In Vanuatu I gave a list of my top 10 books for a Christian to read in their first year out of school. The list actually had 11. And then it kinda grew to almost 20. Here is the final list. Shout out to Dan Godden, bro-in-law and co-host extraordinaire, who helped me to decide what made the cut. Have you just finished school? I believe that if you read each of these books it will give you a good foundation for the rest of your life. 10 books works out to be a book per month with 2 months off throughout the year. As you work out your reading plan, make sure your first priority is to have programmed into your daily schedule time with God to hide his word in your heart.
- Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper – Piper has a stack of books worth reading. This is a good place to start. You get some of the thesis that runs across all of his books, that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. The book is cross-centred in the way it calls you to live with urgency as you invest in eternity. You can also download it for free (along with a billion other Piper books).
- Guidance & The Voice Of God – Phillip Jensen & Tony Payne – as an 18 y/o this radically changed my thinking about how to make decisions. In speaking to teens and twenties, I regularly have the framework from this book in the back of my mind.
- Knowing God – JI Packer – gold, pure gold. This really is a beautiful book. It’s all about knowing God and being known by God. I often go back and re-read the section on ‘Sons of God’.
- How Long O Lord, Reflections on Evil & Suffering – DA Carson – the way of the cross is suffering, it’s normal for Christians to suffer. This book will equip you to know how to suffer. Deals with key Bible texts. You won’t find a better book on this subject.
- The Cross Of Christ – John Stott – my aim is to read a book on the cross every year. There is no better place to start than this one! It’s thick, but readable.
- Sex Isn’t The Problem, Lust Is – Josh Harris – one of the great things about this book is that it is PG. It’s suitable for guys and girls, young and old. Josh Harris takes holy living and fleeing from sexual immorality seriously. You’ll be armed to live God’s way in a fallen sex-crazed world.
- Know & Tell The Gospel – John Chapman – crystal clear on what the gospel is. Very practical on how to share the gospel. Highly recommended!
- A Book By A Dead Guy – there are 2000 years of Christian church history. Some pretty sweet gear has been penned by some dead heroes of the Christian faith. Find one. Read it. Meditate upon it. Here’s a few suggestions: Holiness by JC Ryle; Mere Christianity by CS Lewis; A Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan; Morning & Evening by CH Spurgeon; Classics of the Reformation by Luther, Calvin & Cranmer.
- A Book About A Dead Guy – some of those dead heroes also had books written about them. Biographies will help you to learn from the successes and failures of those who have gone before us. John Piper’s brief biographies are a really good starting point: Athanasius, Owen & Machen; Tyndale, Judson & Paton; Bunyan, Cowper & Brainerd; Augustine, Luther & Calvin; Newton, Simeon & Wilberforce. (All free to download).
- A Piece of Classic Fiction – reading fiction helps you to read more betterer. Do it. Here’s some suggestions: Moby Dick by Melville; Robinson Crusoe by Defoe; Gulliver’s Travels by Swift; Pride & Prejudice by Austen; The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.
Each of the authors in books 1 through 7 are great. If you like the book I’ve suggested, read anything else by the same author you can get your hands on.
Most of the links above are to the publisher’s website. In some cases you might want to buy them direct from the publisher. Looking for a bargain? Check out booko.com.au – they find the best online prices for purchasing from Australia.
If you’re having a crack – let me know how you go!!