Wondering about what book to give? Here are a number of my Top 10 lists in various categories.
If you click on the title of each Top 10, it will take you to brief descriptions of each book, other good books just outside the Top 10, and reader suggestions.
1. Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament by Christopher Wright.
2. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament by Sidney Greidanus.
3. Beginning at Moses by Michael Barrett.
4. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture by Ed Clowney.
5. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses by Vern Poythress.
6. The Christ of the Covenants by O P Robertson.
7. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy.
8. The Unfolding Mystery by Ed Clowney.
9. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis by Nancy Guthrie.
10. Jesus On Every Page by David Murray.
1. Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
2. Christ-centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell.
3. Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today by John Stott.
4. How to Preach Biblically by John Macarthur and others.
5. Feed my Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching by various preachers.
6. The Preacher and Preaching by various preachers.
7. So Pastor, What’s Your Point? by Dennis Prutow.
8. On The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons by John Broadus.
9. Lectures to My Students by C.H Spurgeon.
10. How Sermons Work by David Murray.
1. I’m Not Supposed to Feel Like This by Chris Williams (and others).
2. Dealing with Depression by Sarah Collins and Jayne Haynes.
3. A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian by Dr John Lockley.
4. Overcoming Spiritual Depression by Arie Elshout.
5. Depression: Looking Up From The Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch.
6. D Is For Depression by Michael Lawson.
7. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes And Cure by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
8. Broken Minds by Steve and Robyn Bloem.
9. Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson.
10. Christians Get Depressed Too: Hope and Help for The Depressed by David Murray.
1. Charles Spurgeon’s Autobiography: The Early Years and The Full Harvest.
2. Life of Martyn Lloyd Jones by Iain H. Murray.
3. Andrew A. Bonar: Life and Letters by Marjory Bonar.
4. Robert Murray McCheyne by Andrew Bonar.
5. Asahel Nettleton: Life and Labors by Bennet Tyler.
6. David Livingstone: The Truth Behind The Legend by Rob Mackenzie.
7. J. I. Packer by Alister McGrath.
8. Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden.
9. Here I Stand: A Life Of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton.
10. Defending The Faith: J. Gresham Machen by Daryl Hart.
1. Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward.
2. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
3. By Searching: My Journey Through Doubt Into Faith by Isobel Kuhn.
4. Mary Slessor of Calabar Pioneer Missionary by W. P. Livingstone.
5. A Chance To Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot.
6. Give Me This Mountain by Helen Roseveare.
7. My Heart In His Hands: Ann Judson of Burma by Sharon James.
8. The Nine Day Queen of England: Lady Jane Grey by Faith Cook.
9. A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Rockness.
10. Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Rose.
1. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity With The Power of Grace by Heath Lambert.
2. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn by Tim Challies.
3. Building a Pure Life: A Workbook for Counselors and Small Groups by Dave Coats.
4. Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn-Free by Tim Chester.
5. Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William Struthers.
6. Undefiled: Redemption from Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships by Harry Schaumburg.
7. Sex and The Supremacy of Christ by John Piper, Justin Taylor, and others.
8. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Josh Harris.
9. The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails by Randy Alcorn,
10. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard.
1. True Woman 101: Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood by Nancy Leigh Demoss and Mary Kassian.
2. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.
3. Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel Beeke.
4. Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman.
5. Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary by Aimee Bird.
6. Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh Demoss.
7. True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre.
8. All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior.
1. Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung.
2. The Reason for God by Tim Keller.
3. Thriving at College by Alex Chediak.
4. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.
5. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller.
6. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman.
7. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey.
8. The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies.
9. 18 Words: The most important words you will ever know by J. I. Packer.
10. Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck.
11. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.
12. Discovering God’s Will by Sinclair Ferguson.
13. Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke.
1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by Dave Allen.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.
3. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.
4. Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud.
5. Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman
6. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
7. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
8. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky.
9. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern.
10. View From the Top: An Inside Look at How People in Power See and Shape the World by D. Michael Lindsay.
1. Conviction to Lead, The: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters by Al Mohler.
2. The Shepherd Leader by Timothy Wittmer.
3. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders.
4. What’s Best Next by Matt Perman.
5. The Book on Leadership by John Macarthur.
6. Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration.
7. You Lift Me Up: Overcoming Ministry Challenges by Al Martin.
8. Spurgeon on Leadership by Larry J. Michael.
9. The Steward Leader by R. Scott Rodin.
10. Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch.
1. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men by Richard Phillips.
2. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.
3. The Shepherd Leader at Home by Timothy Witmer.
4. Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel Beeke.
5. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller.
6. Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung.
7. Conviction to Lead, The: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters by Al Mohler.
8. What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him by Byron Yawn.
1. The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies.
2. You, Your Family and the Internet by David Clark.
3. Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock.
4. Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst.
5. From the Garden to the City by John Dyer.
6. Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman.
7. Ministry in the Digital Age: Strategies and Best Practices for a Post-Website World by David Bourgeois.
8. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle.
9. The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication by Justin Wise.
10. iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives by Craig Detweiller.
1. Overcoming Sin and Temptation: Three Classic Works by John Owen
2. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard
3. Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks
4. The Evil of Evils: The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin (Puritan Writings) by Jeremiah Burroughs (Difficult to find a copy of this today but you can download a pdf here).
5. Keeping the Heart: How to maintain your love for God by John Flavel
6. The Mischief of Sin by Thomas Watson
7. Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning
8. Sin The Greatest Evil by Samuel Bolton
9. The Jerusalem Sinner Saved; or, Good News for the Vilest of Men by John Bunyan
10. The Anatomy of Secret Sins by Obadiah Sedgwick
1. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges
2. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch
3. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters by Tim Keller
4. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse Fitzpatrick
5. Fallen: A Theology of Sin Edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson
6. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert
7. Motives: Why Do I Do the Things I Do by Ed Welch
8. A Fight to the Death: Taking Aim at Sin Within by Wayne Mack
9. The Doctrine Of Sin by Iain D. Campbell
10. Temptations Men Face: Straightforward Talk on Power, Money, Affairs, Perfectionism, Insensitivity by Tom Eisenman and Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
1. God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Veith.
2. The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastien Traeger and Greg Gilbert
3. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller.
4. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman.
5. Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Gene Veith and Mary Moerbe.
6. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness.
7. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business by Wayne Grudem.
8. The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective by R. Paul Stevens.
9. Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson.
10. What Is Vocation? (Basics of the Faith) by Stephen Nichols.
1. The Shepherd Leader by Timothy Witmer
2. The Elder and His Work by David Dickson
3. Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
4. Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anyabwile
5. Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus by Jeremie Rinne
6. The Elder’s Handbook: A Practical Guide for Church Leaders by Lester DeKoster
7. The Trellis and The Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
8. Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler
9. Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch
10. How Sermons Work by David Murray
See the full post for a complete list of recommendations.
1. God’s Providence by Sally Michaels
2. Pictorial Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
3. Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) by John Hay and David Webb
4. Big Book of Questions & Answers: A Family Devotional Guide to the Christian Faith by Sinclair Ferguson
5. The Gospel for Children by John Leuzarder
6. A Young Person’s Guide to Knowing God by Patricia St. John
7. God’s Alphabet for Life Devotions for Young Children by Joel Beeke and Heidi Boorsma.
8. The Doctrines of Grace by Shane Lems
9. The Donkey Who Carried a King by R. C. Sproul
10. Jungle Doctor and the Whirlwind (Jungle Doctor Series Book 1) by Paul White
See full post for a complete list of recommendations.
1. Christian Living in the Home by Jay E. Adams
2. Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage by Joel Beeke
3. What Is the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk
4. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
5. With One Voice: Singleness, Dating & Marriage to the Glory of God by Alex and Marni Chediak
6. When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey
7. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller
8. This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper
9. The Intimate Marriage: A Practical Guide to Building a Great Marriage by R. C. Sproul
10. A Biblical Guide to Love, Sex, and Marriage by Derek and Rosemary Thomas
1. The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come by John Bunyan, edited by C. J. Lovik.
2. In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair Ferguson.
3. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard.
4. Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on Christ That Change Us by Kris Lundgaard.
5. Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken.
6. The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross…Every Day by Jerry Bridges.
7. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris.
8. Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
9. Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung.
10. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung.
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winnifred Gallagher
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
5. Bad Habits
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
6. Bad Finances
The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
7. In a Relationship that Needs to End
Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward by Henry Cloud
Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
9. Need Friends
Friendship Factor by Alan McGinnis
10. Can’t Say No
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud
The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore
1. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung
2. Discovering God’s Will by Sinclair Ferguson
3. Step by Step: Divine Guidance for Ordinary Christians By James Petty
4. Decisions, Decisions: How (and How Not) to Make Them by Dave Swavely
5. Can I Know God’s Will? by R C Sproul
6. Finding the Will of God by Bruce Waltke
7. Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen
8. God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J I Packer
9. The Christian’s Guide to Guidance: How to Make Biblical Decisions in Everyday Life by Jay Adams
10. Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne.