Recently, while eating breakfast with a friend who has been in the ministry for many years, he shocked me by saying :"I really don't like to read that much." I replied:"Then you've got to force yourself to read!"
It would be impossible for me to over-emphasize the impact that reading good books has had on me personally and on my ministry. Study and preparation are part and parcel of the gospel ministry. My caution to young men who are about to enter the ministry is: "If God didn"t give you a desire to study, He probably hasn't called you to preach."
There are many authors and books that have radically influenced my life and ministry. The following is a partial list of the books and authors that have been the greatest blessing in my own ministry.
A.W. Tozer-"THE PURSUIT OF GOD". I can trace a spiritual transformation in my life back to this book. It lead me to read every thing I could get by him.
Leonard Ravenhill-"WHY REVIVAL TARRIES"
E.M.Bounds-All his books on prayer.
THE LIFE AND DIARY OF DAVID BRAINERD by Jonathan Edwards.
J.I.Packer-Particularly "KNOWING GOD" and "EVANGELISM AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD."
Mark Dever-"9 MARKS OF A HEALTHY CHURCH."
More recently I am being blessed by the writings of C.J.Mahaney.
I haven't read a lot of Calvin other than his commentaries, but I am definitely influenced by many who have been influenced by him.
As I said, this is not an exhaustive list of all the beneficial books I've read, but these are the books and authors that I consider to have been the most helpful. I'm sure that most of you are avid readers also. What are some of the books you consider to be most influential in your life and ministry?
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
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Ah... another Ravenhill fan! I only have 2 books by him, but you can feel his holy zeal for God coming through every page.
I knew there was a reason I liked you. So many books, so little time...
A lots of peoples now are ilitirit.
John Frame, Bruce Ware, and Michael Horton are normally good reads.
Have you read Ware's book Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance yet? If not, get it and read it.
How 'bout: Dallimore's biography of George Whitefield, anything by Iain Murray, particularly his Jonathan Edwards bio, "Evangelicalism Divided" and "Pentecost Today?"; anything by D.A. Carson, especially "The Gagging of God" and "The Cross and Christian Ministry" (one of CJ's favorites). So many books!
I love Ravenhill's "Why Revival Tarries." Does anyone know if Ravenhill was a Calvinist?
You are right. There just isn't enough time to read all the great theological books that are available to us now.Especially when there are so many lonely old Chevys that need to be "tinkered with."
You just can't beat Ravenhill, Bounds, and Tozer if you want to read books that will ignite in you a passion for God.
OOPS! Forgot to mention Piper.
No, I haven't read Ware's book yet. Maybe one of my sons will give it to me for Father's Day.
Dallimoore's bio of Whitefield is on my "gonna read" list, but I haven't read it yet. I did, however, read Murray's bio of Martin Lloyd-Jones(both volumes). Have you?
MLJ has always been one of my heroes, but after reading that bio, I'm nominating him for an honorary membership in the Trinity.
I am not sure if he was a calvinist or not, but he was definitely calvinistic.
Ravenhill, James A. Stewart, Duncan Campbell were men who combined a passion for God, a zeal for practical holiness, and a longing for real God-sent revival as well as a deep respect for the sovereignty of God. The missing element is that, as far as I know, there was not a lot of expository preaching from these men.
I love Leonard Ravenhill!
I also love Keith Green's music, much of it parallels what Ravenhill is so passionate about, being that they were friends. I really love LR's book "Why Revival Tarries" which is more of a call to prayer. How appropriate.
I am a musician, and I would be honored if you would check out my site. LR has inspired some of my songs. All my music is free for download. Anyway, I just thought I'd share.
"All my music is free for download."
Now that is some good reading. You list some of the best.
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