Dave?s faves – Books to Grow By!

Occasionally I’m asked for my recommendation of good books to help grow our relationship with God. So I’ve compiled a list of my top picks. I am not a voracious reader (that would be my wife Karen!) but I do read! These suggestions are just my personal faves – no more, no less. Borrow or purchase for yourself – these books rock. They have all been influential in my life.
??My top ten – in no particular order:
??•?The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg??o?With great humor and in a very down to earth style Ortberg outlines some basic practices you can engage in to develop your relationship with God.
•?The Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God by Larry Osborne??o?Extremely insightful – answers the questions that you thought you were the only one asking about life as a Christian – perfect for those of you who sometimes feel like you’re just not cut out to be a Christ follower.
•?10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne??o?Bang! Bang! Osborne unceremoniously shoots down stuff people commonly believe about God, the bible and life – but it just ain’t true! Especially great book for the new believer and others without much of a bible background.
•?The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer??o?An absolute classic – best for those who sense that something is missing – but desperately want more! A deep read but worth it – I promise!
•?The Prayer God Longs For by James Emery White??o?Awesome encouragement for developing your prayer life – White unpacks the Lord’s Prayer unlike any other author.
•?Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels??o?Basic, practical steps to sharing the good news of Jesus with those around us – it simply begins with a walk across the room. Very helpful.
•?Out of the Salt Shaker by Rebecca Pippert??o?A practical guide to sharing your faith without coming off like a freak. Pippert gives you the confidence that you can do it!
??•?The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George Hunter??o?A look at how St. Patrick impacted a pagan Ireland for Christ in the 5th century and the proposal that the same strategy could help us to reach the post-Christian, post-modern world in which we live. Fascinating.

•?Just As I Am by Billy Graham??o?No one has shared the gospel with more people in their lifetime than Billy. He is a personal hero of mine and his life of faith is very inspirational. A big book that goes down like soft-serve vanilla ice-cream. You will love it.
??•?The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer??o?A study of the attributes of God. Tozer asserts that the most important thing about you is what you believe about God. Seeing God in his glory, as who He truly is – will change your life indeed.
Have you already read any of them? What other suggestions would you give someone
?Happy reading!

3 thoughts on “Dave?s faves – Books to Grow By!

  1. Dawn Anama

    Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas – This is going to be my new wedding shower gift. Gary Thomas opens readers eyes on how God uses marriage to make us Holy. He hits a lot of key points on how we can use our marital relationships to draw closer to God. It really made me think differently about my marriage.
    Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas – This was probably the best parenting book I have ever read. In this book Gary Thomas shows the readers how their children bring them on a spiritual formation. He teaches how to embraces the challenges and difficulties of being a parent.
    Way of the Master by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort – This is a book I always recommend to people who a new Christians or struggling with their faith. This book does an outstanding job of identifying the problem with the modern gospel and applying Scripture to show the remedy – a return to the Biblical Gospel which preaches the Law first to bring the knowledge of sin and a right fear of God that makes grace truly amazing and leads to real repentance and faith.

  2. Allison

    Here are a few books that have helped me grow:
    Heaven by Randy Alcorn- This book has opened my eyes to the glorious eternity awaiting Christians in heaven.
    Money, Possessions, & Eternity by Randy Alcorn- This title has helped me cultivate a more eternal perspective on finances and possessions.
    God Is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg- This book teaches what it?s like to cultivate a moment-by-moment relationship with God through the day.

  3. Dave Corlew

    These recommendations are from our senior elder at ACC – Dale Hugo. He is a smart and spiritual dude so check it out:
    ??”The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men?s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all people. You need to read … Paul cries, ?Bring the books? — join in the cry.” – C.H. Spurgeon (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 9, 1863, sermon #542, p. 668, partial quote)
    Beginning the Christian Walk:
    LEARNING THE BASICS OF THE FAITH: Below are some books that will help you learn the basic doctrines of the Christian Faith. ??* Stott, John, Basic Christianity (Paperback – 142 pp.; Eerdmans, 1986)??* Sproul, R.C., Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (Paperback – 325 pp.; Tyndale House, 1998)??* Little, Paul, Know What You Believe (Paperback – 180 pp.; Chariot Victor, 1999)??* Little, Paul, Know Why You Believe (Paperback – 180 pp.; Chariot Victor, 1999)??Intermediate???Colson, Charles, & Nancy Pearcey, How Now Shall We Then Live? (Hardback – 574 pp.; Tyndale, 1999) – A mammoth resource on developing and maintaining a Christian worldview in post-Christian America. Colson covers all areas from politics to science. Written in a flowing three-part style covering creation, fall, and restoration.
    ??Heeren, Fred, Show me God
    ?Sire, James W., Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible (Paperback; Intervarsity Press, 1980) – All believers are confronted by pseudo-Christian sects at one point or another. In addition to being informed about these groups, it is also good to be informed on a BIBLICAL level. Be aware of the exegetical difficulties in their claims. A very readable, yet informative, book.
    ?The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer (5 volumes; Good News; 1985) – Schaeffer will challenge your thinking in many areas, strengthening your mind in many areas of thought as well. These books will open your eyes to yourself, the Church, our mission, and above all, our God – all within the context of a decidedly Christian worldview. Available on cd-rom.
    ??Richardson, Don, Eternity in Their Hearts (paperback – 224 pp.; Regal Books, 1984) – This book demonstrates (I believe irrefutably) that God has never left himself without witness in “Bibleless” lands, but has revealed himself in various ways to ALL peoples throughout world history. Richardson?s well-researched book opened my eyes to God?s purpose and His justice.
    ?Geisler, Norman L., Christian Apologetics (Paperback; Baker, 1988) – I am no great philosopher, and my exposure to competing worldviews is limited. In the day that we live (& witness) in, this can often be crippling. I have reached for this book many times in the past when I felt that I was “in over my head.” I?ll make it very easy: GET THIS BOOK. It is an invaluable reference tool. All of the major worldviews – agnosticism, rationalism, fideism, experientialism, pragmatism, combinationalism – are given a well organized treatment that won?t go over your head.
    ?Lewis, C.S., God in the Dock : Essays on Theology and Ethics (Paperback – 346 pp.; Eerdmans, 1994) – A collection of 48 essays and several letters written by Lewis covering various subjects in theology and ethics. The content is excellent – this is easily my favorite Lewis book. The essays deal with such subjects as the problem of evil, apologetics, the laws of nature, women in ministry, science and faith, old books, modernism, revival, Christmas, and many more. Two essays in particular have made a great impression on my beliefs: “We Have No ?Right to Happiness?” and “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment.” The latter will forever cause you to question the supposed wisdom of ?rehabilitation? over ?deserved punishment?. One of the best things about this book is that all of the essays are fairly quick reads, and can be read separately. In fact, each one should be read separately for contemplation. You haven?t read Lewis at his best until you read this collection!
    Study tools
    ?Strong, James, The New Strong?s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Hardcover; Thomas Nelson, 1997) – The most basic key to Bible study. Every English word used in the KJV is here, with a listing of every Bible passage containing that word. Next to each word is a reference number keyed to the Hebrew (OT) or Greek (NT) dictionaries in the back. Thus, any Bible student can consult basic definitions in the original languages regardless of linguistic ability.
    ?Robertson, A.T., A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ (Hardcover, 352 pp.; Harper, 1932) – Arranges the Gospels chronologically into one harmonious narrative. STATUS: IN PRINT. OTHER CHOICES: ??* Boettner, Loraine, Harmony of the Gospels (Paperback; P&R, 1992) ??* Daniel, Orville, A Harmony of the Four Gospels : The New International Version (Paperback; Baker, 1996)??BIBLE HANDBOOKS – This resource offers a wide range of helps, some of which you will find in more specific works – but other?s which you won?t. Cultural, historical, and archaeological information is extensive. Also, background information on the books of Scripture. Below are two standard works, Unger?s being the most extensive and updated: ??* Unger, Merrill F., New Unger?s Bible Handbook (Hardcover; Moody, 1986)??Archer, Gleason, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Hardcover – 476 pp.; Zondervan, 1982) – Archer does a fine job of cataloging and answering all of those (so-called) “contradictions” in the Bible.
    Torrey, R.A. (editor), The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Hardcover; Hendrickson, 1988
    Packer, J.I. and Tenney, M.C. (editors), Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible (Hardcover – 784 pp.; Nelson, 1997) – Scripture was not penned in a cultural void, and many of the practices we read about therein may mystify us somewhat. Others may go overlooked simply because we see no significance where there IS significance. This resource offers in-depth treatment of the culture-specific context in which much of the Bible was written.
    THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARIES – Includes listings for important persons, doctrines, movements, and so forth – dictionary style. If possible, I suggest owning a couple of different ones to get varying perspectives. These sources offer a theological education at your fingertips. The two I use most are below : ??* New Dictionary of Theology (Hardcover – 738 pp.; Intervarsity, 1988)??* Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Hardcover – 1223 pp.; Baker, 1984)??Davis, John Jefferson, Handbook of Basic Bible Texts (Paperback – 158 pp.; Zondervan, 1984) – Davis does us all a great service by arranging passages of Scripture for purposes of doctrinal study. Arranged according to standard theological categories, and takes a non-sectarian approach (i.e., covers many different viewpoints).

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