Book Recommendations

Over the years I have been compiling a list of books that I have loved and highly recommend. I have listed them here. Books are like great friends. So please, peruse this list and make a new friend.

  1. The Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot *The biography of Jim Elliot as told by his wife. Incredible insights into the life of this man of God and martyr of the faith. This is #1 because Jim Elliot in a lot of ways reminds me of myself, and he reminds me I’m not crazy. haha!
  2.  The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis  *I refer back to these books constantly because the stories in them relate directly to reality. They are constantly teaching me about the Lord and about the world around me. There are many things about the Lord that are better understood by myself when related in allegory. If you haven’t already read these, you definitely should. C.S Lewis also wrote these that are awesome; The Four Loves, Surprised By Joy, The Screwtape Letters, The Weight of Glory (a compilation of his essays), and Mere Christianity.
  3. Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza *The memoirs of a woman who survived the Rwandan Genocide. Trapped in a tiny bathroom with seven other women for three months, she found incredible depths in her communion with Christ.
  4. If I Perish by Esther Ahn Kim *The memoirs of a woman who was thrown in jail for not bowing to Shinto Shrines during the Japanese occupation of Korea in WW2. Likewise, she recounts incredible stories of miracles, persecution, and how the Lord remained faithful through it all. The greatest strength of this book is that she relates all of her experiences to Scripture, and it has made me view so many Scriptures in entirely new light.
  5. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by Brandon O’Brien and Randy Richards *This book will get you out of your western bubble to have insights into Scripture you never would have dreamed. So many lenses in our culture rob us of the deeper meanings found in Scripture.
  6. Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard *An allegory about a young girl; “Much-Afraid” and how she is lead by “Suffering” and “Sorrow” to follow the path of the “Great Shepherd” to the High Places of faith and trust. Once again, allegory speaks to me profoundly.
  7. Humility True Greatness by C.J Mahaney *Not only a description of what humility really is, but practical principles that will help us remember how insignificant we really are before the Lord.
  8. Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas *The biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who worked undercover in the Nazi regime to assassinate Hitler. Bonhoeffer also wrote much about what true discipleship and true fellowship is like. I highly recommend his books The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together. Bonhoeffer was caught and executed in a concentration camp two weeks before the war ended. Eric Metaxas does a wonderful job of compiling writings, letters, and family interviews to create a comprehensive and extremely encouraging account of the life of Bonhoeffer.
  9. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper *A great description of the various characteristics and roles of Jesus found in Scripture. This will stir your affections for Jesus!
  10. Reckless Abandon by David Sitton *David Sitton’s account of his own missionary journey into Papua New Guinea. Not only do his experiences give a very real and raw account of what foreign missions is really like, but his account reminds me of how real spiritual warfare is.
  11. Israel My Beloved by Kay Arthur *I can’t believe I almost forgot this one because it is seriously one of my favorites AND one of my absolute favorite authors. Kay Arthur writes the history of Israel with Israel personified as a woman (as Israel is often depicted in the Old Testament). It begins with Israel leaving her Husband for secret meetings with other lovers, and ends with Him redeeming and rescuing His wayward, rebellious bride. I love this book so much I want to reread it right now! This will also stir your affections for the Lord. Kay Arthur also created my favorite Bible studies ever, Precept on Precept. These Bible studies gently guide you in searching out the Scriptures for yourself; book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. They can be a lot of work, but isn’t anything that gives us spiritual rewards? Heres the link:
  12. C.S Lewis’s Space Trilogy: the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. *These books are once again a great way to gain spiritual insight through storytelling (Lewis does this wonderfully). My personal favorite is Perelandra, which deals with some hard questions about evil and the effects of sin.
  13. Spiritual Direction by Henri Nouwen *I could type pages about this book. It has really changed my entire walk with the Lord in this season. I admittedly haven’t finished this book yet (I am going VERY slow), but so far it has been wonderfully convicting.
  14. When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert *If you are going into full time career missions or ministry, you need to read this book. This book discusses the best way to enable people in need while keeping the gospel at the center of your ministry.
  15. Till we Have Faces by C.S Lewis *This book is Lewis’s interpretation of the myth of cupid and psyche, and does a fabulous job of addressing our warped perception of God. There are so many different themes in this book, I could write a book on all of them (and some people have!).
  16. Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine *I read this book along with my church, and it was SO GOOD. Zack Eswine writes about Charles Spurgeon’s struggles with depression in his life, and describes ways in which the body of Christ can come together to bear the burden of depression together. When I read it, I found myself saying; “Hey thats me! Me too!” Also, thankful for my church that isn’t afraid to talk about things like depression.
  17. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer *This is a great description of Christian community and will help you understand the importance of communion, baptism, and confession. Once again, a wonderfully convicting book.
  18. The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot *A very good friend sent this book to me while I was at camp this summer. It was such an encouragement! Elisabeth Elliot shares about her experience with loneliness and the unexpected blessings that she has received from God through her life. This book is a real encouragement!
  19. The Humanity of God by Karl Barth *Two of Karl Barth’s essays/lectures combined in one book. A great work of Christology that really helps you to see the weight and glory of the incarnation!
  20. Summer Letters by Craig Bowler – Craig Bowler is the pastor of Sanctuary church in Acworth, GA (I think its Acworth). I have known him since I was 10. He was first my soccer coach, then pastor to some of my close friends. I love his family and their joy for life as well as their vulnerability. This book is a series of letters that he wrote over a summer sabbatical. It is incredibly vulnerable and rare. Few people bare their souls so bravely as he has in this book. But it has been one of the most helpful to me. Reading it is a challenge to me to be more vulnerable with others, because there is something about it that has the potential to bring powerful healing to ourselves and others. It is also a challenge to slow down and look within. There are things stirring and murking (hope thats a word) around in all of us that we need to let Jesus deal with. I hope this book gives you the strength to start that process.
  21. Live Like a Narnian by Joe Rigney – Over the past few years I have frequently replayed this lecture by Joe Rigney at a conference about C.S Lewis : . So when I found out that this book existed, I immediately ordered it. This book is all about how Lewis has artfully taught us about the heart of God through his Narnian stories. We learn about true manhood not through a detailed exposition of Scripture, but through the Laughing Heart of King Lune of Archland. We learn about womanhood through the character of Lucy, who shows hospitality but also rides to war. Lewis shows us how the world tries to make us forget God by comparing it to a witch casting a spell on Eustace and Jill. Rigney shows us in this book how Lewis has taken the wisdom he has gleaned from the Scriptures and fleshed it out for us in fictional form. I hope it helps you see truths in a fresh light.
  22. You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan – Kyle and I started reading this book before we got married, and I admit we have not yet finished it yet. But I love it. Every chapter draws your mind to the fact that your marriage is not about you. The Chans emphasize in this book that there is no strategy that will fix your marriage. There is no special secret to the perfect marriage. The truths are found right before us in our Bible, and the power to carry them out lives in us. The Holy Spirit is in us, ready and willing to conform us to the image of Christ. The book emphasizes that our marriages are about eternity, and it is when we loose sight of that is when our marriages will go off the rails. It draws your mind to the fact that your marriage is meant to be a powerful tool in the hand of a mighty God for His glory.
  23. The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler – The title comes from a Hebrew word for love: It refers specifically to sexual love, two souls mingling together. As I am writing this post I just got lost in re-reading the book. This book freed me and continues to free me in understanding that no marriage is perfect. Its messy, and we are all working through it.
  24. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp – This book is a guide to Christian Counseling. It teaches you about the ins and outs of sanctification, and discipleship. Even if you never plan on counseling in any kind of official capacity, it will make you a better Christian, discipler, and friend.