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14 Tips For Picking The Best Christian Book

14 Tips for pPicking Your Next Christian Book
14 Tips For Picking The Best Christian Book: #1 it’s all about Jesus; #5 read only Bible believing authors: #11 Avoid best sellers;

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Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 1: It’s All About Jesus!

Ask the LORD JESUS CHRIST what to read. It’s very simple prayer, and He will surely answer.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:5-6

Jesus gives us a good example by showing us what He read while He was here. The best Christian books will honor Jesus and make us love Him more, Read on...

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 2: Begin with His Word: The Holy Bible

Before reading anything else, we need to read God’s Word, THE BIBLE, the only book that Jesus read, every day.

We need to live in it, and make it the context of our lives. As we do, reading devotionally and prayerfully, the Holy Spirit will lead us into His truth and also show you what He wants you to read:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Jesus in John 16:13

As we put Jesus first and aim to help Him build His kingdom, we qualify for His promise in the Sermon on the Mount:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33

And that includes adding to our reading the books He wants us to read!

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 3: Be sure the Bible we use is Trustworthy.

Be sure you are reading a Bible that is ACCURATE and translated by people who are Christians. More on this is below.

Beware of deliberate distortions driven by people who do not know Jesus and are often trying to promote an agenda of their own or a false gospel driven by the devil! We need to heed St. Paul’s warnings:

there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Here is some guidance to avoid the WORST TRANSLATIONS of the Bible.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:7-9

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 4: Peruse the various types of Christian Literature.

We get to know Jesus better through good Christian literature!

The absolute best literature and music of all time has been created by believers. The Divine Comedy, by Dante, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan and poetry of John Donne, Wm. Cowper, T.S. Eliot, and W.H. Auden are near the top of the list.

The music of J.S. Bach is entirely Christ-centered, as are the hymns of Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and Fanny Crosby. Contemporary musicians like Chris Tomlin and Shane & Shane will also help you know Jesus better.

There are 10 BASIC TYPES of Christian literature that will help us know Jesus better. Each one can bring blessings and draw us closer to Jesus.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 5: Be sure you are reading Christian books by Bible-believing Christians.

The purpose of Christian literature is to build the kingdom of God, to build up His people and to reinforce our faith.

It is GOSPEL ORIENTED and presents Christian themes, characters and situations in ways that will glorify God and connect readers with our Christian heritage and culture and demonstrate the lasting and persuasive truth of the Bible and its worldview.

The author will be a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithful to Him and to the testimony of the people who claim Him as their Savior.

There are some prominent and popular books by people who identify as Christians but deny the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially His virgin birth and Resurrection, and others who deny the inerrancy of the Bible.

There are sometimes good things to be learned from such authors, but they are dangerous as well. I keep away from them and never recommend them here.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 6: Start with Bible reference books

Bible REFERENCE BOOKS not only help us understand God’s Word better but bring us closer to Jesus by steering us in the direction of other trustworthy books by those who love Him.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 7 Look at 28 Most Important works of Christian literature

The MOST IMPORTANT WORKS of Christian literature is a vast topic. What you will see here is my best effort to attest to those that I believe are most important. I have chosen by this criteria:

  • The author must be or identify as a Christian

  • The work must have had a significant impact on the church or culture

  • The work must stand the test of time.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 8 Look at Christian classics from centuries past

Christian Literature Classics are faithful friends that build our faith. Here is a good definition from GOODREADS:

Books at least 100 years old that have stood the test of time, written by Christians and good for Christians of every denomination for gaining a sense of Christian identity in the biggest sense of the word.

I write as an Evangelical Christian, which constrains me to recognize only those who believe that Jesus is central to our faith, that His atonement is necessary for salvation, and that the Bible is the written Word of God, inerrant, and authoritative for our doctrine and faith.

Having said all of that, I proceed to list such Christian Literature CLASSICS THAT HAVE BEEN A BLESSING TO ME. One last caveat, the 28 works that are among the Most Important Works of Christian Literature are noted there but are not repeated here.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 9 look at Popular authors who have blessed others:

Let’s start off by defining “POPULAR CHRISTIAN AUTHORS.” These are not people who are among the Most Important Works of Christian Literature or Christian Literature Classics.

They are Christians in the public sphere who have written books, poems, or articles that have been a blessing to many others and to me personally.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 10 Avoid Best Sellers

As the name implies, these books have been written to sell, to appeal to the popular rather than the truth. Some of these are written by “pastors” who are not really pastors but BOOKSELLERS with a pulpit.

Others are simply professional writers who appeal over and over again to the same audience, not for edifying purposes but to make money. Some are multimillionaires living in great luxury. Don’t be one of those fleeced:

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Jesus in Luke 16:13

Before we decide to read such a book, we need to check out reviews from readers and other reliable sources.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 11: Avoid “haters” or those who attack other Christians.

There is definitely a place for pointing out false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, but some have made a career out of denouncing those who simply disagree with their interpretation of scripture.

What we need to be aware of is the kind of DOCTRINE WE NEED TO OPPOSE.

Jesus will take care of those who misrepresent Him, we need to avoid them but pray for their repentance.

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip #12: Avoid entanglement with ongoing doctrinal arguments.

Christianity is worldwide, and embraces people of many cultures, traditions and loyalties. The controversies listed below have been ongoing for centuries, many from apostolic times.

It is easy to get caught up in one or more of these and pour out untold energy and passion whose only effect is to eat up time. I speak from personal experience.

Here are the controversies to avoid:

  • Free will vs. Calvinism

  • Liturgy and forms of worship

  • Music, choral and instrumental

  • Clerical dress

  • Church government

  • End times

  • Women ministers

  • Holy days and diet

Here is Biblical guidance from St. Paul:

Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Romans 14:3-5

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 13: Seek recommendations from our pastor and brothers and sisters in Christ.

These are the people who know us best and whom we can trust. We are to edify one another:

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. – Proverbs 27:17
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – St. Paul in Colossians 3:16

Best Christian Books to Read: Tip # 14: Check out reviews before you buy from booksellers and other online sources.

How do I check this out? This is easily done online with a bookseller, like AMAZON.COM, or via a Google search.

For older books, the best source is the CHRISTIAN CLASSICS ETHEREAL LIBRARY, a digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books selected for edification and education. Membership is free, and I find it the best resource available for hundreds of books in pdf form.

Best Christian Books to Read: A Final Word.

You cannot go wrong seeking the Lord Jesus through His Word and the resources and methods given here. They are many and provide access to people from various starting points.

But two things to keep in mind are 1) if we start out with Jesus and 2) begin our seeking in His Word, we are sure to be blessed.

We should resist the urge to go further than He leads us. There is nothing wrong in simply staying in the Bible and living there each day, and each and every day, that must be our starting point. God bless us all as we seek Him and remember His wonderful promise:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened – Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8

For us, it Begins with His Word: The Holy Bible

Read your Bible!

Read it every day.

Don’t neglect it,

Don’t forget to pray!

‘Tis forever the Life, the Truth, the Way.

Read your Bible, and don’t forget to pray!

Sunday school chorus.

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