I wanted to offer a list of 10 book suggestions from this summer. Most are short, some are long. You can’t read them all, but pick up one or two and use your free time for something worthwhile (i.e. not watching all of Jersey Shore season 1).
1. Just Do Something – If you didn’t read this with Veritas last April, it’s time to read it now. Most of us want to know God’s will for our life, but we don’t know what that actually means, or where to look. In this book, Kevn DeYoung offers a liberating bibilical approach to knowing God’s will.
2. The Reason for God – Do you struggle with doubts about God’s wrath and law? That Christ is the only way to heaven? Do your friends ask you tough questions that you’re unable to answer? This is the book for you. Tim Keller goes through commonly asked questions about Christianity, and then explains how the gospel makes sense of our real day to day life.
3. Battling Unbelief – We all struggle to apply the gospel in our life, in particular in our struggle against sin. John Piper shows how the promises of God empower us to overcome the sins many of us struggle with: anxiety, pride, shame, impatience, covetousness, bitterness, despondency, and lust.
4. King’s Cross – As twenty-first century believers it’s easy to get disconnected from the historical context of Christ’s life. Moreover, we lose sight of why Christ’s kingship and work on the cross really matters. In this book, Tim Keller works through the gospel of Mark, unveiling it’s historical context and the power of Christ’s work.
5. Humility – In a time saturated with selfishness and pride, we all need to reflect on our heart’s spiritual condition. In this book C.J. Mahaney not only diagnoses our pride, but also provides a positive picture of how we can struggle to become humble men and women.
6. Anything by C.S. lewis – Reading Lewis is like mining gold. Sometimes it requires us to sweat, but it’s worth the reward. His ability to explain complex ideas with simple pictures expands our ability to understand God’s work in the universe. Seriously. Read him.
7. The Language of God – Written by Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, this book is a renowned scientist’s look at how biology points us to the creator. If you’re majoring in biology, this is a must-read; if you just like science pick it up anyway.
8. Pages from Church History – Do you want to buck up on your church history without taking a 3 credit-hour class? This is a great place to start. In it, Stephen J. Nichols looks at the most significant writings throughout church history by looking at the lives of the men who wrote them. Theologically informative and historically interesting, this is a great way to dip your toes into the pages of church history.
9. Overcoming Sin and Temptation – A modernized version of three classic works by John Owen, this book has shaped my battle against sin (and many members on staff at Veritas) more than any other. Like a good Puritan, Owen uses piercing introspection and biblical truth to diagnose our sinful condition, and then work through how we can put our sins to death.
10. Art and the Bible – This book is actually two essays written by Francis Schaeffer about art. He helps think through how we should look at art outside of the Bible by looking at art within it. If you’re a humanities or art major, this text is a must-read. Even though I’ve read it several times, I still find it helpful when I think through engaging art and culture.