Recommended Books, Blogs, Websites, and Software to Go Deeper into God’s Word and Draw Closer to Jesus

Note: I originally put this list together for some professional athletes I was speaking to through Pro Athletes Outreach. Some of the selections were made with this particular audience in mind. But the great majority of the list would be good for anyone regardless of their vocation.  

Just click on the links if you want to check out the resource.

Study Bibles

The ESV Study Bible has great biblical/theological notes on Scripture texts, with helpful articles in the back.

New Living Translation, Life Application Study Bible is a little easier to read, with good practical notes.                                 

Best Resources for Learning Theological Truth

Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem

This 1,200 page book, extremely readable and biblically accurate, will likely become your “go to” resource when addressing every biblical doctrine—from the deity and humanity of Christ to the nature of God, creation, redemption, justification by faith, grace, the nature of the church, the return of Christ, and countless other issues.

Bible Doctrine, by Wayne Grudem (abridged version of above)

This is a 500 page condensation of Systematic Theology. Both books are TREASURES. I would just say, “Get one and read it!” If you’re not sure which to get, I’d get the first one, the bigger one. You don’t have to read it all, though you can, and it may hook you and reel you in (I hope it does). But when I go to it as a resource I prefer having more to read, not less.

Theology: The Basics, by Alister McGrath.

A good intro to doctrine, 250 pages.

Growing in Christ

Growing in Christ, by J. I. Packer

How to Study Your Bible, by Kay Arthur

Your Life in Christ: Design for Discipleship (Topical Bible Study)

The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, by J. Daniel Hays (1,100 page resource; not necessary if you get Logos Bible Software, see last resource)

Other Recommended Books to Read

Books about God

The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer (A concise and really deep and rewarding book on the attributes of God. The audio version is terrific too, download from Audible.com)

Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing), by Jen Wilkin

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, by Max Lucado

The Promised One (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in Genesis, by Nancy Guthrie

Spiritual Growth/Christian Life

Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

Don’t Waste Your Life and Desiring God, by John Piper

The Explicit Gospelby Matt Chandler

God in the Mirror: Discovering Who You Were Created to Be and Bad to the Bone: Fifteen Young Bible Heroes Who Lived Radical Lives for God, by Miles McPherson

Grace, by Max Lucado

Loving God, by Charles Colson

The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges

Radical and Follow Me, by David Platt

Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story, by Trip Lee

When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man, by Edward Welch

Gratitude

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp

Prayer

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Tim Keller

Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, by Beth Moore

Sexual Purity

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, by Ed Welch

The Purity Principle, by Randy Alcorn

Sexual Detox, by Tim Challies

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, by William M. Struthers

Suffering

90 Days of God's Goodness, by Randy Alcorn

The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life, by Ann Voskamp

Holding On to Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God, by Nancy Guthrie

If God Is Good, by Randy Alcorn

Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges

Apologetics

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus and The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, by Lee Strobel

Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message and Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ, by Ravi Zacharias

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

More Than a Carpenter (about the uniqueness of Jesus), by Josh McDowell

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, by Tim Keller  

The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between, by Greg Koukl

Moral and Social Issues 

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting Worldby Gary Haugen

Under Our Skin, by Benjamin Watson (NFL); maybe the best book on racial issues, and I’ve read dozens

Why ProLife?, by Randy Alcorn

Autobiographies/Memoirs

Death Row Chaplain: Unbelievable True Stories from America's Most Notorious Prison, by Rev. Earl Smith

Let Justice Roll Down, by John Perkins (a classic book by a great civil rights leader and pastor)

Unashamed, by Lecrae

Books for Men

Game Plan for Life, by Joe Gibbs plus Tony Dungy, Ravi Zacharias, Tony Evans, Randy Alcorn, and others

Kingdom Man: Every Man's Destiny, Every Women's Dreamby Tony Evans

Quiet StrengthOne Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge, and Uncommon Manhood, by Tony Dungy

The Resolution for Men, by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, and Randy Alcorn

Books for Women

Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life, by Elyse Fitzpatrick 

Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves, by Trillia Newbell

Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer and Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Is Speaking, by Priscilla Shirer 

Help for Women Under Stress, by Randy and Nanci Alcorn

Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities, by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, by Lysa TerKeurst

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, by Jen Wilkin

Marriage

The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

Each for the Other, by Brian Chapell

Kingdom Marriage: Connecting God's Purpose with Your Pleasure, by Tony Evans

Love and Respect, by Emmerson Eggerichs

The Meaning of Marriage, by Timothy Keller, with Kathy Keller

The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption, by Matt Chandler

You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, by Francis and Lisa Chan

Parenting

52 Things Kids Need in a Dad, by Jay Payleitner

Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God, by Voddie Baucham

Gospel Powered Parenting, by William Farley

Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel

Instructing a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp

The One Year Praying through the Bible for Your Kids, by Nancy Guthrie

Children’s Bibles

The Action Bible (comic book style, kids 8 and older and many adults love it; true to Scripture)

The Jesus Story Book Bible (best Bible storybook for kids I’ve seen)

The Kingstone Bible (longest single graphic novel ever published, as well as the most complete graphic novel adaptation of the Bible)

Fiction

Great to read on your own or with your family:

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis

Also, Focus on the Family Radio Dramas performs these brilliantly, and you can get CDs or downloads. See Screwtape as well as all seven Narnia books (these are fabulous). You can browse more great Christian audio dramas for you and your family.

If interested, here’s a list of my own books, including nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels (comic book style), and children’s books.

Bible Message Videos

Tony Evans video messages

Tim Keller video messages

John Piper audios and videos

Voddie Baucham messages

Kevin DeYoung messages (Kevin is a younger pastor and one of my favorite Bible teachers.)

Dan Franklin messages (Dan is 38 and also an interesting Bible teacher; see and click on his messages on the list that begin in late 2011.)

If interested, Randy Alcorn videos (Some of these are short, just 60 seconds to four minutes, others are full length messages.)

Online Resources, Blogs

Here are some of my favorite blogs, and I’d recommend getting on the feeds so they’re emailed to you daily:

Desiring God

Between Two Worlds

Tim Challies

DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed (Kevin DeYoung)

Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF)

Generous Giving

Finally, here’s my blog, which I do 3 days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)

Favorite Websites, Rich in Biblical and Practical Truth

Desiring God

Gospel Coalition

Tony Evans and The Urban Alternative

Resources for athletes: PAO (Pro Athletes Outreach)

Our EPM website is www.epm.org

My Facebook page isn’t typical, as there’s very little about me, but I daily share great quotations, articles, and other significant resources you might enjoy. I am also on Twitter, and you can follow EPM on Instagram.

Marriage and Family Resources

Focus on the Family

Family Life Today

Best Bible Study Software

Logos Bible Software is an incredible resource I use nearly daily at home and in study. Totally portable, I use it on my tablet and cell phone too. As the pastor preaches a passage, I check the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words in the biblical text. It’s an unbelievably helpful tool, particularly if you take the time to learn how to use it (great video instruction online). See what endorsers, including me, have to say about it.

They offer different software packages. Pick one and dive in. Be sure you take advantage of their online training videos.

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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