There is something special about a book. Books have the power to make us think and dream and change. And a Christian book can point us to the ultimate "Good Book"–God's own inspired word–which can transform our lives. So join in our campaign, and get reading! "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2). 

We believe that good books can change lives. So we asked some of our authors and staff what specific book has had a transformative effect on them. And this is what they said...

 

“The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul”

The chapter on God’s justice was mind-blowing for me. Reading this well-loved title was just as convicting and joy-producing as people said it would be! I came away with a new grasp of what I truly deserve, and what Christ has so lavishly given me in himself. To know God more intimately is my deepest desire, and Sproul helped me see more clearly what a miracle my salvation is, by God’s grace—which will continue to draw me closer to him in thanksgiving, confession, and worship. 

Kristen Wetherell
“Knowing God - J.I. Packer”

As a new believer, I approached the Bible as a self-help book. I loved God the way one loves whatever helps them reach full potential. Then I read Knowing God by J.I. Packer. For the first time I was overcome by God as a Person. Now the Bible is an encounter with the living One. I am in wonder of who he is – not a wizard of Oz type ruling from a distance, but my Father, close-up and personal. Since reading, Knowing God, I no longer ask God, “What do I have to do” as I read his Word. I say, “Tell me more of who you are.” Knowing God is true fulfillment and joy. 

Barbara Reaoch
“You Can Change - Tim Chester”

I read it at a time when I'd reached a plateau in my faith and wasn't growing, and this book exposed my heart and showed me how the truth and Spirit of Jesus could set me free.  I've come back to it again and again to help me with anger, conflict, cowardice, cynicism, parenting and more, and I've shared it with dozens of others.  It showed me the power of books to renew minds, change hearts and transform lives.

Dave Griffith-Jones
“Narnia Chronicles and Lord of The Rings”

I am a lover of stories, and so the Christian books I have probably reread the most are C S Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles and J R R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (this is the book I took on honeymoon with me!). I love stories because I love to have my heart moved to joy, courage, hope and peace and stories, which are all reflections of the great story of God, do this. Wonderfully, so do Christian books, for Jesus will always seize our heart as well as our mind and will. 

John Hindley
“Today’s Gospel, Authentic or Synthetic? - Walter J Chantry”

I picked this book up as a young Christian and it was my first introduction to the powerful theological idea at the heart of the reformation and the Christian faith: that the Bible is the central authority we must look to; and that faithfully hearing and teaching the Bible is at the heart of genuine Christian discipleship and ministry. Short, powerful and defining for my understanding of how to follow Christ.

Tim Thornborough
“Women of the Word - Jen Wilkin”

The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” Before reading these words from Jen Wilkin, I was snacking on devotionals, blog posts, and sporadic bible reading. God used this practical and encouraging book to change my appetite so that I was no longer satisfied with light fare. I now hunger for God’s Word, and Jen Wilkin helped me learn how to feast. 

Chelsea Stanley
“The Pleasures of God - John Piper”

"The soul is measured by its flights,
Some low and others high,
The heart is known by its delights,
And pleasures never lie."

Quotes like this connected so many dots for me when I first read this book 25 years ago. "Not what we dutifully will but what we passionately want reveals our excellence or evil." Because, pleasure is the measure of our treasure. This true of us and it is true of God. It is true of us because it is true of God. So the big question is, what gives God the greatest pleasure? Piper mined the Bible for its answers, and my life has never been the same.

Jon Bloom
“The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom”

This well-known story of concentration camp survivor Corrie ten Boom and her family greatly strengthened and deepened my faith in God. Reading about the way God gave Corrie the ability to forgive and love taught me that he's faithful to do the same in my life. Seeing Corrie's sister Betsie find ways to be thankful even for fleas in the harsh camp conditions challenged my own lack of gratitude. It's not an exaggeration to say my life was changed by this book, and I recently had the joy of seeing God use it to change my daughter's life as well. 

Catherine Parks
“Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan”

I see myself, tainted with sin, making the same trek that Christian did to the celestial city only to realize that all efforts made on my behalf are futile. This tangible, accessible, and convicting book has stirred the hearts of many for hundreds of years. I often recommend and suggest this book because the reader often sees himself / herself in the shoes of Christian. It's a brilliant work that pointed me directly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Ben Earle
“Seeing with New Eyes - David Powlison”

I've reread many of the chapters several times because they are so helpful.  Sometimes our theology can remain quite abstract rather than impact us specifically in everyday life. David Powlison has indeed helped me to see everyday life with new eyes, through the lens of Scripture. I particularly loved his chapter, “Peace, Be still, Psalm 131”. Many of us can be restless, striving to achieve or haunted by failure, but not the person of Psalm 131.  It becomes clear that our biggest problem is proud self-will, but a calm and quieted soul grows when we pursue what we are meant to pursue.  This chapter helped me to meditate on Psalm 131 and God has calmed and quieted my soul (Ps 131:2) and I enjoy much more joy and contentment, whatever the circumstances.

Gilly Down
“In the Grip of Grace - Max Lucado”

I don't really like self help 'tick these off and you'll be doing well' kind of books so it can be hard to find a book that encourages you to change the way you think about things. Wether that's sin and bad temptations or whether it's enjoying the good things in life but a bit too much and forgetting about God. Wherever you're at 'In the Grip of Grace' draws from the scripture the wonder of how Christ died for us and saved us and that however bad things get or whatever your past has looked like, we are in the grip of his grace. Challenging and thought provoking this book will encourage you to cling to Christ through it all.

Bex Main
“True Spirituality and Being Human”

Two books that had a real impact on me were True Spirituality by Francis Shaeffer and Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience by Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs. What was transformational about these two books was how they grounded spirituality in our humanity. As I new Christian, I was struggling to figure out what it looked like to be a truly mature Christian. There were so many alternatives that I was seeing in the Christian community. Legalism was all about following rules, many of which were extra-biblical. I followed that path for a season but was getting burned out. Another option was an overly burdensome self-denial. Guilt would arise in me whenever I enjoyed something good. Then there was triumphalism. This view inculcated a false sense of victory over sin. That didn't last long! And finally, there was the view that focused only on positive emotions like happiness and joy. That didn't seem to fit well with other emotions like sadness and grief that connected with suffering in my life and in the world. So, when I first read these books, I had finally found a view of what it means to be truly spiritual that resonated with me and was well grounded in the gospel of grace and Scripture. It was then that I began to experience deeper freedom in my Christian life.

Tim Lane
“The Glory of Christ - John Owen”

We’ve all heard boring preachers. Don’t believe them. You know what isn’t boring? The omni-awesome glory of Jesus Christ. For years, I was frustrated and lukewarm about my faith because it centered on doctrinal statements and theological positions. And while those things matter—they aren’t alive for me at the Father’s right hand. The Christian life centers on Christ himself. John Owen’s exploration of the glory of Jesus electrified my heart, woke me from my slumber, and showed me what it’s like to have a zeal and a zest for our crucified friend of sinners.

J. A. Medders
“To China With Love - Hudson Taylor”

Taylor's commitment to acclimatising well in his future life as a missionary in China made a real impression on me. Before leaving the UK, he would test his faith by deliberately not reminding his forgetful employer for his weekly paycheck, and he would drastically simplify his living arrangements to condition himself for the basic conditions in rural China. This is why I love Christian biographies. When you read the thoughts and events of someone who has put all their trust in God and found Him to be true, it makes you think, 'If he can go, why can't I?'

Joe Henegan
“Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin - Cornelius Plantinga”

It’s beautifully written, pastorally wise, and theologically profound. The writing intrigued and impressed me with its artistry, and through the book’s wisdom God helped me see that restoring our passions so that we care about the right things is often where he starts. One phrase resonates in my head down the 20 or so years since I read this. Describing someone who observes their feeble attempts to be godly and recognises that they are not really trying because they really don’t long for it, Plantinga says “she longs to long again”. That is sometimes the best we can do – but it is enough, for it is evidence of the Spirit’s restorative power in the very deepest part of our soul.

Andrew Nicholls
“Keeping the Heart - John Flavel”

On one level it might seem odd that a seventeenth-century book might help me get to know myself better! But Keeping the Heart was super-helpful in showing how my heart attitude shapes so much of my life. Essentially, John Flavel cracks open Proverbs 4:32 ("keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”) and helps us put this into practice. In particular, Flavel picks out eleven different ‘seasons’ of life and suggests particular temptations and truths to cherish in each. I think often we can operate with a surface-level Christianity, so this was really powerful.

Robin Ham

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