Read New Books, but Keep the Old

2015 photo by Patti Richter

(ROCKWALL, TX – Jan. 9, 2016) A New Year means new reading for me—the result of a Christmas list that always includes books. I keep a year-round wish list, jotting down titles of interest, based on Christian book reviews or recommendations. No article gets my attention more than a “top-ten picks” of books related to faith—teaching, inspiration, biography, memoir . . . I’m a non-fiction junkie.

With that introduction, and without any further qualifications, I’d like to share some personal suggestions for good Christian reading, from classics to more recent publications. But since this would be long, here instead are my favorite Christian writers, past and present, along with one of their worthy books.

Time-honored works of past writers serve as spiritual resources for me. I don’t lend them out, since no one would enjoy a book so marked up with notes. These are mostly by: C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity), Francis Schaeffer (A Christian Manifesto), and Saint Augustine (Confessions).

A more recent author, Charles Colson (How Now Shall We Live?) also left behind an abundance of thought-provoking books.

A couple more heavy-weights who still walk the earth are two P’s in a pod: J. I. Packer and John Piper. Both men have penned books that will surely endure. Packer (Knowing God) makes catechism interesting; and Piper (Desiring God), offers a plethora of Christ-centered teaching that can serve as braces for the mind—straightening out our deficient understanding of God.

Not as deep yet solid authors whose books fill my shelves include: Philip Yancey (Prayer); Randy Alcorn (The Goodness of God); Max Lucado (You’ll Get Through This); John Ortbert (Who Is This Man?); and Mark Buchanan (The Rest of God). Add Cecil Murphey, who spent years writing for others (Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story) but still churned out a variety of his own books.

Less seasoned but easy-to-read authors I’ve enjoyed are: Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan); Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker); and Craig Groeschel (The Christian Atheist).

I’ll revisit some of those authors in the coming year—Alcorn’s Happiness, for one. And I hope to read two new books by a couple of new-to-me authors: Fool’s Talk by Os Guinness, written to help believers articulate a compelling view of Christianity in a skeptical society; and The Great Christ Comet by Colin Nicholl, which examines the 2000-year mystery of the Star of Bethlehem through combining astronomy with the biblical account.

However, since I haven’t converted to e-books, I may need to add one item to my wish-list: another bookshelf.

By Blue Ribbon News guest columnist Patti Richter of Heath. Read her Good Faith columns at




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