The same book, much like the same sermon, can have different affects on different people. God, through his Spirit, uses the written word (or spoken word) as he pleases.
In light of this, as I look back on my Christian pilgrimage, a few books, rooted in the Scriptures, stand out that God has been pleased to substantially influence my spiritual life.
These three books impacted my life the most in the first ten years of my Christian pilgrimage (in no particular order):
- A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy. Tozer opened my eyes to the “bigness” of God. My understanding of God has never been the same.
- Jim Berg, Changed into His Image. Berg showed me that the goal of my Christian life was a process of changing more and more into the image of Christ.
- John MacArthur, Our Sufficiency in Christ. MacArthur planted in me, through God’s Spirit, a belief in the absolute sufficiency of Christ and His Word for all of life. And along with a college professor, this book started me down the pathway of biblical counseling certification with The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
In my second decade as a Christian, these three books have influenced me (in no particular order):
- Milton Vincent, The Gospel Primer. Vincent taught me the importance and the practical necessity of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all of life.
- Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. Lane and Tripp helped me to embrace the God-ward perspective on relationships—relationships are meant for our sanctification not our happiness.
- Bruce Ware, God’s Greater Glory. Ware demonstrated to me God’s absolute providence over all things. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all Ware’s conclusions, he started me down the pathway to embrace the truth, as the Heidelberg Catechism beautifully states, “that all things come, not by chance, but by [God’s] Fatherly hand.”
What books will I be able to look back on in my third decade as a Christian that will have had a great influence on my life? Hindsight will tell. Perhaps they haven’t been written yet.
As you look back on your Christian pilgrimage, what books (besides the Bible) have impacted your spiritual life the most? I would love to hear your answers! Send me an email or find me at church.