5 Books Every Christian Should Read

I had the privilege of joining Tim Challies, Owen Strachan, Trevin Wax, and Terry Delaney of coming up with a short list of books (five to be exact) we believe every Christian should read.  Terry, who came up with the idea, explains a little about our thinking in this blogpost.  There are other great books not on this short list, but we felt that these were foundational to the Christian life, enduring in their influence, and accessible to all Christians, especially those just beginning in their relationship with Christ.

Westminster Bookstore agreed to offer a special discount for those desiring to purchase these books individually or as a whole.  Here’s the list:

The sale at WTSBookstore is now offering these books at an additional 10% discount which will last only through December 31, 2010.  If you decide to buy all give books together, you will save $40 and receive free shipping for your order.  To take advantage of this sale, you will need to enter 5BOOKS as a coupon code when you come to the screen,”ENTER SPECIAL OFFER COUPON CODE.”

You may already own most if not all five of these books, but I’d encourage you to consider creating a “giveaway” shelf in your personal library of great books that you can hand out to those who come into your home as a guest or into your life as a friend.  I come to find that those who love good books love giving them away as well.  These are five that any Christian can enjoy and truly be impacted for their good and God’s glory in their life!

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7 Comments on “5 Books Every Christian Should Read”


  1. FWIW, my original five submissions was:

    1. Confessions by Augustine
    2. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
    3. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
    4. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
    5. The Cross of Christ by John Stott


  2. I would contend that Grudem’s “Christian Beliefs” – http://bit.ly/fJfJVz – is a much more useful book that Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”. Lewis is a wonderful read and great writer, and that book is no doubt a classic, but if I have to choose one of those two books Grudem wins every time. Having read “Mere Christianity” a number of times, and having taught courses on it, I can’t help but think that it gets too much credit in this day and age, that it is surviving at the top primarily on reputation. But I think it has been supplanted as the primer for basic Christian thought. “Christian Beliefs” does a better job of explaining what we believe and is nearly as good explaining why to believe without the layers of Lewis and the dated cultural references. I’d even go so far as to say I prefer Stott’s other book “Basic Christianity” – http://bit.ly/hZ9mgx – over Lewis’ work. And if I were choosing without limitation I’d go with Dricoll’s “Doctrine” – http://bit.ly/hB1C0B but that is quite a bit more of a read and far more in depth so it probably doesn’t fit the criteria.


    • Chris,

      I am inclined to your arguments about Mere Christianity, especially about Stott’s Basic Christianity. I have given away a lot more copies of Basic Christianity than I have Mere Christianity. Grudem is good too. I guess we can rejoice that there are such good books coming out in our generation!


      • I really learned the difficulty of translating Lewis’ cultural references when I walked thorough “Mere Christianity” with some 9th grade students a few years ago. But then again, they don’t know why we hate the Russians either. 🙂


  3. […] Posted: November 29, 2010 by Michael Dewalt in Top Five 0 I just saw fellow Christian brother Tim Brister post what he believed to be the top five books that every Christian should read. Seeing a few of the […]

  4. JT Caldwell Says:

    Classic list. Surprised Desiring God is not included, though.


    • I agree JT. I just don’t know which one of (my original) five I would replace. One thing I wanted to bring was books that have been helpful for more than a couple of generations, who have enduring power (e.g. Pilgrim’s Progress, Confessions, and even Religious Affections). I do however thing these newer books will be around for a long time, including Desiring God.


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