OK, Christmas is fast approaching, so the need to find good gifts is upon us. And what better gifts are there than books? So to help you out here, I have put together some of my most read authors. My brief discussions about them may well inspire you as you get some gift books for others – or even for yourself.
Of necessity this is obviously a rather biased piece. My criteria for favorite authors – at least in this case – amounts to nothing more than how many books I have of each. If I have several dozen books by a given author, I obviously think he is a significant writer worth paying attention to.
Bear in mind however that my interests may well not be those of others. Often these authors have been of great help to me in my teaching ministry, and they reflect special areas of interest which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But they are all good authors nonetheless who are worth being aware of.
So here I will just go through my library list and pull out some of the authors who I happen to have plenty of titles by. I will just go through my 95 page library listing (in fine print), in alphabetical fashion. With 6000 books, I can only go with those authors that I have at least a dozen volumes from. So here we go.
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John Ankerberg and John Weldon have teamed up to produce heaps of books and booklets. I have 30 of their titles. Many are on the cults, and many are part of their booklet series called The Facts On…. They are always quite helpful in this area. Those wanting quick facts on a range of issues will find much of value here, especially in the area of apologetics, other religions and the like.
Craig Blomberg is a New Testament scholar who is always worth running with. I have a dozen of his works, including his 1987 classic volume, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. He can always be counted on to produce solid works on the NT.
I have 34 books by James Montgomery Boice, the late pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. His books are based on his expository preaching and are always well worth getting. He has single volumes on books like Daniel and Phillipians, and multi-volume series on books like Romans and Genesis.
I have seventeen volumes by the late American conservative writer, debater and polemicist William F. Buckley. He was one of our brightest and best conservative thinkers, and almost anything by him is still well worth reading.
Another NT scholar, D. A. Carson, is also someone to always be on the lookout for. I happen to have 37 volumes by him, and none of them are a dud. Whether he is penning commentaries, works of theology or biblical studies, he is one evangelical author you all should be aware of.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I have only 29 G. K. Chesterton works, at least of his non-fiction, although I can add another dozen of his fiction works, including his famous Father Brown detection novels. He has so many classic works to recommend, including perhaps his best ever: Orthodoxy.
An even dozen by Charles Colson lets you know that I think a lot of this great man. Anything he has written is of very good value, including his 1999 volume, How Now Shall We Live?
Yet another superb NT scholar is Gordon Fee. I have 13 of his volumes. His top notch commentaries and works on biblical studies are always going to stand the test of time.
Christian apologist Norman Geisler has written heaps of books – probably around 90 at least. I have 37 of them, and he is always a must author to have in your library.
The Reformed writer and theologian Michael Horton can always be counted on to produce solid material. The 13 volumes that I have of his are worth revisiting on a regular basis.
If it is the Old Testament you like, OT scholar Walter Kaiser has plenty of great titles to choose from. I have 16 of them and regularly go back to his works.
Peter Kreeft is a very prolific apologist, philosopher and Catholic writer whose works are always simulating, incisive and well-written. I have 20 of them and am always getting more.
What can we say about the great C. S. Lewis? With 26 of his works, not to mention all of his fiction, I have most of what he has written. One of the great Christian apologists of last century, you can never read Lewis too often.
And then there is the master expositor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I have 55 books by the Doctor, but that does not take into account all of his multi-volume works. No library is complete without a heap of his works, especially his magisterial 14-volume commentary on Romans.
Tremper Longman is another great OT scholar and commentator. The 22 volumes of his that I have come in handy so very often.
Theologian and apologist Alister Mcgrath is a very prolific and helpful author. The 27 books that I have of his cover a wide range of topics, from dealing with atheists to the relationship between faith and science to the history of theological development.
I have 18 books by the late Australian theologian Leon Morris. He could always be counted on to churn out quality work, and his books and commentaries are continually of great help. His various books on the atonement for example are not to be missed.
Ronald Nash was a Christian philosopher who covered a wide range of topics, and is of real value in the area of apologetics and the like. I have 13 works by him, and they are all good value.
I have 17 works by the great Catholic social thinker and political commentator Michael Novak. Many of his important titles could be singled out, not least of which his 1982 volume, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism.
James Packer is another super-reliable theologian and writer who can always be counted on to produce the goods. The 18 books of his which I have are all terrific works indeed. His popular level Knowing God will always be timely.
I possess 21 volumes by the American theologian and pastor John Piper. He has done much to popularise and promote the works of Jonathan Edwards, and is always an author worth going back to.
I have all 24 books by the great Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer. Every Christian should have at least a few of this great man’s works. So many of them are modern day classics.
English conservative philosopher Roger Scruton will never disappoint. One of England’s great minds who writes from a Christian worldview, his 13 books that I own are often being referred to again and again.
I only have 24 books by the great American economist and social thinker Thomas Sowell – over half of his total output. Sowell is an author you all should be familiar with, and own at least some of his writings.
The terrific Reformed thinker and theologian R. C. Sproul will regularly come up with tremendous works, and anything of his that you find is worth grabbing. I have 26 of his books.
The 20 books I have by John Stott are all gems, and you all should have at least a few of his many superb commentaries and books on theology and biblical studies. You all should own his classic works such as Basic Christianity and The Cross of Christ.
Although I have only 12 books by the great A. W. Tozer listed on my library document, many of these are multi-volume sets of his material. People keep dredging his output to find new never-before published sermons or essays. You can never ever get enough of Tozer.
Another very prolific NT scholar is Ben Witherington. I have 23 of his works, many of which are commentaries. He is always worth checking out.
I love the Old Testament, so I have 13 volumes by OT scholar Chris Wright. All his books are valuable and well worth having.
While I only have 22 books by the uber-prolific N. T. Wright, if you take in his popular level NT commentary series, that number doubles. He is of course one of our most important NT scholars of today. Whether one always agrees with him or not is another matter, but one cannot ignore his massive contribution to NT studies.
Finally, I have 13 books by perhaps our finest living Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. Anything he does is first class, and you all should have at least a few of his fine books.
Happy reading and Merry Christmas!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.