Monday, September 8, 2014

My 10 Most Formative Books

Many books have influenced and formed my thinking, but below is a list of 10 that I've chosen as being the most formative.

1. The Bible

The Bible more than any other book has formed my thinking. Our thinking in every area should be based on the truth of God's word. When it comes to subjects that aren't directly addressed in the Bible we can still approach those issues with an understanding that all truth is ultimately God's truth and without God we couldn't actually know anything.

2. The New Answers Book 1 - Over 25 Questions on Creation / Evolution and the Bible (Edited by Ken Ham)

This book blew me away when I first read it as a teenager and it's still foundational to my thinking. It was called "The Answers Book" when I read it, but a year or so ago I reread the updated version and still got a lot from it. The book can be read online for free via the above link.

3. The Lie: Evolution / Millions of Years (Ken Ham)

Again - this book is another one that has shaped my thinking and helped me to understand why evolution is wrong and why God's word needs to be the foundation for our thinking in every area. As with 'The Answers Book' this book can also be read online for free via the above link.

4. Refuting Compromise - A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of "Progressive Creationism" (Billions of Years), As Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross (Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.)

This one goes more in depth and digs into the Hebrew and Greek and shows why 6 days means 6 days and why Hugh Ross and others in the Old Earth Creation (OEC) camp are wrong.

5. Already Gone - Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it (Ken Ham & Britt Beemer)

I read this a few years ago and it helped me to further realise why the creation evolution issue is so important, and also why churches need to be teaching not just creation apologetics but general apologetics. Again this book can be read for free via the above link.

6. Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith (Greg L. Bahnsen)

I read this book after watching a lot of Dr Bahnsen's videos and listening to a lot of his audio teachings, and it reinforced my understanding of the importance of presuppositional apologetics.

7. Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World (Don Richardson)

I read this book years ago (as well as Don's other book 'The Peace Child') and it's shaped the way I think about missions and evangelism. God truly is at work in the hearts and lives of individuals and people groups around the world, and it's our job to help them connect what they already know about God to the gospel. This book contains many stories of people movements to Christ and how often missionaries got to remote peoples and found that God had already prepared them in some way to receive the gospel. On some occasions God told these peoples that a white man would come with a black book to tell them the truth about God. 'Eternity in Their Hearts' shows why it's so important to contextualise the gospel - a great example is the chapter in the book about Korea and how missionaries were initially using the wrong word for God, but when they started using the right Korean word for God they started to see thousands come to Christ. (However, this principle isn't always readily applicable - see Why Don Richardson Says There's No 'Peace Child' for Islam.)

8. Living Wisdom (David Riddell)

David Riddell is a theologian and Christian counsellor who has had a big impact on my life. The importance of beliefs and truth is clearly shown through this book, and through David's ministry. (Unfortunately the book is no longer in print, but the above link to David's website includes a store where many helpful resources can be found. Also see the Wisdom section of my website here.

9. In Six Days - why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation (Edited by John F. Ashton PhD)

The title sums it up well. 50 chapters, each written by a different scientist who explain why they believe in biblical creation (aka Young Earth Creation / YEC). The book can be read for free at the above link.

10. The Ultimate Proof of Creation - resolving the origins debate (Dr Jason Lisle)

I read this book about a year ago and it was the first book that got me onto presuppositional apologetics. It also has a few chapters on logic and logical fallacies that have been really helpful. See also my blog post The Ultimate Proof of Creation.

How about you? What would you say have been your 10 most formative books?

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