"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « My Sin Makes Me Worry If I am Really Saved | Main | What I am Reading »

    "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.

    The Mortification of Sin and Communion with God by John Owen.

    Posted by John on May 14, 2008 02:11 PM


    And don't forget The Glory of Christ, by John Owen, and A History of the Work of Redemption, by Jonathan Edwards!


    I have particularly benefited from Luther's "Bondage of the Will" It is deep but still easy to read.

    In Him,


    Outside of many of Piper's own works, all of the above, and Owen's "Indwelling Sin in Believers", Augustine's "Confessions", and if you can't get through "Institutes" by Calvin, "the Golden Booklet" is amazing for a short read.

    I am in complete agreement with the works and the authors already mentioned. I would like to add Jeremiah Burroughs and Thomas Watson to the list. I've been reading a few books by both of these authors lately, and I must say that are quite profound. I remember several times while reading "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" by Burroughs that he seemed to be writing more to the people of OUR time than he could possibly have been writing to his own! It's exceptional that so many of these Puritan writings speak directly to the issues of our day.

    And then there's Spurgeon who wrote: "We assert this day that, when we take down a volume of Puritanical theology we find in a solitary page more thinking and more learning, more Scripture, more real teaching, than in whole folios of the effusions of modern thought. The modern men would be rich if they possessed even the crumbs that fall from the table of the Puritans."

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