1. Holiness by J.C. Ryle [y, l, e, p, s]
Put your helmet and pads on because you are gonna get trucked. This is probably the most convicting book I have ever read. I got to visit Ryle’s grave in Liverpool, England, he was very tall and had a large beard.
2. Pensees by Blaise Pascal [y, l, e, p, s]
Most do not think of Pensees as a devotional work. I do. Read it slow and meditate, it will warm your soul.
3. Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer [c, y, l, e, p, s]
Chapters 1-3 alone are worth the price of the book. Tozer wrote this one night on a train ride! He gets at the root of sin.
4. Pursuit of Man by A.W. Tozer [y, l, e, p, s]
Almost no one has read this gem. In my view it is almost as good as Pursuit of God and better than Knowledge of the Holy.
5. Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards [y, l, e, p, s]
Edwards makes sense of our emotion and affection for God. He was also instrumental in reuniting the Presbyterians who were divided on what to think about the First Great Awakening.
6. Desiring God by John Piper [y, l, e, p, s]
This book can be slow and awkward at times but it is well worth the read. He defines and defends the idea of Christian Hedonism, borrowing heavily from Jonathan Edwards and #5 on this list.
7. Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith [c, y, l, e, p, s]
This book is on this list for the wide variety of authors/traditions you get to read over the course of church history.
8. The Call by Os Guinness [y, l, e, p, s]
Guinness covers systematically God’s calling on the Christian and employs several vignettes into the lives of wonderful Christians through church history.
9. Knowing God by J.I. Packer [c, y, l, e, p, s]
10. Puritan Paperbacks by Various: Most notably – The Christians Great Interest, The Valley of Vision, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, Doctrine of Repentance, All Loves Excelling, The Sinfulness of Sin, The Bruised Reed, The Mortification of Sin, and Guide to Christ. Entire set can be found at monergism books. [y, l, e, p, s]
The Puritans are a treasure chest of wisdom and keen insight on the human condition. They require patience to read but can be very rewarding.
(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)