8 Great biographies

Biographies provide unique insight into a individual’s life.  They can provide great encouragement and challenge to the reader as well.  Sometimes a biography is of someone still living that allows you to simply look further into their life.  However, sometimes (and often my favorite type) a biography is written about someone who is no longer living.  In those cases, many times, we are able to not only get a deeper look into the individual life but also the time in which he/she lived.  I would like to recommend a few different biographies.  You will notice that a couple of these are compilation-type books but none the less they are quite good.  These books are in no particular order.

  1. Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) – Story of Louis Zamperini
  2. For the Glory (Duncan Hamilton) – Story of Eric Liddel
  3. The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Iain H. Murray)
  4. Richard Baxter and Conversion (Timothy Beougher)
  5. Jonathan Edwards (Stephen Nichols)
  6. Portrait of Calvin (T.H.L. Parker)
  7. 10 Who Changed the World (Daniel Akin)
  8. Victorious Christians You Should Know (Warren Wiersbe)

4 great autobiographies

While Biographies are excellent insight into someone’s life an autobiography provides a unique slant because it is from the very voice of the one experiencing it.  These 4 books provided incredible challenge to my life and are excellent choices for your next read.

  1. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
  2. The Autobiography of George Mueller
  3. God’s Smuggler (Brother Andrew)
  4. Insanity of God (Nik Ripken)


12 Types of books to read in 2017

I don’t know how often you read.  I don’t know what types of books you enjoy reading.  To be honest, I don’t know if you like to read at all.  However, reading is still one of the best ways to learn and grow in life.  My Grammy (my Dad’s mom) is a prolific reader.  She has read too many books to count.  While I have not always loved to read, she has (along with others in my life) instilled a great appreciation for good books.  And being that today is her birthday – I thought this list would be particularly appropriate.

In my Christian walk I have found that sometimes I need to adjust the style of writing I read in order to sharpen my knowledge and even to train my mind to learn in different ways.  With that being said here is a list of the types of books I would like to recommend that you read in the coming year.  (I decided to recommend a book for each type- just for good measure).  The following list is intended to challenge you to read one book a month in 2017 – I hope you can take the challenge.

  1. A book of the Old Testament (Genesis)
  2. A book about an Old Testament book (Worthy to Worship- a study of Habakkuk)
  3. A book of the New Testament (John)
  4. A book about the New Testament (To Live is Christ to Die is Gain – A study of Philippians)
  5. A book on the Holy Spirit (Forgotten God)
  6. A history book (For the Glory)
  7. An autobiography (George Mueller)
  8. A Biography (Swan Series)
  9. A book about evangelism (The Master Plan of Evangelism)
  10. A book on missions (Let the Nations Be Glad)
  11. A book about God (The Attributes of God)
  12. A book concerning current issues (Counter Culture)

10 books on missions

These books are in no particular order but I do recommend these for anyone interested in reading books on missions.

Let the Nations Be Glad – John Piper

The Insanity of God – Nik Ripken

The Insanity of Obedience – Nik Ripken

Back to Jerusalem – Three Chinese House Church Leaders Share their Vision to Complete the Great Commission – Brother Yun, Peter Xu Yonge, Enoch Wang, and Paul Hathaway

What Is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom and the Great Commission – Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

When Missions Shapes the Mission You and Your Church Can Reach the World – David Horner

MissionShift Global Mission Issues in the Third Millennium – David Hesselgrave and Ed Stetzer

Revolution in World Missions – K.P. Yohannan

The Bridges of God A Study in the Strategy of Missions – Donald Anderson McGavran

Introduction to Global Missions – Zane Pratt, David Sills, and Jeff Walters

6 books on short-term missions

These books are in no particular order but I do recommend these to anyone involved in leading the church in short-term mission efforts.

Short-Term Mission An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and Experience – Brian Howell

Mack and Leeann’s Guide to Short-Term Missions – Mack and Leeann Stiles

Maximum Impact Short-Term Mission The God-Commanded REpetiticue Deployment of Swift, Temporary Non-Professional Missionaries – Roger Peterson, Gordon Aeschliman and Wayne Sneed

Serving with Eyes Wide Open Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence – David Livermore

Effective Engagement in Short-Term Missions: Doing it Right! – Robert Priest

Transformission Making Disciples Through Short-Term Missions – Michael Wilder and Shane Parker

10 books on preaching

These books are in no particular order but ones that I would recommend to anyone pursuing the ministry of the pulpit.

Preaching With Passion – Alex Montoya

The Supremacy of God in Preaching – John Piper

Spirit Empowered Preaching Involving the Holy Spirit in Your Ministry – Arturo G. Azurdia III

The Greatest Fight in the World  The Final Manifesto – Charles Spurgeon

Preaching Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism – Timothy Keller

Power in the Pulpit How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons – Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix

Preaching How to Preach Biblically – John MacArthur

Preaching the Cross – Sermons from Together for the Gospel

Preparing Expository Sermons A 7 Step Method for Biblical Preaching – Ramesh Richard

Expository Apologetics Answering Objections with the Power of the Word – Voddie Baucham Jr.

Top 10 Books

This list of books is not in any particular order and might change at any given time.  However, these books had significant impact on my life when I read them.

Desiring God by John Piper – When I read this book it was one of the deepest, most convicting books I had ever read.  It challenged me theologically and practically.

Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds – This is one of the first “grown up” books I ever completed.  It was one of the books that made me realize reading was worthwhile.

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman – Not only was reading this book a game changer for me, it was a wonderful gift to get to meet Robert Coleman in person during a significant study time of my doctoral work.

Jonathan Edwards on Revival – To not include a work of Jonathan Edwards in this list would be ridiculous.  While this is not necessarily his most significant work, it is profound in many ways.

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer – This book helped me understand that the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man were not in opposition but instead were great friends.

Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon – This book is my favorite of Spurgeon’s works and challenged me significantly in sharing the gospel.

Follow Me by David Platt – Of course Platt’s first book, Radical, was a thought to place on this list, however, I believe Follow Me was more thorough and enriching overall.

Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper – Piper is the only author on here twice and while I hesitated to do that I was incredibly challenged by this book to see my responsibility to the nations.

Attributes of God by A.W. Pink – Having a bigger view of God has allowed me to understand my desperate need of Him.  This tiny book helped give me that big view.

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken – Throughout the stories in this book I started even wondering if I was a Christian at all – not that I doubted my salvation but simply because the faith of these believers was convicting to me.