I usually post a blog at the end of the year listing my top ten books. However, I wanted to write a blog here in May to post the books I have read so far in 2017. This may be of value to you as you seek to figure out what books you want to read next.
- Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
- Finally Free by Heath Lambert
- Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers
I read these for a three part teaching series that I did on a men’s retreat with some college guys. All of these books were good reads. Sexual Detox will be the read you want if you want a short, theological, and applicable dealing with the subject of pornography. Finally Free will be the read you want if you want a thorough, clear, and Christ exalting dealing with the subject of pornography. And Wired for Intimacy will be the read you want if you are looking for how pornography hijacks the male brain in horrific ways (he also inform you of how to hijack the brain back from pornography)!
These are the books that I have read thus far for school. If I was to recommend two books to read out of the three then it would be the two by Quarles. However, if you only had time to read one then I would recommend Quarles’ book on A Theology of Matthew. This will help you to read and understand the book of Matthew a lot better than you currently do. I found it to be immensely helpful and easy to follow.
Personal Encouragement and Growth in Godliness
These books are by far my favorite. If you are a young pastor, or an aspiring pastor, then you have to read Wise Counsel. Listening to John Newton counsel John Ryland Jr. through the many different aspects of ministry (people falling away from the faith, the death of loved ones, success) is invaluable. Sell your shirt and by this book! If you are a laymen in the church, then you have to read John G. Patton’s Autobiography. This man risked everything in order for Christ to be worshiped by cannibalistic peoples in the New Hebrides. And Habits of Grace is a book on spiritual disciplines. These kind of books are good to read often! They remind you of the things you ought to be doing in order to be growing in godliness and holiness.
I read Revitalize because the pastor of the church that I attend wrote it. It is a great book on church revitalization that pastors and laymen alike will benefit from. It will be a resource that I consult numerous times to gain wisdom and understanding from. The Message of James is a book that I read for a teaching series I did at a FCA for a local university in the Durham area. It is a short commentary that is very simple. A pastor and laymen will both benefit from this little commentary!
A Final Word from a Departed Saint
John Stott wrote this in the post script of The Radical Disciple. At 88 years old, Stott said this about books:
“For there is something unique about books. Our favorite books become very precious to us and we even develop with them an almost living and affectionate relationship. Is it an altogether fanciful fact that we handle, stroke and even smell them as tokens of our esteem and affection? I am not referring only to an author’s feeling for what he has written, but to all readers and their library. I have made it a rule not to quote from any book unless I have first handled it. So let me urge you to keep reading, and encourage your relatives and friends to do the same. For this is a much neglected means of grace.”
He went on to be with the Lord a few years ago, but this was what he ended with in the last book that he authored. I find that fascinating. So with this in mind, take up a good book and find nourishment for your soul.