Best Christian Books (From a Guy’s Perspective)

One of my favorite pastimes in the evenings is to sit on the couch, sip a hot cup of Hemisphere coffee, and read a good book. There are a lot of wise, godly men out there that have the gift of putting concepts onto paper, and in doing so helping others to understand the world around them just a little bit better. I am a very simple man, so I get very excited at small insights that help me understand God’s nature and the world that He has created for us to rule over. (Genesis 1:28)

My wife and I have been reading a book that talks about the history of the Bible; it talks about who wrote it, how it was preserved, and who the catalysts were that stood up for it when no one else would. It also gives light to the story of the printing press and how it fundamentally changed the amount of literature the average person consumed within a matter of years from its inception. When I read this, I couldn’t help but think about the rise of the internet as well, and all of the information that it has brought to the market that would have never been there without the help of the worldwide web.

This has been a revolutionary change for the good, but with it also comes some challenges. For example, I don’t know how many books I have picked up and read the first chapter (or maybe the first two) before realizing that I have just wasted the last hour of my life. Like I alluded to earlier, there are many godly men out there that have created some amazing books, but sadly there are also those that should have left the pen sit on the desk.

I realize that you probably didn’t come to this post to hear me ramble on, so here is my list of favorite Christian books (so far):

1. Radical

Radical_cvr:Mechanical FileThere is a reason that I put Radical here at number one. This book has “radically” changed the way that I think about my responsibility as a Christian, and it has challenged me to look into my life to see if I am following the call that God has placed on my life. He emphasizes the need for disciples to make disciples, and for all disciples to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel. One of my favorite things he says in the book is that the Church today is more worried about what they ARE doing (wrong) than what they AREN’T doing (reaching others with the Gospel). Very few Christians are living out the commandment from Jesus found in Luke 14:25-33.

 

2. Wild at Heart

wildWhether you are a guy or a gal, this book has some amazing insights! John Eldridge does a great job of showing us that our culture has changed the way that men are “supposed to act.” His challenge is that men were created to be daring, adventurous, and brave. The problem is that the church has changed this thinking to say that men are to be docile, that the greatest “Christian” man is the “nice” guy. This is why we so many men avoid church, because they get bored, and when they do go to Church they are passive and find it difficult to get involved.

 

3. gods at war

godsKyle Idleman, who is the author of this book as well as Not a Fan, (also on this list) tells us that there are all kinds of false gods afoot in our lives, all vying for a place of control within us. He argues that what truly keeps us from pursuing God is not that we don’t want to, it is that we would rather follow these false idols. Who or what exactly are these idols? They are not the gold and silver ones that you read about in the Bible, they are the sins that you are dealing with, your lost sense of purpose for your life, and the discouragement that you are dealing with are winning the battle for your heart. He also tells us that these idols are not AN issue, they are THE issue. By asking some insightful questions, Kyle then helps us reveal which gods are fighting for the glory in our lives, and what we have to do to fight back.

4. Mere Christianity
mere

First of all, if you haven’t read this book…go read it!! Although I am a little biased towards C.S. Lewis, I can say without question that this is one of the top Christian books for anyone. Although it is very different in style and arguments, Mere Christianity is a reminiscent of a modern day book of Romans. Although Lewis’s arguments are very deep and theological, he does an incredible job of making it simple to understand. (Trust me, if I can understand it, then you will do just fine.) Like many of Lewis’s books, the aim of Mere Christianity is to bring logic to why things are the way they are in the world, and how we are to respond to them as Christians.

5. The Problem of Pain
problempain

As I started writing this post, I went back and forth for a while about this book. It is another book written by C.S. Lewis, but unlike Mere Christianity, this one is by far the most difficult to understand of the books listed here. Why did I include it then? I went to see the movie “God’s Not Dead” a few days ago with my wife, and the main argument that the atheists in the movie had was that even if there was a God, they wouldn’t want to follow one that allows so much pain and suffering in the world. This is easily the number one argument against believing in a loving God, and it is a difficult subject to make sense of as a Christian. If you can stay with Lewis, you will find that “The Problem of Pain” does an excellent job of addressing this, and it shows why there HAS to be pain and suffering in the world. In spite of this, though, God does love us and has something so much greater for us when we reach our final resting place.

6. Sacred Marriage
sacred

Wait! Don’t scroll past this just because you are single! Although it has been the best marriage book my wife and I have ever read, the principles are universally true for any relationship in your life. Gary Chapman does a great job describing the current beliefs that Americans have regarding marriage…that it is supposed to make our lives happier, give us what we want, and that it is based on the feelings that we have for someone. He then goes in depth to show what marriage was really supposed to be: a spiritual discipline designed to help you reflect on the character of Christ and to know God more intimately and fully. Instead of marital enrichment, Sacred Marriage shifts the focus to spiritual enrichment in ways that will in turn help you to grow more intimate with your spouse. The biggest lesson I took away from this was that whether delightful or difficult, your marriage is meant to be the doorway to a closer relationship with Christ.

7. The 5 Love Languages
5-love-languages

Do you ever get confused because you feel like people don’t “get” you, or you get someone a gift and they aren’t thankful for it at all (in your eyes)? This book is really neat (and eye opening!) because you will learn what your “love language” is, and it will be easier for you to identify what the love languages are of those around you. Do you value acts of service that are done for you, or are you more of a gift-giving guy? There are 5 different categories that Gary puts people into, and I can promise that you will be able to identify with at least one of them. It has been a game changer for me in showing my wife that I love her, because I can now pinpoint which category she values and makes her feel loved.

8. Desiring God
desiring

“The overriding concern of this book is that in all of life God be glorified the way He Himself has appointed. To that end this book aims to persuade you that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever” (p. 18). Do we dare say that joy and pursuit of pleasure in God is permissible? Not only is it permissible, it is essential. We were meant to find joy, even through hardships and pain, but only when it is in pursuit of Christ and giving Him glory. After delving into this important truth, Piper goes on to talk about how this fleshes itself out in our daily lives.

9. Not a Fan
fan

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found in this book. Kyle is the pastor at the fifth largest church in America, comprised of over 20,000 members. I am usually a little skeptical of the leaders of large churches, let alone those of mega mega churches. I soon found, though, that Kyle was not interested in writing what people wanted to hear in this one. In fact, this is what he says on pages 14 and 15: “Too often in my preaching I have tried to talk people into following Jesus. I wanted to make following him as appealing, comfortable, and convenient as possible. And I want to say that I am sorry. . . . The truth is, if you are looking for a book about following Jesus that lays out a comfortable and reassuring path, you won’t find it here.” The whole point of the book is that we are not called to be fans of Christ, we are called to be true followers of Christ. The reason that this part is so difficult is because of what it will take from us to be true, unabated, and passionate followers of Christ.

10. LEAD . . . for God’s Sake!
lead

I received this book a few months ago from a man that I respect greatly, and he told me that it was one of the best books he had ever read.  I was not disappointed and I ended up reading the whole book in one day.  I was a little skeptical of the book at first, because I am mainly a non-fiction guy, and this book is a fictional story about a coach and his basketball team.  The book was also a little slow in getting started, but after I had finished it, I was amazed at the life lessons that it brought out.  You will undoubtedly have a better understanding of true leadership after you finish reading this book, as well as find out what role rewards and punishments play in leading others.  I know that I have this book way down here at number 10, but if you have kids or people that you lead at work, then it should be the first book you read.

I realize that most of these Christian books are mainstays, but there is a good chance that there are at least two or three in here that you haven’t read yet. If this is the case, I would strongly suggest picking it up. I will also be adding to this list as time goes on, so you can come back at any time and see if there are any more goodies to digest. Happy reading!

Leave a Reply