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7 Books We’re All ‘Supposed’ to Have Read But Maybe Haven’t


There are certain books that many Christians ‘assume’ everyone has read, even though that may not actually be the case (I use ‘assume’ loosely here). We may not even have read them ourselves! This assumption is based on the fact that these are great books– ones that have helped confirm and crystallize certain biblical principles or ideas in our faith. They are referenced in conversation, quoted, and can be considered staple reading for Christians. Let’s call them should-reads (as opposed to must-reads). Here are just 7 of them that I could think of:

  1. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. A hallmark book concerning Christian living on a big-picture/lifetime level. Vivid illustrations and memorable anecdotes are used by Piper to address the true singular meaning of life for the Christian.
  2. Desiring God by John Piper. One of the books that represents Piper’s life work, detailing his theology of Christian Hedonism. Shows heavy influence of Jonathan Edwards in pointing out the reality of affections and desire in the Christian life.
  3. The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur. MacArthur’s exposition against ‘easy-believism.’ Fantastic work on the true, biblical Gospel that perhaps makes it a ‘must-read’ more than a ‘should-read.’
  4. Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes. Foundational principles presented in this great (and easy) read regarding biblical manhood. Book of a complementary title for women is purportedly just as helpful.
  5. Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. One of Bridges’ best books, which is saying a lot. Great read on how ‘faith works’ amidst life’s trials and blessings by truly trusting Him.
  6. Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper. Highly recommended read for a biblical view of missions and God’s global plan through the Gospel. It’s a worldview-changer.
  7. The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink. An awe-inspiring read on the character and nature of God. Debunks commonly mistaken views of God and works toward a biblical view.

These have been formative in my life and thinking, and I know they have been the same for others as well. What others would you add to this list? Comment below!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/04/2013 5:42 pm

    Hey Matt! A helpful post listing some great resources; some of these I haven’t even read yet that I definitely should.

    Just a few I would add to the list:
    1. The Bible (who knew, right?). A surprising amount of people get caught up with reading books and more books while neglecting the Book.
    2. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp. While I haven’t finished reading the full book yet, so far it’s been an immensely helpful resource in thinking about how to minister the Word to others effectively.
    3. Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris. In the midst of a generation that engages itself in its lustful passions, this book has been an immense resource for me as a guy in fighting such a prevalent and threatening sin.

  2. 06/08/2013 5:16 pm

    Chris, thanks for the comment! You’re totally right about the Bible, I was tempted to put it on the list. Instruments is one of my favorite books, an incredible exposition of discipleship/counseling/ministry! And Harris’ book is a must-read for men. Nice little list!

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