Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Who Do You Read?

There was a time when I really didn't enjoy reading. That changed when I got to College. Now I just wish I had more time to read. But what to read?

Some 25 years ago I attended a conference in which John Maxwell encouraged us to read a broad spectrum of books in order to stay relevant as preachers. Besides the Bible, which is foundational to everything else, I've tried to read biographies, history, leadership, current events, theology and whatever I might be interested in currently. I've found this to be helpful to keep me connected with a wide variety of people.

What inspired this article was an interview I came across with Ravi Zacharias. He was asked "What are three books that every Christian should read?" Since he is one of my favorite authors, I was interested in his answers. This is what he said: "I would prefer to name authors. Authors such as C.S. Lewis, John Piper, Tim Keller, yes, and my dear friend R.C. Sproul. But there are many more. One of the greatest books ever written is The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. For devotional studies, Oswald Chambers, and one of my favorites, G. Campbell Morgan, are great choices. We also have a bibliography on our website (www.rzim.org). Sorry, that’s more than three."

Typical Ravi. If you go to the web-site he lists, you'll find a bibliography of 2-300 books. No surprise here. If you follow Ravi at all, you'll quickly learn that he is a voracious reader. What I'd like to do is give a link to a bio of the authors he has listed above as well as a link to their bibliographies. Let me know how many of their books you've read.

C.S. Lewis:
Here's a link to a bio of C.S. Lewis: http://www.narniaproducts.com/cslewis.php  I would highly recommend reading a full biography of Lewis, considering his impact on literature in the twentieth century. My favorite is "Mere Christianity."
Here is a selected bibliography of C.S. Lewis' works: http://personal.bgsu.edu/~edwards/lewisbib.html

John Piper:
Here's a link to a bio for John Piper: http://www.desiringgod.org/about/john-piper/extended-biography/  Full disclosure here - I have not read any of Piper's works. I will rectify that shortly.
His bibliography can be found in his Curriculum Vitae.

Tim Keller: 
Dr. Keller is the Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York, “one of Manhattan’s most vital congregations,” according to Christianity Today. He moved to the city with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons in June of 1989 to begin Redeemer. Prior to that, Tim was a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and a Pastor in Virginia for nine years. Tim has led the PCA denominations church planting initiatives and remains committed to promoting and nurturing the growth of new churches in New York City and around the world. I loved his book: "The Prodigal God."
Here is a bibliography:  http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/authordetail.php?aut_id=91

R.C. Sproul:
A short bio can be found here.
R.C. is the author of over 70 books. Here is a second biography, including a bibliography.

John Bunyan:
A biography for John Bunyan can be found here
The Pilgrim's Progress has been considered one of the greatest allegorical works of history. I have an early edition in my personal library - one of my prized possessions.

Oswald Chambers:
Here is a bio of Chambers, a man who didn't become famous until after his death: http://utmost.org/oswald-chambers-bio/ I have read "My Utmost For His Highest" several times.
Here is a bibliography: http://www.oswaldchambers.co.uk/Books.html

G. Campbell Morgan:
A short bio of Morgan can be found here
G. Campbell Morgan wrote extensively. Click on the link for a list of his published works.

Do you agree with Ravi's list? What are your favorite books by these authors? Who would you add or delete? How would you answer the question "What are three books that every Christian should read?"

Related Articles:
Some Books Worth Reading
Book Review: "Why Jesus?"
Book Review: "Has Christianity Failed You?"
"Truth" - by Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias Speaks at Mormon Tabernacle
 



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