Communication is powerful. Written and spoken words can carry ideas, and ideas can change the world. This week, I’d like to share with you seven books that changed the way I think about things. There are many other books that I love and many that I have enjoyed greatly, but for a book to be on this list, it has to have changed my perspective on something. Here they are, in no particular order:
- A Gospel Primer For Christians by Milton Vincent
My wife and I always have two or three of copies of this book on the shelf because we like to give it to people—and we’ve given away more copies of this small book than any other book besides the Bible. It’s a short read, and divided up into even shorter sections, but it is an extremely powerful reminder of the gospel and what it means for our lives. The change in my own perspective came through a section where the author applies the gospel to all sorts of different areas of the Christian life. More than any other book, this book taught me that everything—really, everything—flows out of the gospel.
- Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
If the Gospel Primer helped clarify how the gospel should shape my life and relationships with others, then Total Truth helped clarify how the gospel should shape my view of the world around me, the culture I’m living in, and how the church can engage with it. This is a big book, and the concepts are big, too. Following in the footsteps of her mentor, Francis Schaefer, Pearcey traces where the thoughts and assumptions of the world around us came from and masterfully argues for a Biblical view—and application—of truth for all of life.
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This book has helped so many people that it’s almost cliché to include it on the list, but I have to. Lewis helped me to not only know, but also to deeply feel the truth that Christianity is fundamentally about being close to God and being remade into his likeness. He is especially good at illustrations, and many of the ones he includes in this book have been living prominently in my brain ever since.
- Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
Jerry Bridges wrote a number of books, and they are all great. This one stands out in my mind as the book that helped me see clearly that I have every reason to trust God: his power is big enough to do whatever needs to be done, his wisdom is big enough to know exactly what that is, and his love is big enough to always desire what is best for his children. This book helped fit Biblical truths together in my mind and unleash them in my life in new ways.
- The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
This book helped me count the cost of forgiveness, and value it more. It’s an easy word to say, but the reality is that forgiveness is always costly. That lesson has helped me appreciate my own forgiveness through Christ more, and helped me learn to lean in to the costly work of forgiving others, as well.
- The Missionary Movement In Christian History by Andrew F. Walls
My uncle recommended this one to me, and I’m so glad he did. The book is a collection of essays on a number of topics, but the change in my perspective came from how Walls shows that the centres of power and influence for Christianity have collapsed over and over again through history, but God has preserved and expanded his church each time through people and movements on the edges that didn’t attract as much attention at the time. This is a helpful reminder as we look at the world in our own time, and into the future.
- Money, Possessions, And Eternity by Randy Alcorn
In this thoroughly Biblical and accessible book, Alcorn helped me see more clearly than ever that the treasures of earth cannot compare to the treasures of Heaven. That’s not all, though—he also showed me how important my possessions on earth are, and helped me see and experience the joy of using them well.
That’s my list. There are many other books I could have included, but this is enough for now. I’d love to know: what are some books that have changed your perspective?