50 Books Every Christian Should Read

Here’s my rough, rough, rough draft of the 50 books every Christian should read. It will be revised, thoguh. The last few will be different ones for men and women. let me know what you think, what I’m missing, etc.

50 Books Every Christians Should Read
1. Paradise Lost- John Milton
2. Pilgrim’s Progress- John Bunyan
3. Knowing God- J.I. Packer
4. Knowledge of the Holy- A.W. Tozer
5. Pursuit of God- A.W. Tozer
6. On the Mortification of Sin in Believers & On Temptation- John Owens
7. Glory of Christ- Owens
8. Holy Spirit- Owens
9. Spiritual Depression- M.L. Jones
10. George Mueller’s Biography
11. Narnia series
12. Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis
13. Problem of Pain- C.S. Lewis
14. Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis
15. Chosen by God- Sproul
16. Holiness of God- Sproul
17. 5 Reformers- J.C. Ryle
18. Holiness- Ryle
19. Jungle Pilot
20. Through Gates of Splendor- Elizabeth Elliot
21. Ashamed of the Gospel- John MacArthur
22. The Gospel According to the Apostles- John MacArthur
23. Desiring God- Piper
24. Knowledge of God- Piper
25. Don’t Waste Your Life- Piper
26. Let the Nations Be Glad- Piper
27. Future Grace- Piper
28. When People are Big and God is Small
29. Trusting God- Bridges
30. Pursuit of Holiness- Bridges
31. Practice of Godliness- Bridges
32. Fit Bodies, Fat Minds- Sanders
33. Love the Lord Your God With All Your Mind- Moreland
34. Thought of God- Roberts
35. Religious Affections- Jonathan Edwards
36. A Call to Spiritual Reformation- D.A. Carson
37. Bounds on Prayer
38. Cost of Discipleship- Bohnehoffer
39. The Diary of David Brainerd
40. Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret
41. Systematic Theology- Grudem
42. The God Who is There/He is There and He Is Not Silent- Schaeffer
43. On The Incarnation- Athanasius
44. Decision Making and the Will of God- Friesen
45. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
46. Mischief of Sin- Watson

For Men
47. Thoughts for Young Men-
48. A Godly Man’s Picture- Watson
For Women

This entry was posted in books.

21 comments on “50 Books Every Christian Should Read

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great list! I can put a check mark next to about 3/4 of them. And definetly agree with you on them. I’ll have to read the rest and get back to you in a few days ; )

  2. Beth says:

    How about the Pleasures of God by Piper- I think that is one of my all time favorites.

    Can’t think of any good ones specific for women- they all tend to be fru fru

  3. Beth'sMomToo says:

    That’s my girl! Sadly though, you are right. I can’t think of any really meaty books addressed to women specifically, but they can certainly read the generic ones!

    That’s my boy! Great list! I am especially fond of the D.A. Carson book on Paul’s prayer life, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, loved the Lloyd-Jones book, am thrilled to see you include J.P. Moreland (Love God with All Your Mind), but if you have that one, you should also have “How Then Should We Live?” by Francis Schaeffer. Do you mean George Mueller’s Diary or a particular biography about him?

    I would add the biography of Adoniram Judson, “To the Golden Shore”,of course, and a good intro to biblical archaeology, maybe “The Stones Cry Out” by Randall Price.I would also include Edersheim, particularly “Sketches of Jewish Social Life”.

    Recently, I have read quotes from several well-known authors (eg. C.S.Lewis) suggesting it is better to read really good books repetitively than to read an endless number of books, forgetting most of what you have read. The ones on your list are worth reading repetitively throughout your life. These are good, Tim! I’ll keep thinking about additions.

  4. T-Bone says:

    the problem with the Piper book is that I already have five Piper books, and if you’ve read one, you’ve pretty much read them all. That’s why the Pleasure’s of God isn’t on there. but it could be switched with the Knowledge of God maybe…

    as far as Edersheim goes, I think it is a good book to read if you are teaching, but if you aren’t, I would say you should read some others before that. its almost a text book. and i wouldn’t put an archaeology one on their, either. not in place of something that I’d have to take off.

    As far as the women books, i was more going to rely on actual women to help me out with that. i’ve been thinking of maybe an Elizabeth Georges book or maybe a Elizabeth Elliot book or something like that. There are a lot of fluffy women books out there, but there are at least 4 good ones.

    C.S. Lewis also said one out of every three books you read should be written out of your era. then Piper says, since we can’t read books written 200 hundred years in the future, we might as well read books 200 years in the past.

    Piper also had something interesting to say on the Athanasius book “on the Incarnation”. Lewis wrote the intro to it and said that even though it is almost a couple thousand years old, we shouldn’t be intimidated by it. Its a classic, and things don’t become classics because they are unreadable. They become classics because people read them over and over again because they’re so readable. thought that was a good thought.

  5. Beth'sMomToo says:

    Rick pointed out that “A Godly Man’s Picture” is really more “man” as “person”, so would apply to women, too. Elizabeth’s Elliot’s books are OK, but I wouldn’t put them on a “top 50” list. “Zvi” by Elwood McQuaid was one of my most life-affecting reads. Oh, and “Fit Bodies, Fat Minds” is by Os Guinness (who is often interviewed on the Mars Hill tapes). Were you also thinking of a book by Sanders, too? [and you had all the right letters to “Bonhoeffer”, just the wrong order – I had to look it up, I didn’t know how to spell his name either…those Germans and all their extra letters…]

  6. T-Bone says:

    oops, my bad, yeah, i knew it was by Os Guinness, just a typo. as far as bonhoeffer goes, i had no idea. this was just writing down off the top of my head.

    the books for the men and women are up to changing. i just don’t want to put ‘Wild At Heart’ up there. blah. it makes all christian guys to be wusses who need to stand up.

  7. Jen says:

    What about Captivating by Stasi Eldridge.

    I think I heard all of you recoil at that one! 🙂

    Seriously though…
    Cynthia Heald is pretty good. and Stormie (I forget her last name) is good. I can’t find my book to get the title. Praying for your Husband, I think is the name of it.
    I know that your Mom will correct me on that one!

    How is that? I actually have some thoughts on books! impressed? 🙂

  8. Beth says:

    I would kick the Desiring God of the list- is is basically the starter book to his other books.

    I don’t know too many women who “love” Elizabeth Elliot’s books. I haven’t read one in a while. The funny thing is that when you see her interviewed she comes accross totally different than in her books.

    I guess that is a task I can work on- finding good women authors- well those who write on topics other than intraluteal prostaglandin metabolism.

    Hmm.. no John Elridge? How about the Purpose Driven Life- that is like so totally heavy and like so accurate.

  9. Beth'sMomToo says:

    Beth’s, like, comment reminded me…I went to Sam’s Club this AM to pick up some laminating sheets (NOT for me this time…I’ve gotten Laurie Johnson hooked 😉 and I checked out what they had for books while I was there. Their entire choice of Christian books consisted of Rick Warren and Joel Ostein (sp?)…how depressing. On the other hand, maybe they are discounted at Sam’s Club because no one is buying them and they have an overstock! There’s a happy thought. 🙂

  10. T-Bone says:

    well, the only reason people may not be buying them anymore is because they’ve already sold millions…

    good job, Jen, thanks for the input! i’ve heard of Stormie, but obviously haven’t read anything by her. mom?

  11. Beth'sMomToo says:

    Nope. But we are talking “classics”. I don’t think there were many classic women writers historically, though Amy Carmichael wrote a lot and one of her books might be a good recommendation. I haven’t read anything by her in a long time. Any recommendations anyone? What about classic books by other female missionaries? (I love Isobel Kuhn, but I don’t think she would classify as a classic writer all women should read. We read two of her books in our Luncheon group and most disliked her style of writing, but thought the content good.) I don’t know, I think it would be good to include a female POV, but I can’t see the value of necessarily limiting it to women’s issues.

    [Of course, Pearl Buck was a wonderful writer, but The Good Earth would not meet the other criteria of your list.]

  12. Elias says:


    have you read “one thing” by Sam Storms? check it out. it’s on my top 50.


  13. T-Bone says:

    Eiahu!!! thanks for the input, I’ll check that book out!

  14. Beth'sMomToo says:

    In order NOT to confuse it with “The Gospel According to Jesus”, I think you should change the title of MacArthur’s book to it’s primary title (you gave the secondary one), “Faith Works”. I think you’re right- “Faith Works” is a better written book and the ideas are more fully developed that in his first one.

    What about Arthur Pink’s “Eternal Security”? How about one of Sir Robert Anderson’s books?

    And I thought of a “classic” by a female author – Hannah Hurnard’s “Hind’s Feet on High Places”.

  15. T-Bone says:

    oh yeah, that’s a good one for a women’s book.

  16. Beth'sMomToo says:

    I just read “Fit Bodies, Fat Minds”. Except for the Premillennial straw man he set up in one chapter (I don’t even KNOW any dispensationalists like he and Mark Noll describe!), I thought he made good points, but I don’t think I’d call it a classic. I think J.P. Moreland’s book gives a much more thorough coverage of the topic. Guinness just touches the tips of iceburgs. The second half of the book was especially good, though – the effect of our culture on the Christian POV.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My all time favorite is Of the imitation of Christ by Thomas a’ Kempis as a christian classic

  18. Nicholas Sii says:

    My all time favorite is a classic must have read by Thomas a’ kempis called Of the imitation of Christ.

  19. FireSpeaks says:

    notice that you have no books by my favorite Watchman Nee any reason?

  20. Tony says:

    List is a bit dated, anybody writing good books today?

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