"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Influential Books

My niece tagged me on Facebook to give a listing of ten books that have influenced me. I went in chronological order, based on the time when I had read them. The first book in the list was Jack London's White Fang. I had only been reading a little while when I picked the book up and without it I might not have the love of books that I have today.

The others in the first five are not so important here, but I want to list the second five with a brief description as to why they are on the list.

  • The Bible - If pressed for a version, I would go New American Standard (1985) though the first time I read through the Bible it would have been the New King James. If I was ranking them in order of importance, this would be the first. God used many circumstances in my life to call me to salvation, but primary one was reading the Scriptures. I had tried a couple of times before and never got to far. But during my senior year of college I finally started what would be my first read through the New Testament. It would be after I graduated before redeemed me, but the influence of reading the Bible cannot be overstated. Truly His word does not return to Him empty.
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis - I had read many books prior to this after becoming a Christian, but most were rather light weight on more in a "self-help" category. Lewis gently introduced me to thinking more deeply about my faith.
  • See You at the House by Bob Benson - This little book is a collection of stories that Bob Benson used in his writings and messages. They are a source of wisdom to me from someone who did not have an easy life. Bob was frequently sick and died relatively young but, possible because of this, he speaks from the heart and honestly. It's not deep theology but the matters he touches on are essential.
  • Knowing God by J. I. Packer - As Lewis was a gentle introduction to thinking deeply about faith, Packer was a gentle introduction about thinking more deeply about God. The book was recommended to me by a seminary student who introduced me to Theology Proper. Packer scratched an itch I didn't know I had, the need to know God more deeply.
  • The Doctrine of God by Herman Bavinck - So much for gentle introductions. Bavinck led me into deeper waters, and I'm particularly grateful for his discussion of the Trinity and what it means (or at least should mean) in the Christian life. 
Thinking about this I may take it as a project to re-read each one of these soon and track that reading here.

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