20 Books You Must Read as a Christian Before You Die

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Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

20 Books You Must Read as a Christian Before You Die

This is highly subjective, however, there are a myriad of theologians and Christians who would give a hearty nod to the works listed here.

Having read so much church history, historical theology and reformed literature, setting down a maximum of 20 “must read” books is not an easy task. People are at various stages in their Christian walk. This means, books tend to minister to people at those varying stages. A book I might think is somewhat simple, you might think is the best book you ever read on a given subject. In contrast, a book I think is spiritually helpful, you might think is too over your head. So, in considering this, I made a great effort to consider books that all Christians could read, though there might be some exceptions by way of their difficulty. At the very least, consider, that before you die, you should read these books. That could mean you read some of them later in life, and some of them earlier. This is not a list to read “right now” no matter where you are on the spiritual scale of sanctification.

Also keep in mind that theologians and ministers generally read more than those attending their church in the congregation. They have a wider scope, a wider learning in these spiritual areas of the Bible and theology, so as a result, you should be able to trust your pastor, or a theological teacher, to lead you in the right way in discerning good books from bad books.

In all of this, take the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “give attendance to reading,” (1Ti. 4:13), yet also consider the wisdom of Solomon, “of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh,” (Eccl. 12:12).

1. The Holy Bible
2. The 1647 Westminster Standards
3. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
4. Christ Inviting Sinners to Come to Him for Rest, by Jeremiah Burroughs
5. Christ’s Righteousness Imputed, the Saint’s Surest Plea for Eternal Life, by Michael Harrison
6. Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin (outline)
7. The Glory of Christ (Volume 1 of Owen’s Works), by John Owen (excerpt)
8. The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards (out of the 2 Volume Works online at APM)
9. A Treatise on Hell’s Terror, by Christopher Love
10. The Marrow of Theology, by William Ames
11. Gospel Worship, by Jeremiah Burroughs
12. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen (Volume 10 of his works)
13. The City of God, by Augustine
14. The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, by Herman Witsius
15. The Existence and Attributes of God, by Stephen Charnock
16. The Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther
17. The Order of the Causes of Salvation and Damnation, by William Perkins
18. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, by Loraine Boettner
19. Penses, Blaise Pascal
20. The Christian’s Reasonable Service, by Wilhelmus a’Brakel

At this point, there are other books I would want to add in such as Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Edwards’ other works such as Religious Affections and History of Redemption, and a number of puritan works, like Nathaniel Vincet’s Spirit of Prayer, Ball, Watson, White and Allestree on divine meditation, Simeon Ashe on Contentment, William Spurstowe on God’s Promises, etc. But I would be content to be on a desert island with the 20 books above.

Bible Verse:

“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless,” (Gen. 17:1).

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