A Book a Month for the First Year

I am often asked where to start reading. In hopes of answering that question I have put together a list of short, small books below that will be easy for the non reader to get through but at the same time offer some substantial theological training. As I’ve said these books are all short (under 200 pages) and written in an easy way to understand.  To be totally honest even the slowest reader could easily knock out each of these in a week if they went very slow and only read for a bout 30 mins a day. Most of these can be read in one or two sittings. I have arranged them in such a way that if you’ve just come to faith they address a number of pressing issues in the first year starting with what the gospel is and how to find a good church and ending with help fighting lust and learning who to serve.  All of the books on the list have served as sources of growth in my own life and I offer this pathway to help those new to the faith gain a good foundation from the get go.

1. What Is the Gospel?/Greg Gilbert

This is probably one of the most important books I’ve every read. It is the best thing I’ve come across that answers what the gospel is and what is not. I wish this book had been around when I came to faith it would have clarified so much for me. If you want to understand the gospel and the cross this is where to start.

2. What Is a Healthy Church?/Mark Dever

Everyone want to go to a “GOOD” church, but how do you figure that out. This tiny volume from Mark Dever is so helpful in providing not just an easy to look for set of things a church should be but he grounds it all in the scriptures.

3. How to Study the Bible/John MacArthur

This work really gets to the heart of a major question that any new christian will have; ” So, how do I read the bible and study it so as to see God?’ That’s a good question and this book offers a good answer.

4. Humility: True Greatness/C.J. Mahaney

This book falls at a decisive point on the calendar. I remember how puffed up my pride got after I read the first two or three books. Man, I thought I knew so much about God. I’m sure that I am not alone in this experience. lots of puffed up knowledge and pride is bad for the soul. Enter C.J. This book will bring you back down to earth and start you down the life long path of submitting and agreeing with God about your limitations and what your right place is.

5. Dangerous Duty of Delight/John Piper

This little book can really flip you upside down. God wants you to be happy. Happy in him. If you get the implications of that statement your life will change forever.

6. The Attributes of God/A.W. Pink

Simply put, you can not Love a God you know nothing about. Pink is the classic go to guy on who God is.

7.Don’t Waste Your Life/John Piper

Piper want to help you make your life count for the gospel and eternity. You only get one life. Don’t waste it.

8. The Gospel and Personal Evangelism/Mark Dever

Part of Following Jesus is introducing him to others. This is the BEST book on how to do that and what evangelism is and is not. This book flipped me on my head. I stopped highlighting because I was doing whole pages.

9. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know/ Wayne Grudem

Survey of what Christianity is all about. All of the points are grounded in the word of God. A great book that gives you a vocabulary for talking about theology and God. Very Helpful.

10. Living the Cross Centered Life/C.J. Mahaney

Living with the cross in view is one of the hardest things to do for any length of time. Mahaney offers many helps in this little book to fight for a cross centered life. Trust me you want to live that kind of life.

11. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)/Joshua Harris

I know of no one in my generation who has not had some fight with sexual sin. It seems to be the defining sin of our times. As a result this book was a must for this list. I love this book because it is not simply a book on fighting sexual sin, which it is, but it is also about using the gospel and the scriptures to overcome the flesh. It has a much wider application that simply in the fight for sexual purity.

12. Cross and Christian Ministry/D.A. Carson

Best book on how the cross effects ministery and how it is done.

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  1. What a great resource! Thanks Russ!

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