Recommended Reading

What follows is a series of lists of books, it is organized chaos at best. There are headings to help guide. Under each title there will be a brief reason of endorsement. This list will obviously grow as we walk through our libraries are stumble across on old gem that slipped the cracks of our mind and clearly should go on the list. Also at some point C.H. wants to add biographies and commentaries.

Theology: Light/Pop

Surgeon: Anything by him, He wasn’t called the Prince of Preachers for no reason. All of Grace, Come Ye Children, Around the Wicket Gate, all excellent. But a good solid collection of sermons is his Expository Encyclopedia.

Thoughts for Young Men – J.C. Ryle I give this book out to young men like candy. Top shelf stuff.

Are Women Human – Dorothy Sayers. Brilliant read, the critique of pleated trousers is still relevant.

God in the Dock – C.S. Lewis. possibly the best collection of his essays. Particularly precient right now is the one titled “The Dangers of National Repentance”

A Christian Manifesto – Francis Schaffer. A little dated but not by much.

Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Overly monastic at some points but still excellent meditations on Christian Fellowship.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking – Edith Schaffer. Read it for principals, some of her practical ideas are fantastic, but others, like bringing seashells to decorate a hotel room, just don’t seem that practical to me.

Doctrine – Mark Driscoll, Gerry Breshears – I’m putting this one on here out of spite, I’ll be honest. Not the best systematic theology by a long shot. But it is a great systematic primer. And despite Joe Thorn’s jealous protestations this is a good introductory book.

Theology: Moderate (Read these at the pace you would dead Russian novelists)

The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter. Here I mean the abridged Puritan Paperback produced by Banner of Truth.

Holiness – J.C. Ryle. A classic.

The Bondage of the Will – Martin Luther. Great theology and even better insults.

The Godly Man’s Picture – Thomas Watson. Not that difficult to read, only seems so because Watson is a Puritan. This book is a must read.

Christianity and Liberalism – J. Gresham Machen. When the White Horse Inn guys said this could have been published last Tuesday they were not wrong. Extremely prescient.

Theology: Heavy

The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter. This is the full edition put out under the Soli Deo Gloria imprint by Reformation Heritage Books.

Institutes of the Christian Religion – John Calvin. Not as hard as you would expect get the Battles translation if two volumes are just too daunting try to start with the 1536 Edition.

Systematic Theology – Louis Berkhof. I only categorize it as heavy because it is a systematic Theology. Surprisingly easy read.

A Puritan Theology – Joel Beeke. A treasure trove of the best puritan thought organized.

We Become What We Worship – G.K. Beale. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book. If you get the concept it becomes absolutely foundational to your view of the world.

Christian Worldview – Herman Bavinck. Short but packed with insight. Also with worldview falling out of evangelical vogue this is a good reminder why we need it.

Fiction (I won’t say Narnia or LOTR because those should be understood to be required reading)

True Grit – Charles Portis. The most Calvinistic western ever. I hate westerns. I love this book with a passion.

That Hideous Strength – C.S. Lewis. If you ever tried to get through Abolition of Man and got lost this is the principal Lewis was critiquing put into action.

Till We have Faces – C.S. Lewis. His greatest work of fiction.

Farmer Giles of Ham – J.R.R. Tolkien. Come for Tolkien stay for the humor and charm.

The Place of the Lion – Charles Williams. An excellent introduction to one of Lewis’ odder friends who was never the less a genius.

Joy in the Morning – P.G. Wodehouse. If you have never read Wodehouse you have never read a perfect joke.

The Once and Future King – T.H. White. Technically four books in one. White puts flesh on Malory’s characters and makes them seem real.

The Hunt for Red October – Tom Clancy. Great movie, better book, The CIA agrees and almost stopped its release because they thought Clancy had stolen classified technology.


The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors: Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Each chapter is a biography of a different Puritan and what a highlight of what we can learn from that individual.

Empire Express – David Howard Bain. This seems to be the first genuinely authoritative account on the building of the transcontinental railroad. The research is exhaustive and the prose is a pleasure. I found my self picking a side and rooting for the Pacific Railroad as if I didn’t already know the outcome.

The Roosevelt Trilogy – Edmund Morris. My favorite was the middle volume Theodore Rex. Colonel Roosevelt was tough to get through but that was because Morris’s writing effectively conveyed the misery that was the River of Doubt expedition.

Guilty Pleasures

Heir to the Empire – Timothy Zahn. First expanded universe book. Best expanded universe trilogy. You wish you could write plots this good Jar Jar Abrams.

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