As you’ve probably noticed, there is no shortage of books in the world; and the prospect of “finding gold among the garbage” can be daunting when the stakes (a.k.a. your time and money) are high. While by no means an exhaustive catalog, the books and other resources listed on this page (to be updated occasionally) are among the best I’ve encountered, and they have played a large role in shaping my thinking and informing my faith. So if you don’t much like to gamble with your reading time, may I suggest that your next selection be one of the following?
In his now-classic work The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges explores the biblical concept of holiness, the holiness of God, and the holiness in which His children are therefore called to walk. Bridges walks step by step through the biblical witness concerning what exactly holiness is, why we need it, and how we may, in the words of II Peter, “participate in the divine nature.” Bridges emphasizes that holiness is not an option, and his endorsement of a genuine and wholehearted pursuit of righteousness through disciplined living (as made possible and sustained by God’s endless grace, of course) is both inspiring and compelling.
Rich Mullins was not an ordinary guy, and both his music albums and his writings have blessed me in more ways than I could list. The World as I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin is a collection of magazine articles Rich wrote for Release magazine during the latter years of his career (and his life). Regardless of your taste in music, Rich’s thoughtful and candid attempts to grapple with the truths of God’s Word and the trials of life result in some of the most beautiful and poignant Christian literature in print. Rich’s unique mixture of frank realism and giddy hopefulness shows that it is possible and indeed necessary for the Christian to be both down-to-earth and heaven-minded at the same time.
In his “devotional biography” Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, author (and Rich’s close friend) James Bryan Smith focuses not on a chronological telling of Rich’s life but instead organizes his book around the issues and topics that were most prominent for Rich–including family, the Church, the love of God, the beauty of creation, the freedom of simplicity, and the pain and struggles of life. Additionally, the book is full of other writings by Rich himself, which are masterfully integrated into this story of a man whose life was like an arrow pointing straight to Jesus Christ. (And if you think I’m just a rabid Rich Mullins fanboy with no real perspective from which to judge these books, I encourage you to read them and judge for yourself.)
Thomas Brooks is by no means the most famous of the Puritan authors, but his work Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices does not suffer for its lack of notoriety. Brooks keenly describes many of the various lies, temptations, and tactics employed by the devil to draw us into sin, following each with several Scriptural considerations for the Christian who would seek to avoid and/or withstand it. Simply put, the work is excellent, and I recommend it to all. I doubt you could find anybody too experienced or too wise to be substantially edified and thoroughly challenged by it–yourself included! You can read a sample of Precious Remedies here.