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.
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.
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, 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)
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 Gospel, by 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
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: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Tim Keller
Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, by Beth Moore
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
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
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
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 World, by 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
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, Tony Evans, Randy Alcorn, and others
Kingdom Man: Every Man's Destiny, Every Women's Dream, by Tony Evans
Quiet Strength, One 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
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, by Jen Wilkin
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
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
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)
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.
Kevin DeYoung messages (Kevin is one of my favorite Bible teachers.)
Dan Franklin messages (Dan is also an interesting Bible teacher.)
If interested, Randy Alcorn videos (Some of these are short, just 60 seconds to four minutes, others are full length messages.)
Here are some of my favorite blogs, and I’d recommend getting on the feeds so they’re emailed to you daily:
DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed (Kevin DeYoung)
Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF)
Finally, here’s my blog, which I do 3 days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
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.
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.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.