Books

Christ called people to love God with their "minds" as well as their "heart, soul and strength" (Lk 10v27). Alongside reading the Bible, keeping a good Christian book always on the go is a fantastic way to ensure we are thinking Christianly and so able to live in a discerning and truly godly way.

Recommended publishers.
Anything by the Goodbook Company and Christian Focus will be reliable and helpful. Just search their websites for a book on the topic you need information on.

 
12 books every Christian really should read. 
These are included not because they are the best every written, but because they are the best accessible books that cover the top issues Christians need to have some grasp of in our day. Click the title to buy from Amazon. To keep the list short a Christian biography has not been included, nor a book on Chuurch History. But they can be deeply challenging and encouraging. You could start with the biography of Martin Luther by RH Bainton or Church history in plain language by Bruce L Shelley.

The Grace Church Book Challenge is a commitment to reading all twelve books - one a month over a year, or one a term over four years. If you commit to it, do email Jon in the sidebar so he can encourage and pray for you as you read.

1) “The dangerous duty of delight” by John Piper
Brief book on finding joy in God and having that fuel your life.  

2) "Incomparable" by Andrew Wilson (lightweight)
Short chapters detailing God's character and names.
(At a deeper level - "Knowing God" by JI Packer)

3) "Christian beliefs" by Wayne Grudem (lightweight)
The key truths Christians believe and live by.
(At a deeper level - "A faith to live by" by Donald McLeod)
 
4) "Understanding the Bible" by John Stott (mediumweight)
An outline of the story, background and authority of the Bible, with help on how to read it for oneself.

5) "A praying life" by Paul E Miller (lightweight)
A deeply refreshing and freeing book on the why and how to of personal prayer.

6) "Spiritual disciplines within the Church" by Don Witney (mediumweight)
Why to appreciate church and how to make the most of belonging to one.

7) "Distinctives" by Vaughan Roberts (lightweight)
An outline of the life Jesus calls us to and how it differs from that of the world around us.

8) "Wisdom to live by" by Melvin Tinker (mediumweight)
Covers a wide range of cultural and ethical issues to equip the Christian to think biblically.
(At a deeper level - 4th. edition of Issues Facing Christians Today by John Stott)

9) "Fruitfulness on the frontline" by Neil Green (lightweight)
Liberating and practical wisdom on how to share and shine for Christ in your everyday life.

10) "The case for Christ" by Lee Strobel (mediumweight)
A journalist interviews scholars on the historical evidence that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

11) "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller (mediumweight)
This New York Times bestseller engages the key struggles people have about the faith. 

12) "The universe next door" by James Sire (mediumweight)
An outline and critique of the various worldviews that people hold today.

Help in reading the Bible for yourself.

Some other helpful books. 
1) “Church history in plain language” by Bruce L Shelley  
An accessible introduction to church history.

2) “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis 
One might question Lewis on some points, but still one of the best arguments for Christianity.

3) “Spiritual disciplines for the Christian life” by Don Witney 
A classic on developing one’s devotional life.

4) “Issues Facing Christians Today” 4th edition by John Stott 
If you haven’t read this in the Grace Church book challenge, you really must.

5) “The gospel centred family” by Ed Moll and Tim Chester 
A short book that seeks to let the gospel impact your parenting. 

6) “Get real: Sharing your everyday faith everyday” by John Leonard 
Help for your personal evangelism.

7) “Struggles Christians face” by Vaughan Roberts 
Deals with image, lust, guilt, doubt, depressions, pride, homosexuality and keeping fresh. 

8) "Popologetics" by Ted Turnau 
Hugely respected book on understanding and being discerning about culture.  

9) “The next story” by Tim Challies 
Thinking through the challenges of the internet age for ourselves and our children. 

10) “The busy Christian’s guide to busyness” by Tim Chester 
Quick read that does what it says on the tin. 

11) “A Christian’s pocket guide to Islam” by Patrick Sookhdeo 
A brief introduction to Islam. 

12) “Relationships: A mess worth making” by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane
Help in dealing with all forms of relationships and their inherent problems.

13) “The secret of contentment” by William B Barcley
Help in gaining this most needed attitude in our never satisfied world.

14) “Nothing in my hand I bring” by Ray Galea
Accessible introduction to the differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants.

15) “Is God anti-gay?” by Sam Allberry 
A short consideration of the subject by someone who experiences same-sex attraction.

16) “How long O Lord” by Don Carson
A consideration of the reality of suffering and evil. 

Recommended commentaries on Bible books.
The entire set of IVP's NT Commentaries can be accessed for free here: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ivp-nt/toc/


Basic Commentary Recommendations
Abbreviation
Series and Publisher
FOB
Focus on the bible (Christian Focus)
TOTC
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (IVP)
BST
Bible speaks today series (IVP)
IVPNTC
IVP New Testament Commentary (IVP)
NIVAC
NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan)
New Testament
Gaps show where a commentary covers a number of bible books.
Bible book
Author and series
Matthew
Keener (IVPNTC)
Mark
Garland (NIVAC)
Luke
Bock (IVPNTC)
John
Milne (BST)
Acts
Stott (BST)
Romans
Moo (NIVAC)
1 Corinthians
Blomberg (NIVAC)
2 Corinthians
Belleville (IVPNTC)
Galatians
Stott (BST)
Ephesians
Liefield (IVPNTC)
Philippians
Fee (IVPNTC)
Colossians
Lucas (BST)
Philemon

1 Thessalonians
Stott (BST)
2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy
Towner (IVPNTC)
2 Timothy

Titus

Hebrews
Guthrie (NIVAC)
James
Motyer (BST)
1 Peter
Marshall (IVPNTC)
2 Peter
Lucas/Green (BST)
Jude

1 John
Burge (NIVAC)
2 John

3 John

Revelation
Wilcox (BST)
Old Testament
Gaps show f bible Gbooks.
Bible book
Author and series
Genesis
Chs 1-11: Atkinson BST, 12-50: Baldwin BST
Exodus
Enns NIVAC
Leviticus
Averbeck NIVAC
Numbers
Brown BST
Deuteronomy
Block NIVAC
Joshua
Ralph Davis FOB
Judges
Ralph Davis FOB
Ruth
Atkinson BST
1 & 2 Samuel
Ralph Davis FOB
1 & 2 Kings
Ralph Davis FOB
1 & 2 Chronicles
Wilcox BST
Ezra
Kidner (includes Nehemiah) TOTC
Nehemiah
Brown BST
Esther
Jobes NIVAC
Job
Atkinson BST
Psalms
chs 1-72, 73-150 Wilcox BST
Proverbs
Alden (Proverbs: Commentary on an ancient book of timeless advice) Baker
Ecclesiastes
Provan NIVAC
Song of Songs

Isaiah
Webb BST
Jeremiah
Kidner BST
Lamentations

Ezekial
Duguid NIVAC
Daniel
Tremper-Longman III NIVAC
Hosea
Smith NIVAC
Amos

Micah

Joel
Prior (includes Micah) BST
Habakkuk

Obadiah
Baker, Alexander, Walke (includes Micah) TOTC
Jonah

Nahum
Baker (includes Habakkuk) TOTC
Zephaniah

Zechariah
Webb BST
Haggai
Baldwin (also includes Zechariah) TOTC
Malachi