Top 5 Books Read in 2011

End of the year is a time for “Top ___” list for the year right? Well here is my list of the top five books I read this year; outside of the Bible. In the Bible I have been camped out in Philippians all year, so much great truth in that short 4 chapter book.

1. “The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life” by Charles Spurgeon 

I thought I knew how to pray until I read this book. Greatly challenged me, one of those books I will read again. Highly recommend it.

True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of heaven and earth.” (page 15)

2. “Power Through Prayer” by EM Bounds 

Found this book on my shelf, and decided to read it. Short read, but great read. Challenging and practical, written towards an audience of ministers, but recommend it for anyone.

No man can do a great and enduring work for God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of prayer who does not give much time to praying.” (page 57)

3. “A Hunger for God: through Prayer and Fasting” by John Piper

Great read/ teaching on purpose of prayer and fasting. On the purpose of the two comes out of a Hunger for God; to draw closer to Him.

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world.” (page 14)

4. “Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up” by Francis Chan

Title says it all, its a study on what the Bible really says about Hell. Ton of scripture references, if wanting to know what the Bible really teaches about eternity, I recommend this book. Was written in response to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins,” which was one of the most heartbreaking reads I have ever read.

When it comes to hell, we can’t afford to be wrong. This is not one of those doctrines where you can toss in your two cents, shrug your shoulders and move on. Too much is at stake, too many people are at stake. And the Bible has too much to say…. Don’t believe something just because you want to, and don’t embrace an idea just because you’ve always believed it. Believe what is biblical. Test all your assumptions against the precious words God gave us in the Bible.” (page 14-15)

5. “Weight of Glory” by CS Lewis

Short essay, but thought-provoking and challenging. I have a hard time reading Lewis, but was able to read this, and it has challenged me.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”(page 1)

This is just a short post about 5 books that have challenged me this year. I highly recommend these books and would encourage you to read them. But as a caution I would add that books are great and great authors can challenge us and open up our minds to the things of God, but don’t neglect the Word of God for a book. Don’t neglect the Creator for someone created. These books have helped me to think hard on the things of God, but nothing can challenge us and grow us more than the Word of God can.

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3 thoughts on “Top 5 Books Read in 2011

  1. You landed on three of my favorite authors; Spurgeon, Bounds and of course Lewis.

    Bounds has several books that are a series of sermons on prayer, and most of them are available free online. One I found early in my search for texts relating to prayer is “The Weapon of Prayer” and it can be found here:
    http://www.fbinstitute.com/Bounds/Weapon_of_Prayer_Text.html
    and “The Necessity of Prayer”
    http://www.fbinstitute.com/Bounds/The_Necessi_of_Prayer_Text.html

    An online version of Lewis’ “The Weight of Glory” can be found here:
    http://www.verber.com/mark/xian/weight-of-glory.pdf

    Another online library:
    http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/bookcat.htm

  2. Pingback: Prayer Life Defined? | Nick Elizondo

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