Monday, December 1, 2008

If I Could Force All Christians to Read....

Here are some books that would be on the mandatory list:

21271: Five Views on Law and Gospel

Five Views on Law and Gospel

The issue of the relationship of the New Testament Christian to the law of God is more complex than most of us have bothered to think about. This "debate" book does a fantastic job of clearly setting forth a handful of options that have historically been proposed. As a theonomist, of course, I think Greg L. Bahnsen carries the day here. But even if you disagree, it's vital that we start thinking about these things Biblically.

307431: Bondage of the Will

Bondage of the Will

This is the first book that taught me that non-fiction can be passionate. Say what you will about the "mad monk," Martin Luther, but his fiery zeal for the Gospel of Jesus Christ radiates from the pages here. If this book served as the Constitution of all Lutheran churches (which it doesn't, sadly) I'd happily join them.

1515959: The Godly Man"s Picture

The Godly Man's Picture

Thomas Watson's portrait of the true Christian, "drawn with a Scripture pencil," was my introduction to the Puritans. I confess that I had, at the time, the popular charicature of this crew firmly lodged in my brain: dour, cold, stern, strict, humorless, severe, etc. If you've got that same picture in your head, please allow this book to blow that vision to Kingdom come. I was moved to weeping (yeah, I can admit it) by the sheer warmth and pastoral compassion of this book. You will never think so meanly of your Puritan brethren again.

60157: The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God
AW Tozer is my favorite Christian author. Shocking, I know: He wasn't a Calvinist, wasn't a rigorous theologian, probably would have cut off his own arm rather than pastor a modern SBC church. What he was, though, was a man with fire shut up in his bones. He was a man who heard the Word of God whispered sweetly, and took it and shouted it from the rooftops. Especially, I'd make all my button-down Reformed brethren read this book, because top-heavy brainiacs with their giant craniums could use a strong reminder that a pound of wonderful theology won't help you if you lack an ounce of what the Puritans called "experimental religion."

18190: The Roman Catholic Controversy

The Roman Catholic Controversy

One of the greatest needs among modern Protestants, in my view, is that we remember what it is that we're protesting against. It's especially vital in our day, when the battle cries seem to be, "Theology isn't worth fighting about!" and "Can't we all just get along?" Dr. White does an even-handed job of evaluating the Pope's church, by referencing Catholic writings on theology. This is important: He isn't constructing straw-men, but rather allowing Catholicism to speak for itself. Very instructive.

For other great books that come with hearty, Reformed Mafia approval, see here.

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