Originally posted at richnathan.org, we got permission to share Rich’s reading list with you here. Enjoy!
My Recommended Reading List
There is nothing that has contributed more to my overall spiritual growth and my lifelong learning than my reading of Scripture and great books! I have regularly been asked by people, “What would you recommend that I read?” So I decided to take a shot at trying to provide some book recommendations in a variety of areas. But as the writer of Ecclesiastes says: “Beyond this, my son [and daughter], be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12)I would add, maybe, but it’s a good weariness!
So here is my list. I’m confining myself to Christian books.
The Old Testament
- The Mission of God by Christopher Wright – A comprehensive look at God’s overall plan to rescue the universe! This book is amazing, but it’s big!
- The Mission of God’s People by Christopher Wright – This book takes The Mission of God and practically applies it. Wright is a great biblical expositor (like John Stott, whose organization he took over). It is great for devotional reading.
- The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter. Sandra Richter is an up and coming Old Testament scholar. The Epic of Eden is a very creative and well-written overview of the Old Testament story.
New Testament (WOW – this is hard – so many great choices!)
- The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright. The central New Testament proclamation is that Jesus is risen and therefore he is Lord! If you want to grow in your conviction that the resurrection is not just important or meaningful, but is true, there is no better book on the subject.
- The Incomparable Christ by John Stott. A great look at Jesus in the New Testament and in church history by one of the two men (John Wimber is the other), who has most influenced my Christian life.
- The Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I had to get Lloyd-Jones into this list somewhere. This book is great devotional reading by one of the 20th century’s best evangelical preachers.
- Authentic Faith by Gary Thomas. The issue that Gary Thomas deals with is what if what we do, in terms of spiritual disciplines, is not nearly as important to our spiritual growth as what God does to us. The book covers such subjects as suffering, persecution, waiting, and mourning.
- The Book of Common Prayer. I have used the original edition ofThe Book of Common Prayer for years in my own personal devotions, especially the litany to guide my intercession.
- The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Is it possible to not include what must be the 20th century’s most influential and motivational book on the practice of spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, solitude, service, worship and celebration?
- Transforming Mission by David Bosch. This is a tough read, but well worth it. Bosch roots mission not in the church (Ecclesiology), or in Christian discipleship, but rather in the Godhead. His point is that the Triune God, by nature, is a missionary God.
- Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader by Ralph Winter and Stephen Hawthorne. There is nothing that has done more for our church in encouraging world mission activity than hosting the Perspectives course from the US Center of World Missions. Hundreds of our people were energized and informed about the great missionary task that lies before the church.
- From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya by Ruth Tucker. This book tells the history of Christian missions through brief biographies of great missionaries. I read this to my son, Daniel, when he was a child. It fueled his passion for world missions. It will do the same for you.
The Kingdom of God and the Power of God
- The Gospel of the Kingdom by George Ladd. Anybody who aspires to leadership in the Vineyard movement must read this book. It is foundational for our understanding not only of power ministry, but also of God’s plan for this age and for the age to come.
- Doing Healing by Alexander Venter. This is my favorite book on healing. It is thoughtful, well-written, and balanced. This book would be great for small group study.
- God Inside Out: An In-Depth Study of the Holy Spirit by Simon Ponsonby. Simon Ponsonby is one of my favorite preachers and his preaching comes trhough in this book. He has, what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, a preacher ought to possess: “logic on fire!”