Great Books for Spiritual Growth

I’m often asked for book recommendations.  That always encourages me because it seems like the popularity of reading continues to drop.  An article from The Atlantic says that the number of non-book-readers has tripled since 1978.  (See article here>>>)  In the famous words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are ‘a changin’.”  I think people are consuming content like never before but it has largely changed to audio instead of print, but that’s a discussion perhaps for another day.  So whether you prefer the musty smell of an old book or fire up your kindle or command Alexa to read through Audible, here are a few books I recommend for building your love of Christ and consistency in discipleship.  Some may surprise you. All links take you to the book’s page on Amazon.

Discipline Equals Freedom, Jocko Willink.   This is not a Christian book per se, but the principles it contains can apply directly to our Spiritual lives.  Jocko is a former Navy SEAL who has some great things to teach us about getting our head in the game and becoming who we are called to be.  Very practical advice for taking control of our minds to move forward in our lives.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson.  A classic.  Through examining the Psalms of Ascent Peterson writes as only he can about the life of the Disciple.  It’s a time-tested reference and one I dig into annually.  It is accesible and yet has enough depth to engage both your heart and mind.

Radical, David Platt.  Few books have rocked my world like Platt’s Radical.  It will mess with you!  It will really make you reconsider most everything, from attitude to action and how we, as Americans, live out the Christian life.  I’d likely want to soften or nuance a few things in it, but it is nonetheless one of the thought provoking and soul-searching books I’ve read.  It’s an uncomfortable read, just as pulling a splinter is uncomfortable –but necessary.

Imitation of Christ, Thomas a’Kempis.  This is another favorite of mind.  It’s not a terribly long book, but is chock full of insight and help in following Christ.  It is another very straightforward and honest book that has stood the test of time, having been written in the 15th century.  This is another one I have found myself returning to again and again.

Knowing God, J.I. Packer.  Strictly speaking, not a book on discipleship as much as it is basic theology.  But it is very readable and extremely helpful for anyone in their life of faith.  (Except the Chapter on images, that’s just strange!)  It’s been a bestseller for over 40 years for good reason.  I’d suggest everyone read this book at some point in their lives-preferably early on!

There are so many more to name!  Books by, Brother Lawrence, Francis Chan, John Eldridge, John Stott, Frances de Sales, Theresa of Avila etc etc.  But theses are a few I thought I’d share in this new year.  Check em’ out and let me know what you think! And comment below with your suggestions!

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2 thoughts on “Great Books for Spiritual Growth”

  • The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise
    by Robert Cardinal Sarah

    The Way of a Pilgrim

    I’ve read the second and working on the first. Even though I haven’t finished Cardinal Sarah’s book yet, I’m quite certain it will fit the bill because true spiritual growth by it’s very nature cannot happen amidst a constant barrage of noise. Great post!

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