Here are the top 5 books that I suggest reading for next year.
5. Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams – Adams is a prolific writer and founder of nouthetic counseling, which seeks to base counseling on biblical principles rather than mainstream psychology. It has helped pastors, students, laypersons, and professionals bring about change in the personality and behavior of the counselee through the power and work of the Holy Spirit. This is a must read book if you desire to engage in discipleship with your congregation.
4. The Universe Next Door by James Sire – Dr. Sire received his Ph.D in English from the University of Missouri and was a former editor of InterVarsity Press, a Christian publication. His book The Universe Next Door is a clear introduction to world-views. It explains the basics of theism, naturalism, deism, existentialism, nihilism, postmodernism, and new age. The text has been translated in many languages and has been used as a text at over one hundred colleges and universities, ranging from courses in apologetics, world religion, history, and English literature. This book helps the Christian engage in defending their faith by giving cogent arguments with humility and grace.
3. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders – With over 750,000 copies, Spiritual Leadership stands as a proven classic for developing leadership. The book helps the reader learn how to lead in his praying, time, and reading, all three that are vital for healthy spiritual growth. Mr. Sanders also discusses the practical side of leadership, including how to delegate responsibilities effectively, replacing and reproducing leaders, and the hardships one experiences as they follow the Lord. If you are interested in pursuing a position of authority, the author will rightfully teach you that the best step to leadership is having a servant heart.
2. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem – This voluminous book will be a great asset in expanding your knowledge of biblical doctrine. It is a great “tool” to have in your “shed” of resources. Dr. Grudem, a graduate of Harvard and Cambridge, takes complicated topics, such as the nature of God, the role of the Church, the views of baptism, etc, and breaks it down in layman’s term for people to understand. This book will help you defend and introspect what you believe about the Christian faith, but reader be warned; do not exalt it above the most important book of all – God’s Word.
1. Bible by 66 authors and God-breathed – The Bible is always the main course meal; the rest of these books are appetizers and deserts. It may sound trivial, but it’s crucial for every Christian to maintain their daily devotions in God’s word. You can’t substitute any other book for Scripture, no matter how theologically enriching or intellectually engaging other books are. My wife and I are currently reading 10 chapters a day, which will give us enough time to read the Bible in a year. I encourage you to do the same!