There is a great deal of wisdom that has been handed down through literature, and the Bible clearly tells us over and over again to pursue wisdom in every way possible. One of the greatest ways to do pursue wisdom is by learning from those who have gone before us, particularly through reading the books they have written.
Books on how to grow as a disciple:
- Radical by David Platt
- The Problem of Pain C.S. Lewis
- Spectacular Sins by John Piper
- What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey
- Redefined by Kenny Ortiz
- Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem
- 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe
- The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Johnathan Edwards
- The Colson Way by Owen Strachan
- The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
- Grasping Gods Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniels Hays
I crafted this list of twelve books with the young Christian in mind; it is compiled of books that I believe will help the new believer further their walk in the months and years to come.
Each of these twelve books is designed to either help you grow in your faith, implement the things you will need in the first few months and years of your faith, and to give you the tools and wisdom to avoid pitfalls of the Christian life.
1. Radical by David Platt
Radical was written to challenge the typical American way of Christianity. Many American believers have made Christianity a tame religion, and it has become a nominal way of life and even becomes a way of gaining social capital.
David Platt writes about the Bible’s exhortation for us to live radical lives, and he gives readers practical steps on how to do that well. He tells stories of people who have lived through church history that have lived radically for Christ and makes the point that those who live radically have the most impact.
This is highly recommended because David Platt is writing specifically to expose these incorrect ways of thinking of Christianity and is challenging believers to make God the whole reason for life, not just a part of it. This is important both for the new Believer and the long-time follower of Christ, as it will serve to form the right foundations and/or challenge those who need their thinking turned around.
2. The Problem of Pain C.S. Lewis
It’s impossible to compile any list of books without including at least one C.S. Lewis book. In fact, this whole list could be compiled of C.S. Lewis books and be worthwhile. But the one I would recommend above others is The Problem of Pain.
Lewis is very effective in his effort to tackle the problem of pain and tragedy that everyone has or will face at some point in their lives. He does a wonderful job of helping people wrestle through the purpose of pain in our lives. As well as the theological questions we frequently ask.
When you read this book, you won’t necessarily get all of the answers to your questions, but you will get the comfort that you need. This book is very helpful in that the understanding of God’s sovereignty in and through trials is essential to the believer’s life
3. Spectacular Sins by John Piper
John Piper is a well-known pastor and writer. Very few pastors have impacted me more than Piper. I love his preaching. You would be wise to listen to Piper’s sermons and podcasts. But, to be honest, I haven’t always loved his writing. The content of this books are always good and worthwhile, but I don’t love his style of writing.
However, this book is fantastic—style and content. There are very few books ever written that even attempt to give us a clear understanding of God’s sovereignty plays out amid and through the sins of humans.
Spectacular Sins is a book centered on the sins that God turns and uses for his own glory. The Apostle Paul tells us that God works all things together (Rom. 8:28). Piper gives us some great insights into how this works. We know that it is impossible to go through this life without someone wronging us, and frequently its people we love and care about, and John Piper does a phenomenal job of highlighting different sinful choices in the scriptures that help us to see that when people sin against us, God always uses those sins in a spectacular way.
Certainly, God doesn’t want people to sin, and He doesn’t want people to sin against each other, but the sins of humans never stop God from doing spectacular things in our lives. God uses all things for his own glory and our good, even the sins of others.
4. What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey
If you were to only read one book on this list, What’s So Amazing About Grace would probably be the one to read.
Phillip Yancey is a classic Christian author, one of the best of the twenty-first century and he beautifully paints the picture of what Biblical grace actually is.
He uses fun stories, beautiful metaphors, and illustrations, to explain how grace plays out in our day to day lives, in our churches, our families, and our prayer lives.
He does a phenomenal job of simply explaining deep and complex theological concepts in a way that is fun, comforting, and heartwarming, and will transform how you interact with other people.
5. Redefined by Kenny Ortiz
Recommending your own books always feels a little odd, but I truly believe this book will be extremely helpful to anyone wanting to grow and mature. Whenever a person comes to faith in Christ, there are key spiritual things that take place in the soul, heart, and life. And the Bible calls this the “new Creation.” Understanding these key spiritual things is vital to spiritual maturity. That’s why I wrote this book.
Redefined is written with this reality in mind: The majority of books written on this topic are written for seminarians and are not very accessible.
I specifically wrote Redefined to explain these incredibly deep and complex theological truths in a way that is easy to understand.
Redefined takes key doctrines such as Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness, that have been at the core of the Christian faith for over 2000 years, and explains what happens when we become believers–that we are redefined by God through His grace and mercy.
6. Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem
There are a bunch of theology books on the market that are written at high academic levels, covering complex truths, but they are written in such a way that doesn’t make it easy to follow or understand.
Wayne Grudem has written several volumes on theology, and the aim of Christian Beliefs is to be an entry-level or introductory theology book.
In this book, he covers the twenty basic Christian doctrines that every Christian should believe and understand. And he does it in such a simplified way that by the time you’re done reading you’ll understand all of the core elements of the theology of our faith, without it going over your head.
7. 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe
Understanding Church history and those who have gone before us is essential.
There are many great biographies out there to read, and I believe it is important for every Christian to read biographies, the first one would be 50 People Every Christian Should Know.
In this book, Warren Wiersbe gives a brief biography of 50 different people throughout church history, beginning in the early church and going up to modern-day. He covers what they believed, why they believed it, and how they made an impact in the world.
There is a lot to be learned through the lives of the people he covers in his book and it is all around a fantastic read.
8. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards
It’s important for Christians to not just read contemporary books, but to also read books from Church history. And one of the most famous books from Church history was written by American Puritan, Jonathan Edwards, on the life of David Brainerd.
David Brainerd was a missionary to the Native Americans in the Western frontier during the 1700s, and in his 20s he became very ill, so he moved back to Massachusetts and lived with Jonathan Edwards and his family so he could be taken care of.
During his time there, Jonathan Edwards began recording the life and the philosophy and theology that inspired David Brainerd to be a missionary to the Native Americans.
At its publication, The Life and Diary of David Brainerd became a bestseller and inspired thousands of Christians to live a radical life and get involved in missionary work.
This book not only teaches us about the life of David Brainer, but also how our lives can be shaped by great theology, and how the overflow of that is always incredible missions commitment.
It is also to be noted that Brainerd died at the young age of only 28, which shows that young people can make a tremendous impact in the world if they are committed to Christ.
9. The Colson Way by Owen Strachan
The Colson Way is a short biography of Chuck Colson, a well known evangelical leader in the 20th century. Strachan specifically focuses on the way Colson thought and led in his life and how we can do things the way he did.
Its a fun and easy read that will also challenge the reader to consider what their own worldview is.
It exposes inconsistencies in the worldview that many people have, and teaches people how to develop a Christian worldview that can stand up against all other worldviews.
10.The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
This book outlines the biblical definition of marriage and seeks to take various theological truths found throughout the scriptures and apply them to every area of marriage.
This book is important because most people will be married, and even if you are not married, it teaches us a lot about human nature, which can be helpful in all of our relationships, not just with a spouse.
Keller’s main point in The Meaning of Marriage is that marriage was instituted not for happiness, but for holiness.
God established the institution of marriage as the primary instrument for people to be shaped and molded into the image of Christ. and your greatest accountability, partner and more importantly, your spouse will be your mirror to see how sinful you really are in order that you can grow.
11. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God is number one on many lists like this one because Tozer does such a phenomenal job of capturing all of the emotions and sentiments that a person experiences through their life, whether it is before coming to Christ, the beginning stages or throughout the process of growing in our Christianity.
Tozer talks extensively about what it looks like to pursue God and how that plays out in both our inner thoughts and outward behavior. He opens up the book by explaining that we cannot respond to God unless He first does something in us.
Ultimately in the Christian life, God’s grace and supernatural work are what prompts us to pursue him. We pursue God because He first pursued us, that is the foundation of everything we do in the Christian life.
12. Grasping Gods Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniels Hays
Grasping God’s Word is not a fun book, but it is the best book on Hermeneutics.
For anyone who is wondering how to study the Bible, this book is the best book to aid you in studying the Bible in the most effective and simple way while also in a way that doesn’t compromise your study of the scripture.
Hermeneutics is the science of studying the Bible.
This book is important because if you are going to be a strong Christian you must absolutely study the scripture and develop hermeneutic skills. Personal reading and Bible study will transform your life, and understanding how to do good hermeneutics will be the foundation of all of your Bible study that could transform your life.