I have been wanting to write a blog post for awhile about some of my favorite authors that have grown and stretched my faith. I heard Matt Chandler say that discipleship can often happen through men and women you may never meet. I have learned a great bunch from a variety of authors. I have learned about the character of God, how to pray, evangelism, family issues, ministry issue and a handful of others. I wanted to provide you with my list of top 5 authors including some of my favorite books by them. A word of explanation first: these books and authors are never meant to supplement your time in the Bible. The Christian must run earnestly to the Bible as it’s food for the day. Ultimately, these books are secondary to the meditation of Scripture. My hope is these authors would run to you the Bible and ultimately – to the God of the Bible.
1. J.I. Packer – When I first became a believer, I never really read anything too theological or ‘deep’. My view of God was shallow, small and maybe even a little naive. I believed things about God that ultimately were not true but believed them because of what I had heard. Two and half years into my journey, I picked up an old, used copy of J.I. Packer’s ‘Knowing God’ and my view of God was forever changed. Packer presented a God to me that was powerful, sovereign, abundantly gracious and ferociously holy. I am indebted to Packer for His work that shaped my view of God.
Recommended Reading: Knowing God & Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.
2. A.W. Tozer –Tozer constantly resonates my soul unto the Lord. I first read Tozer’s’ The Pursuit of God’ and fell in love with Jesus all the more. Tozer expounded the deep reasons we press into God. Tozer also painted a picture of a huge God that is inviting sinners to plunge into His grace. Tozer has influenced the way I pray, think, study and talk. His books were monumentous in my life for my spiritual journey.
Recommended Reading: Knowledge of the Holy & The Pursuit of God.
3. Jared Wilson – Wilson combines a unique sense of humor, theology and Gospel that makes me love everything that He writes. No man has stirred my heart to dive deep into the Gospel more than Jared Wilson. His books are dripping of God’s Word as He passionately writes for Gospel-centeredness. Jared will constantly point you back to the Cross while challenging you to plunge deeper and deeper into the grace of our Lord.
Recommended Reading: Gospel Wakefulness, Gospel Deeps & The Pastor’s Justification.
4. J.C. Ryle – Ryle was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool in the 1800’s. Ryle’s writing style is challenging but full of wisdom and truth. Ryle takes a small portion of Scriptures and expounds on it for pages and pages. Ryle’s call to holiness is convicting and challenging as He expounds on the gracious nature of our Holy God. I literally could not stop reading Ryle’s books as He was challenging me to push harder and harder into Jesus.
Recommended Reading: Holiness & Practical Religion.
5. John Piper – Piper’s desire to see God glorified through everything he does is evident not only through his sermons but through his books. John constantly puts forth the idea that our joy in God is absolutely necessary. Piper is rich in his writing, deep in his wisdom and challenging. Piper has ultimately stirred me in numerous ways – through His sermons, prayers, videos and books. John Piper has constantly called me back to the Gospel and encouraged me to continue to run the race.
Recommended Reading: Desiring God, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, Future Grace.