I was hoping that you might have a few moments to help a young preacher find some good books. I am trying to build my library with some of the greatest books available; the books you consider to be MUST reads for the growing Christian. Would you be so kind to list 10 of your favorite classic spiritual books and 10 of your favorite contemporary spiritual books? I am interested in a variety of topics (missiology, leadership, preaching/public speaking, spiritual formation, the cross/atonement, and grace). My goal is simply to increase my knowledge and love for the Lord. I would greatly appreciate your help. I understand if you don’t have the time to reply. Thank you, brother.
I’m posting this because there are so many excellent books. I’ve not read them all, and I’ve forgotten some pretty good ones, I’m sure. So I figured the readers would have some excellent recommendations to share.
Here’s a list I put together in 2012: The Books that Most Influenced Me: Summer Beach Reading for the Theology Junkie.
These are from 2015:
And don’t forget to check the comments.
You might want to download my ebooks. The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace was published over 20 years ago, and I just got a note that a reader is leading a small group class based on it. These aren’t among the greatest books ever written, but they address very real concerns that any Church of Christ minister will confront often — in terms designed to speak to those of us steeped in the Church of Christ tradition.
I have a zillion leadership books. The best are Five Dysfunctions of Team and The Advantage, both by Patrick Lencioni. If you serve on a committee (that is, if you go to church), these are the best. Lots of overlap, but you need both.
Mission is really important to my personal theology, but most books don’t really hold up over time. You do better to subscribe to Ed Stetzer’s blog and read back issues. And Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy — head and shoulders over the competition.
Got nothing on preaching/public speaking.
Spiritual formation has become so watered down as to be meaningless in regular church conversation. The “minister of spiritual formation” does adult ed and small groups. To escape the pointlessness, read Gorman’s Inhabiting the Cruciform God and chapter 7 of Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus.
On atonement, the best lesson I ever heard is from Ray Vander Laan, and the best source is my recent series on atonement, since he hasn’t written a book. You should also listen to his mp3s. I cannot adequately express how much you’ll enjoy and benefit from these.