Updated: Nov 18, 2019
We all know that reading is a great way to deepen our understanding and grow in our faith, but with so many ‘Christian’ books out there, where do you start?
Nothing is more helpful than a recommendation from someone you trust. Here at the FiG, we’ve done the hard work for you and quizzed some people whose opinions we respect to find out which books they have found helpful in their walk with Jesus.
This week Logan Hagoort, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Auckland, shares some of the books that have helped him in his walk with Jesus and work as a pastor.
Keep an eye out for further installments of ‘There’s a book…’
There’s a book…
…that I’m currently reading
‘Pulpit Aflame: Essays in Honor of Steven J. Lawson’. Anyone who has heard Dr. Lawson preach will understand what I mean when I say that he is a passionate preacher. This book is a real joy to read as a preacher!
…that changed my life
I am very stuck as to pick the book that changed by life, can I say the Bible? Probably the book that had one of the most profound impacts upon my life was ‘Desiring God’ by John Piper. I ended up in a situation where my Christian life, what I would call, joyless. Pursuing God was all duty and no delight. When Piper told me that the chief end of man was to glorify God BY enjoying him forever my mind was blown. I have lived my life with Christ passionately devoted to being satisfied in him.
…which helped my preaching
John Piper’s ‘Expository Exultation’ has heavily impacted my preaching. Preaching itself is an act of worship in the middle of a worship service in order to generate worshippers of God. This fact shifted my preaching from mere exposition, or mere exultation into something Lord willing far more grand. To exposit the word and exult the Lord of the word!
…which broke my heart
‘Tortured for Christ’ by Richard Wurmbrand. Hearing the horrifying account of the persecuted church in the Soviet Union. I listened to this in audio form while driving to New Plymouth to preach, I listened to it once on the way there and once on the way back and I can still recall the emotional turmoil that ensued upon my soul.
…which warmed my heart
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C. S. Lewis. These books have warmed and continue to warm me as I keep returning to them and seeing Christ through out.
...that’s easy to read
‘ICHTHUS’ by Sinclair Ferguson and Derek Thomas. A collection of sermons they preached together on the major moments of Jesus life, profound and yet very readable.
…which I should have read
‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’ by John Calvin. I have this on my shelf and long to read it, but keep waiting for the ‘right time’ as I know it is going to be profound, maybe it will be next year?
…which I’d give to new Christians
‘Around the wicket gate’ by C H Spurgeon. This little book I continue to give to new Christians, it profoundly helps people understand whether they are really saved or not.
…I’d give to someone wanting to know more
Probably depends upon their need but I found ‘I don’t have enough faith no be an atheist’ by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek to be extremely compelling.
…that moves me for mission
Radical by David Platt. To be fair I don’t need encouragement for missions, I’m super passionate already, but that book really challenged me to give up on self for missions everywhere.
…that makes me pray
Fresh wind, fresh fire by Jim Cymballa. Don’t bash on me for choosing a Pentecostal, but if this book doesn’t generate a passion for public and private prayer I’ll eat my hat…if I had one.
….that’s fantastic for children
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan and The Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis, my go to books that my kids and I continue to read through. Something for smaller kids are the Banner of Truths cardboard classics. Oh, and the Jesus story book Bible!
…that’s ideal for small group studies
The Bible. But seriously, the Bible, I don’t bother with books in small groups, the Swedish Bible study technique. You, me, and God’s word, what more do we need!