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10 Books Every Christian Should Read

10 books every christian should read

Christian book choices can be a bit overwhelming with all the options available to us. Whether you’re buying them online or in a Christian bookstore, you’d like to make wise decisions and spend your time reading books that are solid theologically.

I’m sharing ten books with you that have impacted me in my walk with Christ, grown me in theological understanding of major doctrines, and taught me how to love God’s Word (plus ten more bonus books I listed at the end because it was hard to stop at ten). If you’re wondering how to find time to read more books, I have some tips for you here.

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My short book list here is not exhaustive but just a place to find a good, solid read to encourage you in your walk with Jesus. If you’d like to see some of my other book recommendations, you can do that here. So without taking any more of your time here, they are:

My Top Ten Christian Book Recommendations:

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges: A helpful read for me in understanding the sovereignity of God.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul – Wondering what it means to fear the Lord? Read this one more than once in your walk as a Christian.

Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks: If you’ve been wanting to learn or begin studying God’s Word on your own this book and workbook are a great place to start. Recommended to me years ago by a mentor and I still find myself re-visiting the book often.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs: There are many books out on Christian contentment but you will not go wrong in reading this classic read.

A Praying Life by Paul Miller: One of my favorites on prayer, super grace-filled and encouraging, and as I’m listing it here it’s going back on my “to read” pile. It inspired this podcast.

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever: This book is one of the most practical and helpful reads to get you to share your faith with others. A great one to read with a small group.

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan: A classic every believer should read. This is an original text copy below but I enjoyed reading this version in Modern English with notes by Warren Wiersbe too.

Through the Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot: If you spend any time with me here you know Mrs. Elliot was going to make the list. I believe this incredible story of trusting God is a biography everyone should read.

Spiritual Disciplines or the Christian Life by Donald Whitney: A friend gave me this book when I was a young believer and it put my foot on the right path to embrace the means of grace in my walk with the Lord. If you’ve listened to my series on the Spiritual Disciplines you know this book is one I highly recommend should be in every Christian home.

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert: Need a deeper, clearer understanding of the gospel? This book will help you to formulate a clear biblical understanding of the most important truth we need to grasp as believers. A good one to read, re-read and even pass along to believer and non-believer.

Plus Ten More Honorable Mentions:

The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges

Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

When Sinners Say I Do: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

The Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent

The Valley of Vision a Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

What would you add to this list?

What books have most impacted you in your walk with Christ?


  1. I meant to remark on the Tim Challies’ book in my previous comment- It is a deceptively simple book. His idea on the purpose of our productivity has really stuck with me and the practical suggestions for productivity phone apps has worked really well for me over the last several years (with the exception of meal planning & groceries). It’s not a deep book, and not one that immediately comes to mind when I think of a spiritually significant book, but you’re right to include it. It’s had a lasting effect on how I do life.

  2. Korry Ferrell says:

    Even though I wasn’t disappointed with God – I found that the book “Disappointed with God” by Philip Yancey was a wonderful read when I first started taking my faith in Jesus seriously. Also, Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel and I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. I also enjoyed Systemic Theology by Wayne Grudem and Heaven by Randy Alcon from your list. I have Mere Christianity from CS Lewis to read at some point – I’m told this is a requirement for those philosophically minded. And I want to read Voddie Beaucham’s new book too!

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Korry – so enjoyed Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel too. Voddie’s new book is on my list and I need to add Disappointed with God to it. Thank you for sharing – hugs and love you cousin xoxoxo.

      1. Hi Marci! Great picks!

        I would include anything by CS Lewis. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ is a life changing book. Piper’s ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’ deserves an honorable mention.

  3. Heather Pickle says:

    I love your list! I would add Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Siners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund.

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Heather – my husband and I listened to the audiobook of it and it was soooo good. So hard to limit the list. Next time I need to do the favorite 100 lol. Thank you for sharing xoxo.

  4. These are all wonderful recommendations. Thank you for sharing! I would add Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges as a must-read for all Believers.

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Rachel – so agree with you. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Marci,

    You must read the two volume biography of Hudson Taylor. I know you would love it so much! Out of all the books I have read (which is a LOT!) this one is so precious to my soul. Aside from the Puritans, it is one of the richest books I have ever read as they are very devotional in nature. You can find them at Davidson publishing as they are reprinting them. I have the older set but they are hard to find. They are the book set labeled Hudson Taylor: The Growth of a Soul/Work of God. I first found out about them when a missionary friend who shared my love of Elisabeth Elliot recommended them to me as she highly recommended them. Here is the link:

    And, here is an excerpt that I have carried with me through hard trials:

    Taken from “Hudson Taylor: In Early Years, the Growth of a Soul” by Mrs Hudson Taylor, pg. 225-228

    To Miss Stacey Tottenham he wrote during those August Days:

    “How sweet is the thought that we have not a High Priest who cannot be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” but One who was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Nothing is more sure than that we are wholly unable to sympathise with those in whose circumstances we have never been placed. How delightful then is the reflection that though our friends can only in part enter into our joys and sorrows, trials and discouragements, there in One ever ready to sympathise to the full; One to whom we have constant access, and from whom we may receive present help in every time of need. This has been such a comfort to me when thinking and perplexed as to a residence not for myself only but for Dr. and Mrs. Parker. In the present state of Shanghai this is no easy problem, there being neither native nor foreign houses unoccupied. But I have much to be thankful for. Our dear Redeemer had not where to lay His head. I have never yet been placed in that extremity. One who is really learning in the Beloved finds it always possible to say, “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” But I am so apt, like Peter, to take my eyes off of the one Object and look at the wind and the waves. As in that scene, however, the grace and tenderness of Jesus are as apparent as Peter’s little faith, so with us today: as soon as we turn to Him, “He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength,” While we depend entirely on Him we are secure, and prosper in circumstances apparently the most unfavorable…Oh for more stability! The reading of the Word and meditation on the promises have been increasingly precious to me of late…

    “And to his sister Amelia he added, two days later:

    ‘I have been puzzling my brains again about a house, etc., but to no effect. So I have made it a matter of prayer, and have given it entirely into the Lord’s hands, and now I feel quite at peace about it. He will provide and be my guide in this and every other perplexing step.’

    “Quite at peace about it”- with such serious difficulties ahead? A situation he could not meet, needs for which he had no provision and no possibility of making any, a problem he has puzzled over until he was baffled, and to no effect! “So I have made it a matter of prayer,” is the simple, restful conclusion, “and have given it entirely into the Lord’s hands. He will provide and be my Guide in this as in every other perplexing step.”
    Yes, this is how it ever has been, ever must be with the people of God. Until we are carried quite out of our depth, beyond all our own wisdom and resources, we are not more than beginners in the school of faith. Only as everything fails us and we fail ourselves, finding out how poor and weak we really are, how ignorant and helpless, do we begin to draw upon abiding strength. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee”; not partly in Thee and partly in himself. The devil often makes men strong, strong in themselves to do evil-great conquerors, great acquirers of wealth and power. The Lord on the contrary makes His servant weak, puts him in circumstances that will shew him his own nothingness, that he many lean upon the strength that is unfailing. It is a long lesson for most of us; but it cannot be passed over until deeply learned. And God Himself thinks no trouble too great, no care too costly to teach us this.
    Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord Thy God led Thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble Thee and to prove thee and to know what was in thine heart,…that He might make thee know…

    Yes, “all that long, wearisome, painful experience, infinitely well worth while in sight of the Eternal, if it produced one moral, spiritual trait in the people He was educating:- what a scale of values!”

    At which point in our meditation, fresh light was thrown upon this from the eighty-fourth Psalm, by an aged saint drawing upon the fullness of his own experience.

    “Speaking to my students one day,” he said, “I asked them: ‘Young men, which is the longest, widest, most populous valley in the world?’ And they began to summon up all their geographical information to answer me.
    “But it was not the valley of the Yangtze, the Congo, or the Mississippi. Nay, this Jammerthal, as it is in our German, this valley of Baca, or weeping, exceeds them all. For six thousand years we trace it back, filled all the way with an innumerable multitude. For every life passes at some time into the Vale of Weeping.
    “But the point for us is not what do we suffer here, but what do we leave behind us? What have we made of it, this long, dark Valley, for ourselves and for others? What is our attitude when we pass through its shadows? Do we desire only, chiefly, the shortest way out? Or do we seek to find it, to make it, according to His promise, ‘a place of springs’: here a spring and there a spring, for the blessing of others and the glory of Our God?

    “Thus it is with a man ‘whose strength is in Thee.’ He has learned the preciousness of this Jammerthal, and that these dry, hard places yield the springs for which the hearts are thirsting the wide world over.
    “So St. Paul in his life. What a long journey he had to make through the Valley of Weeping!

    “‘In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and day have I been in the deep. In journeys often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and in painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
    “A long journey indeed through the Valley of Weeping; but oh, what springs of blessing! What rain filling the pools! We drink of it still today.”

    And is not this the meaning, dear reader, of your life and mine in much that is hard to be understood? The Lord loves us too well to let us miss the best. He has to weaken our strength in the way, to bring us to the Valley of Weeping, to empty, humble, and prove us, that we too may know that our strength, every bit of it, is in Him alone, and learn as Hudson Taylor did to leave ourselves entirely in His hands.

    So your Valley of Weeping shall become “a place of springs.” Many shall drink of the living water, because you have suffered, trusted, conquered through faith in God. You go on your way as He has promised, to appear at last in Zion, rejoicing before God; and in the Valley of Weeping remains for those that follow many a well, still springing up in blessing where your feet have trod.”

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Lauren – it is such a hard volume to come across. I need to keep hunting for it. I just watched a conference online and they were talking about this two-part biography. It was the first I heard of it. If you know of a source to get it please shoot me a note at I’m going to keep searching. Thanks so much!

  6. Deborah Sutorius says:

    I would add “Faith Is Not a Feeling.” It completely changed my understanding of faith and what my responsibility is.

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Deborah – thank you for this one. I’m just finishing reading it. I need to go check out the sermons by Brian Borgman too. Thank you for this one xo.

    2. Marci Ferrell says:

      Deborah – I read it at the beginning of the year and so appreciated Brian Borgman too. His sermon series on it is on my list to get to one day too. Thank you for sharing xoxox.

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