Listed below are some of my favorite books. I have linked them to their corresponding Amazon page for your convenience only. The books listed here have helped to shape me spiritually. In fact, if it is listed here, it has changed me. They are not listed in any particular order. Happy Reading!
DISCLAIMER: I do not condone nor recommend these authors without discernment. Some have an unbiblical (albeit secondary) belief or two and others may have departed from the way of truth without me knowing it. I found these specific books listed below to be helpful in my spiritual growth and I recommend them. But, as always, be a Berean both in how you approach these books and these authors.
MISSIONARY and OTHER BIOGRAPHIES
From Wealth to Faith by Mollie Zook
—Hans and Netta learn to place their trust in God during the very difficult seasons that come when Communism takes over their country of Ukraine.
The Story of John G. Paton Or Thirty Years Among South Sea Cannibals by John Gibson Paton (this is free for Kindle)
—I can’t recommend this book highly enough. This is the account of Paton’s missionary journeys to the New Hebrides Islands (which now go by the name “Vanuatu”) I found this book not only extremely interesting but also very challenging.
Things We Couldn’t Say by Diet Eman
How I Know God Answers Prayer, The Personal Testimony of One Lifetime by Rosalind Goforth
Not Forgotten: Inspiring Missionary Pioneers by David J. Brady
Mission Vietnam: Under His Wings by Stephen Lehmann
Trapped in Hitler’s Hell by Anita Dittman
George Muller: Delighted in God by Roger Steer
–How big is your God? This biography was wonderful! George Muller relied on God to meet the needs of “his” orphans and God did not disappoint! Read this and be amazed at the way God meets needs. Sometimes, here in America, we are so independent and without need, that we forget how big our God is.
Green Leaf in Drought by Isobel Kuhn
–I have never read a missionary book that has touched me more. It is the story of a young couple who are in China just as the communist regime is taking over. Due to the dynamics surrounding that takeover, they end up friendless in the middle of that vast country with no escape. They have to rely on God for everything–food, medical care, and their personal safety. And God meets those needs. It is an amazing story of a wonderful couple caught in the whirlwind of a major political change in a country hostile to Christianity. It is my favorite missionary biography.
The Light That Was Dark by Warren Smith
—This is the biography of a man who became very involved in the new age movement in the late 70s and 80s and how he came to know Christ. The shocking thing is that much of what he describes from his new age days sounds eerily similar to what is going on in the church today! This is well worth your time and will give you a much better perspective on what is going on in mainstream Christianity today.
Surprised by God by Faith Cook
–This is an excellent book about remarkable men and women whom God used. I think the thing that hit me most about this book was that so many of them were pulled from rebellious, wasteful life styles to be used by God in mighty ways. We must never give up on those we love–no matter how hopeless it seems!
Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keesee
–This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. If you want strengthen your faith and bolster your courage for the persecution to come, then get a copy of this book. His true stories of how the gospel is changing people in the heart of hostile lands is encouraging, awe-inspiring, and faith-building. I couldn’t recommend this higher.
THEOLOGY and CHRISTIAN LIVING
The Titanic and Today’s Church by Warren Smith
–This book really explains the mysticism that is entering the church like a tsunami wave. As a bonus, it gives a lot of history (and little known facts) about the sinking of the Titanic. Highly recommend!
–If we don’t correctly interpret scripture, we will be left vulnerable to all kinds of false doctrines and teachings. This book lays out step by step the biblical method of interpreting the Bible. It does so in an easy-to-read fashion that isn’t so intellectual the average lay person can’t understand. Excellent!
The Coming Apocalypse by Dr. Renald E Showers
–This book was EXCELLENT. It’s a short and easy read that explains not only the “why” of replacement theology, but also its effects. I wish every believer would read this book before deciding what they believe about eschatology.
Escape from Reason by Francis Sheaffer
–This book helped me understand how we have gotten to such a place where there is no respect for reason and rationality. It’s a very interesting read as he traces history through various avenues.
Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur
–The Bible is an extra-ordinary book and this book tells you why. I regularly recommend this to Christians who are in doubt about the veracity of God’s Word.
God’s Battle Plan for the Mind by David W. Saxton
–This is a study on biblical meditation and its benefits for our lives. Drawn from the lives and writings of the Puritans, the author has given believers a battle plan for their minds with which to approach all of life. Highly recommend!
Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
–It has been a long time since I read this book, but I remember being profoundly impacted by it. There is no salvation without holiness. There is no justification without sanctification. These things are inseparable and this book explains why while also offering biblical counsel on how to grow in this area.
Humility by Andrew Murray
–This is the first book of substance I ever read. Until that point, I was filling my mind with the fluff of novels and pointless fiction. It started me on a journey that has led to much growth and this book will always hold a special place in my heart because of that. But, my own personal experience aside, it was an important study on this godly attribute of humility that I need to hear. (I should probably read it every year. Pride is such an insidious and subtle sin.) I highly recommend.
Soul-Depths and Soul-Heights by Octavius Winslow
–This book is a challenge and encouragement to all who find themselves in despair, discouragement, or in the midst of a trial. It is a veritable treasure trove of scriptural encouragement and exhortation as we face painful circumstances.
Alone with God by John MacArthur
–This is a wonderful, biblical book on prayer (they are getting so much harder to find!) which, using the Lord’s Prayer, gives wonderful insight into the subject of prayer for believers. Highly recommend!
Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin
–This is just a small book that challenged me in my walk with Christ. How does my Christian life look? How should it look? It is a very worthwhile and quick read. I highly recommend it!
The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink
–Of all books I have ever read, I think this one was most helpful to me in understanding Who God is. And let’s be honest– unless we understand Who God is, we can’t really understand salvation or the Christian life completely. I wish every Christian would read this book.
Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
–This book is about what self-discipline should look like in the life of a Christian. It is very challenging.
Is That You, Lord? by Gary Gilley
–-I cannot recommend this book highly enough! In this day and age, where believers are obsessed with hearing “special messages” from God and “encouraging whispers” from Jesus, this book gives us a solid, biblical perspective on this new wave that is sweeping through the church. I encourage you–if you choose any book from this page–to start with this one!
Fool’s Gold by John MacArthur
–Packed full of wisdom on how to discern in this confusing time of the church age. Very good principles that I have found quite helpful. It may go without saying, but I have a very high opinion of anything John MacArthur writes–he is humble, learned, absolutely dedicated to the Word of God, and has a long history of integrity.
Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George
–Most sin, if not all, begin in our minds. We have a thought and instead of refusing it, we nurse it. This book was so very challenging to me on so many different levels. Do you struggle with worry? With bitterness? With discouragement? If so, this is a great book for you.
HELPFUL, HISTORICAL NOVELS
Hunted and Harried by R.M. (Robert Micheal) Ballantyne
—This is a novel about the Covenanters in Scotland and what they had to endure as they were severely persecuted in the late 1600s. It’s easy to read because it is a novel but really gives the reader a realistic sense of what it must have been like in those days.
MARRIAGE AND PARENTING
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
–This is probably the one most important book I read regarding raising children. This book is a great help in raising godly kids and certainly gave us some good solid principles and thoughts to build upon. Highly recommend!