifully. This book is an easy enough read that anyone can read it, but it’s also deep enough that the most mature Christian will not only grow from reading this, but they will rejoice greatly from the truths in this book. This may be my favorite book (I told you I have a lot of favorites), and this book may be the most important book you’ll ever read, and for that reason it is my number one recommendation.
This list is in order of importance (in my opinion), not in the order they should be read. I would recommend you read them in the following order:
- Delighting In The Trinity
- God Is The Gospel
- Rejoicing In Christ
- The Glory of Christ
- The Heart of Christ
- Gentle and Lowly
- Big God
- The Pilgrim’s Progress (This book should be read all the time… You could read it alongside the others…)
Alongside the books on Jesse’s list and on my list I would also add: The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant, and His Kingdom – by Samuel Renihan, What Is A Healthy Church – by Mark Dever, Church Membership – by Jonathan Leeman, The Pleasures of God – by John Piper, 21 Servants of Sovereign Joy – by John Piper, The Bruised Reed – by Richard Sibbes, and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – by Jeremiah Burroughs to name a few… Take up and read…
I am nothing; Christ is all!