Ten Influential Books

September 9, 2008 at 11:32 am | Posted in Books and Movies, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Occasionally I’m asked what good books I’ve read, and I wish I had time to read far more than I do.  I had thought about doing a top-ten list of books that have influenced my life, but I can’t honestly say these are the top ten.  I’m sure there are books which had a great impact on me years ago, and though the impact may still be with me, I’ve forgotten about the books in my middle-age mindset.  Maybe I should call this ten books I remember having a big impact on my life.  Anyway these are all worth the time to read.  They are listed in the order I read and/or discovered them.

1970s Through Gates of Splendor      Elizabeth Elliott

            The story of five men who gave their lives to reach a tribe of head hunters grabbed my high-school attention and impacted me forever.  May I have that kind of dedication to Christ.  This story has come back into focus with the recent movie, “The End of the Spear.”  I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t comment on it.

1980s George Muller: Man of Faith and Miracles      Basil Miller

            This biography taught me once and for all that we can depend on God to meet our needs when we are doing his will and that one life can impact a generation.

            Knowing God      J.I. Packer

            Though parts of it read like a seminary text book, the content is life changing.  I love Packer as an author, and, of what I’ve read, this is his best work.

1990s A Slow and Certain Light      Elizabeth Elliot

            The title indicates her perspective and finding and following God’s will – not bells and whistles but a growing faith and certainty

            From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya      Ruth Tucker

            This different perspective on church history tells the story of the gospel going around the world through the lives of those God used to make it happen.  Tucker doesn’t candy coat their lives; she lets the reader know they were men and women with faults, yet God used them in his plan anyway.

            The Screwtape Letters               C.S. Lewis

This classic work on spiritual battle can wake up one to the subtle schemes of God’s enemy.  Convicting and enlightening, but fun at the same time.

2000s Desiring God      John Piper

            Like Packer, John Piper’s works are not easy reads, but they are usually well worth the effort.  This is probably his classic.  The subtitle tells what it’s about:  “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist!”

            William Tyndale – A Biography      David Daniell

            Tyndale is one of my great heroes from church history.  This is the definitive work on his life.  If you have a Bible in English, it’s because this man paid the ultimate price for you to have it.  His translation of the NT was the basis for every English Bible from 1535 until the 1970s.

            Basic Economics      Thomas Sowell

            Though not a Christian book, it still had an impact on my thinking.  It is a textbook about the free market system – how and why it works.

            It’s Not About Me      Max Lucado

            Everything we do is usually about us, but life should be about God.  If you’ve read this blog, you know my theme is “It’s all about God.”  Lucado says the same thing like only he can.

            What books have influenced your life?


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  1. Some of the books that have influenced me are “I Still Believe in God” by J.A. Dell, it helps me when having moments of doubt. “The Gospel according to Moses” by Athol Dickson, and “God’s Word to Women” by Katharine C. Bushnell. They’re all excellent read!

  2. Here is an addition to the list from 2016. Randy Alcorn’s novel Safely Home. Possibly the most influential novel I have ever read, and only the second fiction to be on this list. I reviewed Safely Home here: https://pastorglenn.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/safely-home-an-awesome-book/

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