The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy with this request:

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13

This is an amazing request. Even though Paul is in prison awaiting execution, he still desires to read and study so that he can continue to work for the sake of the gospel! 

Paul’s request highlights the important role the reading of sound books play in the believer’s spiritual growth and effectiveness in gospel ministry. Every believer should be seeking to build a personal theological library.

To help you get started, below is a brief list of recommended books we believe will help you grow in your understanding and practice of the Christian faith and life.
Christian Life
  • The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
  • A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life by J. I. Packer
  • Knowing God by J. I. Packer
  • Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
  • Happiness by J. C. Ryle
  • Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots by J. C. Ryle
  • The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus by Stephen Smallman
Spiritual Growth—General Titles
  • The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
  • The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
  • The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung
  • Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes
  • Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
  • Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis
  • When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney 
Spiritual Growth—Specific Titles
Bible Intake
  • ESV Study Bible
  • NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible
  • Listen Up! A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons by Christopher Ash
  • An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew M. Davis
  • Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung
  • One to One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian by David Helm
  • Reading the Bible Supernaturally by John Piper
  • 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible by Robert L. Plummer
  • The Book of Books: A Short Guide to Reading the Bible by Geoff Robson
  • Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett
  • Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson
  • A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller
  • Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church by John Onwuchekwa
  • Do You Pray? A Question for Everybody by J. C. Ryle
  • The Prayer of the Lord by R. C. Sproul
  • Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney
  • A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer by John Piper
  • Let the Children Worship by Jason Helopoulos
  • Corporate Worship: How the Church Gathers as God’s People by Matt Merker
  • Family Worship: In the Bible, In History, and In Your Home by Donald S. Whitney
  • Hymns of Grace by The Master’s Seminary Press
  • What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile
  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield
  • Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken
  • Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter by Thomas R. Schreiner
  • Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church: Participating Fully in the Body of Christ by Donald Whitney
  • Evangelism As Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in Our Own Land by Elliot Clark
  • The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever
  • Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel Wholly by Grace Communicated Truthfully and Lovingly by Will Metzger
  • Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer
  • Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus by J. Mack Stiles
  • Engaging with Muslims by John Klaassen
  • Engaging with Jewish People by Randy Newman
  • Engaging with Atheists by David Robertson
  • Money Counts: How to Handle Money in Your Heart and with Your Hands by Graham Beynon
  • Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
  • Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung
  • Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray
  • Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung
  • Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip D. Jensen and Tony Payne
  • Found! God’s Will by John MacArthur
  • Step By Step: Divine Guidance for Ordinary Christians by James C. Petty
  • The Gospel at Work: How the Gospel Gives New Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert
  • Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
  • Suffering and the Sovereignty of God ed. by John Piper and David Mathis
  • Run to Win the Prize: Perseverance in the New Testament by Thomas R. Schreiner
  • When Sinners Say "I Do" by Dave Harvey
  • This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper
  • Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace by Gary and Betsy Ricucci
  • The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  • The Intimate Marriage by R. C. Sproul
  • What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp
  • Walking through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for Those Who Are Struggling by Matthew Arbo
  • The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
  • This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe
  • Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
  • Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman
  • Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman
  • The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
  • Child Proof: Parenting by Faith not Formula by Julie Lowe
  • Making Him Known Series by Sally Michael
  • Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches by Russell Moore
  • Before I Was Born: God Knew My Name by Carolyn Nystrom
  • Growing Up God’s Way for Boys by Chris Richards and Liz Jones
  • Growing Up God’s Way for Girls by Chris Richards and Liz Jones
  • The Faithful Parent: A Biblical Guide to Raising a Family by Stuart W. Scott and Martha Peace
  • Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor
  • Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp
  • Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • It's All About Jesus Bible Storybook by The Gospel Project
Gender & Sexuality
  • 7 Myths about Singleness by Sam Alberry
  • Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image by Hannah Anderson
  • Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong and Lasting Marriage by Rob Green
  • Sex, Dating, and Relationships by Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas
  • Men of God: Becoming the Man God Wants You to Be ed. By Trevor Archer and Tim Thornborough
  • Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction by Kevin DeYoung
  • What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung
  • A Man’s Greatest Challenge: How to Build Self-control that Lasts by Dai Hankey
  • God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret E. Köstenberger
  • Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert
  • Transgender by Vaughan Roberts
  • The Porn Problem by Vaughan Roberts
  • The Gospel and Sexual Orientation by Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
  • The Big Fight: Christian Men vs. The World, Flesh & Devil ed. By Tim Thornborough and Richard Perkins
Biblical Counseling
  • All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment by Hannah Anderson
  • Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds by Chris Brauns
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks
  • Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse Fitzpatrick
  • Anger: Calming Your Heart by Robert D. Jones
  • Am I Really a Christian? by Mike McKinley
  • Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray
  • Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age by Erik Raymond
  • 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
  • The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
  • How Can I Be Sure? And other questions about doubt, assurance, and the Bible by John Stevens
  • Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp
  • War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp
  • Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop
  • Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch
  • Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch
  • Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch
  • A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace by Edward T. Welch
  • When People are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Edward T. Welch
Biblical Theology
  • The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story by D. A. Carson
  • According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy
  • Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bibles Story Changes Everything about Your Story by Nancy Guthrie
  • The Word of the Lord: Seeing Jesus in the Prophets by Nancy Guthrie
  • Christ from Beginning to End: How the Full Story of Scripture Reveals the Full Glory of Christ by Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum
  • The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant, and His Kingdom by Samuel Renihan
  • Biblical Theology: How the Church Faithfully Teaches the Gospel by Nick Roark & Robert Cline
  • God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts
  • Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World by Thomas R. Schreiner 
Historical Theology & Biography
  • To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson
  • Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton
  • Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
  • Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
  • The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World by Stephen J. Nichols
  • 21 Servants of Sovereign Joy: Faithful, Flawed, and Fruitful by John Piper
  • The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation by Michael Reeves
  • Eighteenth Century Christian Leaders by J. C. Ryle
  • Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley
  • George Whitefield: The Voice that Woke the World by Lucille Travis
Systematic Theology—General Titles
  • Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem
  • Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God by Bobby Jamieson
  • Bitesize Theology: An ABC of the Christian Faith by Peter Jeffery
  • Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
  • Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs by J. I. Packer
Systematic Theology—God
  • Where was God When that Happened? And Other Questions about God’s Goodness, Power and the Way He Works in the World by Christopher Ash
  • The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
  • The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink
  • The Pleasures of God by John Piper
  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves
  • The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul
  • The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer
  • God's Glory Alone – The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught and Why It Still Matters by David Vandrunen
Systematic Theology—Scripture
  • God's Word Alone – The Authority of Scripture: What the Reformers Taught and Why It Still Matters by Matthew Barrett
  • Why Trust the Bible? by Greg Gilbert
  • A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness by John Piper
Systematic Theology—Angels, Humans, and Sin
  • Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective by Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura
  • Created in God's Image by Anthony Hoekema
  • The Christian View of Man by J. Gresham Machen
  • Did the Devil Make Me Do It? And Other Questions about Satan, Demons and Evil Spirits by Mike McKinley
  • What Makes Us Human? And Other Questions about God, Jesus and Human Identity by Mark Meynell
  • Conscience: What It is, How to Train it, and Loving Those Who Differ by Andrew David Naselli and J. D. Crowley
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning
Systematic Theology—Christ
  • Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke & William Boekestein
  • Who Is Jesusby Greg Gilbert
  • The Son of God and the New Creation by Graeme Goldsworthy
  • A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Jesus Christ: An Introduction to Christology by Mark Jones
  • The Work of Christ by Robert Letham
  • Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners by Dane Ortlund
  • The Glory of Christ by John Owen
  • What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper
  • The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott
  • Christ Alone – The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior: What the Reformers Taught and Why It Still Matters by Stephen Wellum
Systematic Theology—Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson
  • Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by Richard Gaffin
  • Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in our Walk with God by J. I. Packer
Systematic Theology—Salvation
  • The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken
  • The Art of Turning from Sin to Christ for a Joyfully Clear Conscience by Kevin DeYoung
  • Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Gospel of Life by John Ensor
  • What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
  • Conversion: How God Creates a People by Michael Lawrence
  • The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
  • Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ by John MacArthur
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
  • No Quick Fix: Where Higher Life Theology Came From, What It Is, and Why It’s Harmful by Andrew David Naselli
  • The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund
  • Faith Alone – The Doctrine of Justification: What the Reformers Taught and Why It Still Matters by Thomas R. Schreiner
  • Chosen by God by R. C. Sproul
  • Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification by R. C. Sproul
  • The Truth of the Cross by R. C. Sproul
  • Grace Alone – Salvation as a Gift of God: What the Reformers Taught and Why It Still Matters by Carl R. Trueman
  • A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
Systematic Theology—Church
  • Understanding the Great Commission by Mark Dever
  • Understanding Church Leadership by Mark Dever
  • What Is a Healthy Church? By Mark Dever
  • The Compelling Community by Mark Dever & Jamie Dunlop
  • What Is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
  • Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God's Word Today by David Helm
  • Going Public: Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership by Bobby Jamieson
  • Understanding Baptism by Bobby Jamieson
  • Understanding the Lord’s Supper by Bobby Jamieson
  • Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global by Andy Johnson
  • Church Membership: How the Worlds Knows Who Represents Jesus by Jonathan Leeman
  • Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus by Jonathan Leeman
  • The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-shift That Changes Everything by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
  • Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper
  • Church Elders: How to Shepherd God's People Like Jesus by Jeramie Rinne
  • Deacons: How They Serve and Strengthen the Church by Matt Smethurst
Systematic Theology—Last Things
  • The Bible and the Future by Anthony Hoekema
  • What Happens When I Die? And Other Questions about Heaven, Hell and the Life to Come by Marcus Nodder
  • How Will the World End? And Other Questions about the Last Things and the Second Coming of Christ by Jeramie Rinne
Worldview & Ethics
  • Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics by Robert Benne
  • The 10 Commandments: What They Mean, Why They Matter, and Why We Should Obey Them by Kevin DeYoung
  • Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? By David W. Jones and Russell S. Woodbridge
  • We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right & Wrong by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
  • Assisted Suicide by Vaughan Roberts
  • Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue by R. C. Sproul