top of page






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 Church 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) "Everyday Church" by Tim Chester (mediumweight)
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. 


The entire set of IVP's NT Commentaries can be accessed for free here:


Basic Commentary Recommendations

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

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 & Philemon - Lucas (BST)

1 and 2Thessalonians - Stott (BST)

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus - Towner (IVPNTC)

Hebrews - Guthrie (NIVAC)

James - Motyer (BST)

1 Peter - Marshall (IVPNTC)

2 Peter and Jude - Lucas/Green (BST)

1, 2 and 3 John - Burge (NIVAC)

Revelation - Wilcox (BST)

Old Testament

Genesis Chs 1-11 - Atkinson BST

Genesis 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 and Nehemiah - Kidner TOTC

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 and Song of Song - Provan NIVAC

Isaiah - Webb BST

Jeremiah and Lamentations - Kidner BST

Ezekial - Duguid NIVAC

Daniel - Tremper-Longman III NIVAC

Hosea, Amos and Micah - Smith NIVAC

Joel and Habakkuk - Prior (includes Micah) BST

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

Nahum and Zephaniah - Baker (includes Habakkuk) TOTC

Zechariah - Webb BST

Haggai and Malachi - Baldwin (also includes Zechariah) TOTC

bottom of page