The following is a list of some of the strongest books recommended by the elders. These books are recommended as a supplement to steady Bible reading, not a replacement! The list includes fascinating Christian biographies, books on church life, evangelism and missions, money and finance, parenting, prayer, spiritual disciplines, and more. It is impossible to find a book in which we agree with literally everything written (other than the Bible!). Thus, as you read these and other books, hold the Bible in your right hand and let it be your guide in discerning the truth of what you read.
Our church library contains these and many other great books to encourage you in your pursuit of God and right relationship with Jesus Christ. To access our library catalogue, click on this link: RPBC Library
J. I. PACKER
In 2006, Knowing God was voted to be one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals! During the past 20 years, J. I. Packer's classic has revealed to over one million Christians around the world the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God.
THE REASON FOR GOD
Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. Using literature, philosophy, anthropology, pop culture, and intellectual reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.
EVANGELISM AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
J. I. PACKER
If God is in control of everything, can Christians sit back and not bother to evangelize? Or does active evangelism imply that God is not really sovereign at all? J.I. Packer shows in this classic study how both of these attitudes are false. In a careful review of the biblical evidence, he shows how a right understanding of God's sovereignty is not so much a barrier to evangelism as an incentive and powerful support for it.
Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential. Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him. Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.
J. C. RYLE
In Holiness, J. C. Ryle speaks to the heart and soul of every man. In a winning, approachable style, he wields the sword of the Spirit like a skillful surgeon, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow. He addresses hard and trying subjects which most modern evangelicals have chosen to ignore: the power and depth of indwelling sin, the necessity of a holy life, the struggle and fight of faith, counting the cost of following Christ... and that's only in the first 5 chapters! Ryle’s treatment of the texts which head the chapters is based on plain interpretation, common-sense exegesis and practical application. He does not side-step the difficult issues, but takes them head on, making Christian theology and the principles of holy living seem so simple, obvious and straight-forward that readers will wonder what other Bible truths they’ve been missing all these years. Whether you are an erudite scholar or a hard-laboring farmer, a pastor or a layman, a spiritual elder or a babe in Christ--no matter where you are--Ryle's writings are for you.
THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS
“Be holy, for I am holy,” commands God. But holiness is something that is often missed in the Christian’s daily life. According to Navigator author Jerry Bridges, that’s because we’re not exactly sure what our part in holiness is. In The Pursuit of Holiness, he helps us see clearly just what we should rely on God to do--and what we should take responsibility for ourselves. As you deepen your relationship with God, learn more about His character, and understand the Holy Spirit's role in holiness, your spiritual growth will mature.
THE PRACTICE OF GODLINESS
Scripture tells us that God has given us “everything we need for life and godliness.” But what makes a Christian godly? In this book, Navigator author Jerry Bridges examines what it means to grow in Christian character. Learn more about the character of God as you grow a deeper relationship with Him. Establish the foundation upon which godly character is built and continue by developing maturity and pursuing holiness.
WHITER THAN SNOW: MEDITATIONS ON SIN AND MERCY
What do you do when you've really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning? Sin and grace-these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repentance, commitment, and hope. And because David's story is every believer's story, Psalm 51 is every believer's psalm. It tells how we, as broken sinners, can be brutally honest with God and yet stand before him without fear. Whiter Than Snow unpacks this powerful little psalm in fifty-two meditations, reminding readers that by God's grace there is mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning. Designed for busy believers, these brief and engaging meditations are made practical by the reflection questions that conclude each chapter.
Unpacking Forgiveness combines sound theological thinking and honesty about the complicated questions many face to provide readers with a solid understanding of biblical forgiveness. Only God's Word can unpack forgiveness. The wounds are too deep for us to find healing on our own, and the questions are too complex to be unraveled by anything but the wisdom of God. This book goes beyond a feel-good doctrine of automatic forgiveness, balancing the beauty of God's grace and the necessity of forgiveness with the teaching that forgiveness must take place in a way that is consistent with justice.
FUTURE GRACE: THE PURIFYING POWER OF THE PROMISES OF GOD
In Future Grace, author John Piper helps readers discover the key to overcoming sin and living a life that honors God. Many men and women attempt to walk upright out of gratitude for what Christ did in the past, but Piper encourages believers to look ahead to the grace God provides for us on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis—putting faith into action by laying hold of God’s promises for the challenges we face. John Piper’s meditations are rooted in rock-solid biblical reflection. Chapter by chapter—one for each day of the month—he reveals how, by cherishing the promises of God, you can break the power of anxiety, despondency, covetousness, lust, bitterness, impatience, pride, misplaced shame, and more.
IDOLS OF A WOMAN'S HEART
Many people desire to live godly lives but feel trapped in habitual sins. This book reveals that idolatry lies at the heart of every besetting sin.
THE FAITHFUL PARENT: A BIBLICAL GUIDE TO RAISING A FAMILY
MARTHA PEACE AND STUART SCOTT
Parents and children need help from the One who is perfect, who understands our need, and who can really help us -- God himself. Because of that, the most important relationship in your family is your relationship with him. That's the relationship The Faithful Parent emphasizes. Martha Peace, bestselling author of The Excellent Wife, and Stuart Scott, author of its counterpart, The Exemplary Husband, join forces to challenge you to become a faithful parent -- one who perseveres and leaves the results to God.
SHEPHERDING A CHILD'S HEART
Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life. Shepherding a Child's Heart gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing.
BIG TRUTHS FOR YOUNG HEARTS: TEACHING AND LEARNING THE GREATNESS OF GOD
Sure, it's easy to teach your children the essentials of Christian theology when you're a theology professor. But what about the rest of us? With Big Truths for Young Hearts, Bruce Ware, (you guessed it!) a theology professor, encourages and enables parents of children 6-14 years of age to teach through the whole of systematic theology at a level their children can understand. Parents can teach their children the great truths of the faith and shape their worldviews early, based on these truths. The book covers ten topics of systematic theology, devoting several brief chapters to each subject, making it possible for parents to read one chapter per day with their children. With this non-intimidating format, parents will be emboldened to be their children's primary faith trainers-and perhaps learn a few things themselves along the way.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Drawn from a rich heritage,Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines including: Scripture reading, prayer, worship, Scripture meditation, evangelism, serving, stewardship of time and money, Scripture application, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning. By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to become more like and grow in character and maturity.
HOW TO PRAY
R. A. TORREY
Your prayer life can be what God intends it to be! Because prayer is so vital to our faith, it is essential that we comprehend God's methods of hearing and answering prayer. R. A. Torrey shares spiritual guidelines to prayer in this powerful and dynamic book. His message is thorough and complete, including: prayer and obedience, praying in the Spirit, praying according to God's will, abiding in Christ, prayer with thanksgiving, hindrances to prayer, when to pray, prayer and revival, plus much more!The lessons presented and lovingly explained will permanently alter your prayer life.
MONEY, POSSESSIONS AND ETERNITY
What does the Bible really say about money? This classic best-seller provides a Christian perspective about money and material possessions based on the author's painstaking study of the Bible. Randy Alcorn uses the Scriptures to approach this often touchy subject head-on. Thought-provoking arguments challenge readers to rethink their attitudes and use their God-given resources in ways that will have an eternal impact. Alcorn deals straightforwardly with issues of materialism, stewardship, prosperity theology, debt, and more. An excellent choice for group study as well as individual financial guidance. Includes a study guide and appendix with additional resources.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY CHURCH?
What is an ideal church, and how can you tell? How does it look different from other churches? More importantly, how does it act differently, especially in society? Many of us aren't sure how to answer those questions, even though we probably have some preconceived idea. But with this book, you don't have to wonder any more. Author Mark Dever seeks to help believers recognize the key characteristics of a healthy church: expositional preaching, biblical theology, and a right understanding of the gospel. Dever then calls us to develop those characteristics in our own churches. By following the example of New Testament authors and addressing church members from pastors to pew sitters, Dever challenges all believers to do their part in maintaining the local church. What Is a Healthy Church? offers timeless truths and practical principles to help each of us fulfill our God-given roles in the body of Christ.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY CHURCH MEMBER?
What Is a Healthy Church Member? takes its cue from Mark Dever's book What Is a Healthy Church?, which offered one definition of what a healthy church looks like biblically and historically. In this new work, pastor Thabiti Anyabwile attempts to answer the natural next question: "What does a healthy church member look like in the light of Scripture?" God intends for us to play an active and vital part in the body of Christ, the local church. He wants us to experience the local church as a home more profoundly wonderful and meaningful than any other place on earth. He intends for his churches to be healthy places and for the members of those churches to be healthy as well. This book explains how membership in the local church can produce spiritual growth in its members and how each member can contribute to the growth and health of the whole.
FOXE'S CHRISTIAN MARTYRS OF THE WORLD
For centuries Christians have been brought up on the works of John Foxe, which, outside of the Bible itself, have been among the most widely read documents in history. Foxe's Martyrs has inspired millions to live lives of commitment in the face of persecution.
BONHOEFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY
One of God’s greatest saints against one of the most evil regimes in the history of the world. This book is full of good theology, true history, and an ethical dilemma that would challenge each of us.
TO THE GOLDEN SHORE: THE LIFE OF ADONIROM JUDSON
On February 12, 1812, Ann and Adoniram Judson sailed from Salem aboard the brig Caravan as two of the first missionaries to go out from North America. Watching the shoreline disappear from view, they could not have foreseen the impact of their journey on the future of the Christian world mission or on the thousands of men and women who would follow in their footsteps. After a short stay in India, they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ to the golden shore of Burma. Drawing on letters and church records, Courtney Anderson paints a poignant portrait of Judson’s early life in dealing with the conflict between his desire for material success and the inner call to serve God. For Adoniram Judson the golden shore brought bitter hardships, imprisonment, and family tragedy. Yet, he never wavered in his commitment to win people to faith in Christ and to translate the Bible into the Burmese language.
SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY: THE LIFE AND TESTAMENT OF JIM ELIOTT
Made famous by Life magazine, this is the best-selling account of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot and four other missionaries at the hands of the Auca Indians in Ecuador.
GEORGE MULLER: DELIGHT IN GOD
George Muller's life is a powerful answer to modern scepticism. His name has become a by-word for faith throughout the world. In the early 1830s he embarked upon an extraordinary adventure. Disturbed by the faithlessness of the Church in general, he longed to have something to point to as 'visible proof that our God and Father is the same faithful creator as he ever was'. Praying in every penny of the costs, he supervised the building of three large orphanages housing thousands of children. Under no circumstances would any individual ever be asked for money or materials. He was more successful than anyone could have believed possible and is as much an example to our generation, as he was to his.