As a big supporter of books and reading, I try to model what I preach about reading. Therefore I find it imperative . . . and extremely enjoyable, to have a number of books going at any given time. Note though that this list is deceptively long, so don’t find it too intimidating. So here’s a look at what I am currently reading:
1) Argentina: A Modern History ~ by Jill Hedges: Having lived in Argentina previously and moved here again this year, I recognize my knowledge of Argentina’s history is limited. I researched a number of books that would just lay out its history. I finally settled on this, although reluctantly. Finding one that is unbiased, clear, and in English (for Kindle) proved more difficult than anticipated. Despite some bias, it does at least take me through the history.
2) Five Presidents ~ by Clint Hill: I love reading works of history and biography and try to get through about one a month. I chose this one as a memoir which covers Clint Hill’s time in the Secret Service protection detail from President Eisenhower to President Ford. It offers a unique glimpse into the work of the secret service and just how much work goes into protecting the president. It makes you wonder how much more difficult it is now.
3) Preachers and Preaching ~ by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: I certainly appreciate the preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and have grown under it in unique ways. Knowing how God has used his preaching to impact me, who better to learn from about how to preach than the guy who exemplifies it well.
4) Family Shepherds ~ by Voddie Baucham: I have learned much and been convicted a lot by the need to be a better leader in my family. While I recognize there is criticism against him for taking things too far, and I certainly don’t agree with all that he teaches, I do think there can be some valuable lessons that come out of his teaching. And those lessons should not be ignored.
5) Biblical Theology ~ by Geerhardus Vos: I suspect this book will take me longer than I want it to. I discovered Vos when Lexham press released hard copies of his Reformed Dogmatics (the last and fifth volume comes out next month) and was overwhelmed by his teaching. So when I came across this book at a conference, I quickly picked it up and am now finally sitting down to read his thoughts about how Scripture connects. Even the opening sentences about theology as a whole have been insightful.
6) The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts ~ by Douglas Bond: Actually I just finished this. I love history and biographies and try to read a good mixture of secular and Christian books. Impressed with Isaac Watts works (he wrote Joy to the World and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross) I was curious to know more about his life. Douglas Bond offers up a short work about Watts that reveals how his gifts worked both for him and against him in his lifetime.
7) God is the Gospel ~ by John Piper: This is a book that I have been going through with my accountability partner. For three months we have been delving into the text, and just last week we finished chapter 2 (seriously! three months, two chapters). It is rich in information and Piper has challenged me with some provocative questions. He teaches enjoyment of the gospel by fixating our gaze on God.
8) Ecclesiastes (Reformed Expository Commentary) ~ by Douglas Sean O’Donnell: My wife and I have been using this for our devotional times. We read a section or two at time. Wanting to grow together in God’s Word, we decided to pick up one of these commentaries because of their devotional nature. We finally went with Ecclesiastes, in order to be intentional about learning the Old Testament and specifically because we understood so little of Ecclesiastes.
9) Institutes of Christian Religion ~ by John Calvin: This will be a work that remains open for a long time. The work is massive and constitutes the deep intellect of Calvin. It is a systematic theology and what better way to understand the theology of Calvin and by those who claim to be Calvinists than by reading the source.
10) The Complete Works of Thomas Manton (Volume 1) ~ by Thomas Manton: In my personal study of James, Thomas Manton’s commentary came highly recommended. I have enjoyed it and found it interesting to know more of his writings. Recently I received his complete works and so I immediately opened it up. My goal is simply to read some here and there, and maybe over the course of my life I can get through all 20 volumes (or whatever it is). There is no specific purpose here other than to see Manton’s own words and expositions about Scripture and learn from it. He covers a wide array of texts and a wide array of topics.
Thelast four are certainly ones that I am reading over time and very slowly, so they make this list look much longer than it really. While not everyone is able to read several books at once, every person should be reading. Not sure where to start? What interests do you have? Maybe this list will guide you, or e-mail me for some recommendations. If you simply want an across the board recommendation for general Christianity, you can’t go wrong by picking up John Piper’s God is the Gospel. It will be challenging, incredibly insightful, and a tremendous blessing; even more you can pick up a PDF version of it for free at desiringgod.org. So open up a book, and in just a few minutes a day you can complete a book a month.