Top 5 Christian Books Ever

This post carries on from last week’s discussion of the best 10 Christian books I have read.  To recap, the second half of my top ten was:

10. The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman

9.  Inspiration and Incarnation – Peter Enns

8.  Darwin on Trial – Phillip E Johnson

7.  Operation World – Phillip Johnstone and Jason Mandryk

6.  You Can Make A Difference – Tony Campolo

So the top five (again with links to Amazon so you read other people’s reviews) are….

5.  The Making of a Leader – J Robert Clinton

This is a peculiar choice – an obscure leadership book that is dense and filled with the author’s unique terminology which results in an oversized glossary.  Yet this book has given me one of the guiding ideas for how God works.  It’s an idea I have taken hold of and have taught to others as well.  Here it is – your circumstances, history, trials, triumphs and all the life events that you have gone through have been a curriculum that God designed just for you.  They are his training tool to develop you to be the leader, minister, person that he wants you to be.  None of them have happened by accident, and God is sovereign over all of it.  That’s a profound idea.  It’s an idea that I taught at Yarra Plenty Church when we were going through an extremely difficult time during 2011.  It’s an idea that I keep going back to as the years go by.  So for that reason it makes my top ten.

4. The Seven Laws of the Learner – Bruce Wilkinson

Another very obscure choice.  Many people would have a book by Bruce Wilkinson – his little work on the Prayer of Jabez sold a truckload of copies.  But not this one.  However for me this was the book that convinced me that I am called to teach the bible.  If I have ever preached or taught anything that stuck in people’s memories, produced any fruit or did any good then by the grace of God it was with the help of this book that it happened.  Space prohibits me saying what all 7 laws are, but the book taught me to teach what people need, and to apply the lesson at length.

3. A Tale of Three Kings – Gene Edwards

This is without doubt a brilliant book.  Whilst the 2 previous ones have impacted me because of my particular gifts and calling, this is a book that every Christian should get their hands on and devour.  It is a dramatisation of 2 stories from the Old Testament.  The first half is about how David dealt with Saul’s attempts on his life after Samuel anointed him to be king of Israel.  The second half is about David’s reaction, many decades later, to the rebellion against his leadership by his own son, Absalom.  Gene Edwards did not pick those stories for no reason in particular.  He was writing to people who had been hurt by poor and overbearing leadership which was in vogue in the 1970’s.  But far from saying that they had every right to be upset Edwards powerfully shows that David’s submissive response to Saul is our model for the leaders we have, both on their good days and their bad ones.

2.Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow – C Peter Wagner

I have picked this book both because it is brilliant, and also because of the large impact that Wagner’s many works on church growth have had on me.  I tossed up between putting this book or Understanding Church Growth in – both are excellent.  But this book, which is not an academic book, and can and should be read by every Christian, has brought home to me how one of a Christian’s major tasks on earth is to know what their gifts are and use them in love for the glory of God and the strength of his church.

1. The Pursuit of God – AW Tozer

My all time best ever Christian book is this little masterpiece by AW Tozer, written in 1948.  The book is an urgent call to a deeper, fuller walk with God.  The title is drawn from Psalm 63:1, 8, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You… My soul follows close behind You.”  Tozer says, “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.”  The whole thing is brilliant but for me the chapter on the sacred and the secular is the highlight.  It is some of clearest and most profound teaching I have ever found.  Another quote: “Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”  This book has inspired me to put absolutely everything into my walk with God – what else can compare?

So over to you…ever read a brilliant Christian book?  What was it?  Maybe you have read one of the ones listed above and vehemently disagree with me!  Tell us about it.

John

3 Responses to “Top 5 Christian Books Ever”

  1. i think i read one, that peter wagner one i think. is he the us center for world missions heretic… i like narnia, charles williams, doesoevsky, tolstoy, j. eluel, bell…

  2. I like your list, but “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis (1425) still tops my list. The translation by William C. Creasy (1989) is superior to any other. I’m also partial to John Bunyan, Andrew Murray and Francois Fenelon. I guess I’m stuck in another era, but these keep me humble – very humble.

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