books

This page is semper reformanda… always reforming.

My Current Reading List

The following list is a rough initiation to my past and present reading. Bear in mind that this page reflects more of my inquisitive caprice than any systematic program of study. (I will however, spare you the inclusion of the books I must read for school.) When possible, books in this category are linked to my very favorite bookstore — monergism.com; otherwise you will be directed to amazon.com. All other available links below lead to various quotes and/or personal reflections on what I have read.

Apologetics

  • Orthodoxy (GK Chesterton)

Biblical Studies

  • Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Leland Ryken, Jim Wilhoit, Tremper Longman) Highly recommended!
  • Christ in the Passover (Ceil Rosen, Moishe Rosen)
  • The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Ben Witherton, III)
  • Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament (Kenneth Wuest)
  • Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected Out of the Works of the Fathers, Volumes I-IV (John Henry Parker, 1845)

Biography

  • Thomas Hardy (Claire Tomalin)
  • The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Applegate)
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Spy (Metaxes) Highly recommended!
  • Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God (McCasland) Highly recommended!
  • Through the Gates of Splendor (Elliot)
  • To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette (Erickson)
  • Tete-a-Tete: The Tumultuous Life and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Marriage to a Difficult Man (Elizabeth D. Dodds) Highly recommended!

Commentaries and Sermons

  • The Complete Works of John Owen Favorite
  • The Works of Jonathan Edwards Favorite
  • The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes Favorite
  • The Complete Works of Thomas Boston

Controversial Issues

  • The Vampire Defanged (Susannah Clements)

Children’s Resources

Christian Ministry

Church History

Classic Literature

Calvinism/Reformed Theology

Christ and Culture

  • Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (DeYoung and Kluck)

Christian Living

  • The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion Highly recommended!
  • The Scent of Water (Naomi Zacharias) Highly recommended!
  • Foolproofing Your Life (Jan Silvious)
  • Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Believer (Oswald Chambers)
  • The Pilgrim’s Songbook (Oswald Chambers)
  • The Pursuit of God (AW Tozer)

Counseling/Psychology

  • Blame It On the Brain? (Ed Welch) Highly recommended!
  • Biblical Psychology (Oswald Chambers)
  • Depression: A Stubborn Darkness (Ed Welch)
  • Deserted By God? (Sinclair Ferguson)
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures (Martin Lloyd Jones)
  • When the Darkness Will Not Lift (John Piper)
  • Classical Pastoral Care, Volume III: Pastoral Counsel (Thomas C. Oden)
  • Classical Pastoral Care, Volume IV: Crisis Counseling (Thomas C. Oden)
  • Rid of My Disgrace (Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb)

Doctrinal/Theology

  • Knowing God (JI Packer)
  • Summa Theologica (Thomas Aquinas)
  • Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Loraine Beottner)
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (John Calvin)
  • Let God and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology (Andy Naselli)
  • Systematic Theology (Wayne Grudem)

Family Life

  • The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers (Haykin)
  • Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children (Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., MD and Freda McKissic Bush, MD)
  • Bringing Up Girls (James Dobson)

Fiction

  • Emma (Austen)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Austen) Favorite
  • Wuthering Heights (Charlotte Bronte)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Favorite
  • Poor Folks (Dostoyevsky)
  • The Idiot (Dostoyevsky)
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)
  • Til We Have Faces (CS Lewis) Favorite
  • Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (Spenser)
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

History

  • Now It Can Be Told (Philip Gibbs)
  • The Soul of War (Philip Gibbs)
  • Embedded at the Front (Philip Gibbs)
  • The History of Herodotus (Herodotus)
  • The Great Silence: Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age (Juliette Nichols)

Modern Authors

  • Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) Highly recommended!

Poetry

  • The Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry
  • By Still Waters: Lyrical Poems Old and New (George William Russell)
  • Imaginations and Reveries (George William Russell)

Philosophy

  • History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russell)
  • Gravity and Grace (Weil)
  • The Denial of Death (Ernest Becker) Highly recommended!
  • Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl)
  • Ethics of Elfland (GK Chesterton)
  • The Idea of the Holy (Rudolf Otto)

Puritan Writers

  • The Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan) Highly recommended!
  • The Bruised Reed (Richard Sibbes) Highly recommended!
  • The Valley of Vision Highly recommended!
  • The Crook in the Lot (Thomas Boston) Highly recommended!

Reference

Writing

  • How to Write a Sentence (Stanley Fish)

5 thoughts on “books

  1. Oh my, what an incredible list of books (so many of the authors grace my bookshelves) and a wonderful blog. The psalms were my food day and night for many, many years and are so dear to my heart–the word diapsalmata is perfect! Thank you for creating this site and for sharing God’s grace with your readers.

  2. No, it is I who should thank you. I ran across your blog and was more encouraged than I can possibly even begin to say. Thank you — a million times thank you — for giving voice to the Gospel, for bringing the healing message that afflicted believers are NOT outside residents of the Kingdom! Our Savior bears His own scars (John 20:24-29) and is very tender with those who weep. He delights in weaving a remnant from the broken ligaments of the lame and fashioning a strong nation from the weak elements of cast off people (Micah 4:7) One day we’ll breathe in air sweetened with the praises of mute souls set free; one day we’ll see shame transfigured to praise and renown in all the earth (Zephaniah 3:19). But today is not that day. Until then I am praising God with you and encouraging you heartily to continue doing what you are obviously called to do.

  3. Marc: I appreciate your qosntiues here. Judeo-Christianity doesn’t have one point of view on this. Actually I think the polarity of good and evil has less to do with Judeo-Christianity and more to do with Western dualism. Justice and righteousness are not at the end of the good/evil dichotomy. Justice and righteousness and the way things should be are at the middle. They are the equilibrium which means where things should be. Some people are not content with reality or with an equilibrium of justice for all. They need to push past what God has given until they have dominated all around them, gaining more than is just for themselves (or their group) and forcing others to be inline with them. Some call this good, others call it evil. But it is the same thing: the forceful exertion of strength and will to shape our shared reality into the shape that I want it to have. This necessarily marginalizes and limits other people (degrees of dehumanization) and is called good if you are on the inside of the system, and evil if you are on the outside. Yearning to do good blinds us to our own evil because we start by defining ourselves as abstractly good and as oriented toward doing abstract good while taking care of our interests. Witness the Israeli governments response to accusations (by their own traumatized soldiers) that they committed gross war crimes (systematic killing of civilians, well poisoning, chemical weapons) in Gaza, That is impossible. We are the most moral army in the world. All that means is they believe they are so moral that anything they do can only be good. Why must the suffering of Jesus mean anything? Surely his greatest suffering was diminishing his Godliness so that he could become an incarnate human being. His suffering on the cross was only a suffering that was common to man; in fact it was so common for men to be crucified that two were hung with him and both suffered longer than Christ, whose suffering was cut sort by the thrust of a spear. Jesus suffering showed that suffering and death was part of the human walk. Overcoming suffering, remaining true despite suffering is what it means to be human. It’s interesting that Genesis 2 describes the nature of man as thus: Since woman came from man, a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. That is the nature of humanity as created by God humans need to leave the comfort and safety of the parent and learn who they are by cleaving together. That’s not the result of The Fall it’s the nature of who we are. The Fall story is a great metaphor of the snares that can come between man and god, and man and wife but we know from Genesis 2 that Adam and Eve needed to leave the garden in order to become fully human (adults). Life is a journey and it is, generally, how it is supposed to be filled with a mix of justice to give us hope and injustice for us to overcome. The purpose of the world is to make us grow up so we can have a mature relationship with God and with each other. This is the world God made. He is here. Fully. There is nothing good nor evil that makes him less present. That’s what enables me to say life is and leave it at that, without appending good or evil to it.

  4. Great list here – we share some favorites and some of those you recommend are currently on my list of books to be read. I love seeing what others have read and recommend, and love recommending great books to others (hence, the purpose of my blog!)

    Two of my all-time favorite fictional works are Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two Cities, which I see you also call favorites. Have you read Jane Eyre?? If not I highly recommend it and believe you would love it as well. I wrote a review/series of articles on it on my blog.

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