Reflecting on this question, I realised I recommend different books for different needs (and the list has changed over my years walking with the Lord).
This blog will list the main five I personally prefer currently, and where you can purchase them economically or free PDF (if available).
1. Westminster Confession of Faith (the Westminster Divines)
The WCF (or if you want its full title, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger & Shorter Catechisms, Sum of Saving Knowledge and Directory for the Public Worship of God) was compiled by a large group of theologians over several years in the mid-1600s.
It provides a systematic theology reference with comprehensive scripture references, answering all the questions everyone asks about the Christian (reformed) faith in detail. For people committed to Christ, or those seeking more information before committing.
2. The Book That Made Your World (by Vishal Mangalwadi)
This book presents how the Bible became the West's source of human rights, justice, heroism, optimism, compassion, capitalism, family, and morality.
In the 1960s many from the West went to the East in search of spiritual wisdom. The Book That Made Your World reverses the journey. Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian philosopher, takes readers on a historical journey through the last millennium, exploring why and how the Bible reformed Europe and made the West a uniquely thinking civilization: technical and tolerant, scientific and free, just and prosperous.
Readers will find out:
- Why an American president puts his hand on the Bible to take the oath of a secular office
- What forced British monarchs from Henry VIII to James I to submit to the Bible's authority
- Why Bible translators Wycliffe, Luther, and Tyndale became history's greatest revolutionaries
- How the Bible globalized western education
A great book for mature Christians and also philosophical non-believers (who have an intellectual curiosity).
3. Christianity for Skeptics (by Drs Steve Kumar and Jonathan D Sarfati)
A book defending Christianity in general that answers attacks from many directions. This updated classic answers key questions like:
- Does God exist?
- If there is a God, why is there evil?
- Is atheism rational?
- Is the Bible the word of God?
- What about other religions, including Islam and the New Age?
Christianity for Skeptics contains cutting edge material on design in nature and the Christian roots of science. With its modern, catchy full color cartoon-style illustrations it is a real ‘pick me up and read me’ type book, ideal to place in the hands of a skeptical friend, family member, or co-worker.
A lot of advanced philosophical examinations explained simply and interestingly!
4. The Practice of God's Presence (by Rev Andrew Murray)
South African pastor and author Andrew Murray, (1828-1917), after his formal education in Scotland and three years of theological study, in Holland, that Andrew Murray returned as a missionary and minister. Murray's first appointment was to a remote and unattractive territory of nearly 50,000 square miles and 12,000 people.
Not only was Andrew Murray the author of over 240 books, he was also a man of great prayer.
This magnificent work is a collection of seven of his best books:
- The Power Of The Blood Of Jesus
- Humility - my absolute favourite of all Murray's books ~ JD
- Absolute Surrender
- The Secret Of Spiritual Strength
- Experiencing The Holy Spirit
- Daily Experience With God
- The Blessings Of Obedience
5. A [Exciting] New Life (by Rev Andrew Murray)
This book is your guide to the basics of being God's child. Andrew Murray was concerned about the growth of new believers; that is why he wrote these 52 simple Bible studies (... one for each week?). Even those who have known Christ for years will benefit from these precious reminders of God's truths.
- What should I do when I sin?
- How can I be led by the Holy Spirit?
- Can I make myself love someone for whom I feel no love?
- What is my part in missionary work?
- How much power does Satan have against me?
- Why do Christians go through trials?
- What if I have no desire to pray and read the Bible?
There are many more books I loan out, but these are the main ones I use to encourage the saints and build up their faith.
I pray that the Lord God can use this to His glory, in Jesus' name. Amen.