"We should read old books" - John Piper
In a recent posting by John Piper on how he decides which books to read, he ends by saying this...
I don't think we ought to be reading new books all the time. I think we should read old books. And then the question is whether time and history has proven them. There are some books that have been around forever, and they are, generation after generation, witnessed to as being very shaping to people's lives. So I think we should constantly be exposing ourselves to those classics and not always reading the latest thing.
So I recommend reading 1) things that relate to the passions of your life, 2) recommendations from people that are responsible and that you respect, and 3) time-proven, classic, deep works on various issues.
What are two or three classics that you would recommend to just about anyone?
The Bible, the most proven and most useful book, should be in your reading list every day.
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Everybody, I think, who can read English can benefit from working their way through that. In my own life I put The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards very high up the list. And for those with a really strong theological bent, The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards. [Some other] massively influential books in my life:
Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther.
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.