A question that I was recently asked was, “what books do you come back to over and over?” It was in the context of a theological discussion, so I’m assuming that the man asking the question wanted to know what Christian books do I feed upon over and over. (I use the term because spiritual truth is spiritual food for the soul.)
This question always makes me uncomfortable, and I had to sit and think about the reason why. After much pondering, and trying to get to the bottom of my discomfort, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have no idea why it bothers me. But it does.
I don’t have any spiritual books that I go to over and over again. Usually, when I read a great theological book, I’m done with it except to use it for reference. These include books like John Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion. I spent a full year reading his great work, but have not really read it since. There are too many other great books to read. I have the Institutes on the shelf, and benefitted greatly from it, but only use it for reference now.
Outside of theology, there is one topic I do go to time and time again, and that is mostly centered around World War II. My favorite bookshelf, which isn’t really a big bookshelf, is filled with some of my favorite books on World War II.
As you can see, it includes William Manchester’s masterful The Last Lion series, as well as Winston Churchill’s series on the Second World War. Churchill loved to write about history, and expanding my bookshelf with his work would be a great achievement.
But the shelf also includes William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. This is highly recommended since so many of the things that went on under the Third Reich and going on today in our own country.
I also have a shelf/bench next to my bed which includes all the books I’m currently reading. This may be one reason why it takes me so long to finish a book. I’m usually reading three or four books at a time.
As you can see, it’s quite a bit. The ones on the lower portion of the bench are back burner books. So you can see what I’m currently reading. David Chilton’s The Days of Vengeance is a commentary on the book of Revelation. It is quite good, and very pastoral. Joseph Boot’s The Mission of God, is also very good. It’s about the battle between culture and the Great Commission. Hard to summarize something that is 800 pages long. Then there is Greg Bahnsen’s Victory in Jesus, which I have yet to start. And last, An Ark For All God’s Noah’s, by Thomas Brooks. A fellow pastor sent this one to me after I went through another refining fire in the church. It has been very comforting.
I can easily recommend all the books that I have discussed. If you have any questions, drop a note in the comments section.
All photos are copyright © Timothy J. Hammons, 2022.