james joyceAmen, James Joyce. Amen. Life IS too short to read bad books. The problem is there are SO many bad books out there! Especially Christian books, unfortunately. So to help us all read books that are worth sitting down for, I want to recommend a few titles that have had a significant impact on my theology, sanctification and personal discipleship. I guarantee that if you pair the reading of them with a regular pattern of Bible reading and expositional bible preaching, you will be molded and shaped into the image of Jesus in ways you cannot fathom. I list them below with brief comment.

(Just in case you miss it, only two of the authors below are still living. What a great Christian heritage we have!)

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (You won’t be allowed into heaven until you read these two volumes… so you might as well read them now.)

Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples by Michael Horton (A great concise systematic theology for personal discipleship and small group settings. A study guide is available to help discussion.)

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray (The single best book on salvation I have ever read. Concise, yet deep.)

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen (The best book on the atonement in the English language.)

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell (This book will reform the way you pray. A must read.)

The Confessions by Saint Augustine (In addition to Calvin’s Institutes a prerequisite for entering heaven.)

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks (A fantastic book on sanctification by one of my favorite Puritans.)

The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson (Another one of my favorite Puritans on sanctification. Also check out his The Body of Divinity, a series of sermons on the Westminster Catechism.)

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen (Whether the original or the abridged version, this book will benefit your sanctification beyond measure.)