Top 25 Books
New to Chickasha Reformed Church? Here are 25 books we recommend to help you get an idea of what we believe.
Not included in this list are our foundational documents. Our sole authority is the Bible which is the God’s breathed-out Word to us. We are also aligned with the Three Forms of Unity, The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the 1689 Baptist Second London Confession. We leave the choice between the particulars of these confessions up to each household.
Calvin’s Institutes, John Calvin
At least we’re up-front, right? John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is foundational for understanding, not only the theology of our church, but the theology of all of Protestantism. We recommend picking up an abridged version first so you can finish it before Jesus returns or calls you home.
Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
This is the first of many works of C. S. Lewis on this list (and in our opinion there should be even more). This is the greatest work of Christian nonfiction from the 20th Century, no competition (sorry Francis Schaeffer). Lewis makes incredibly complex doctrinal ideas easy to understand so that newbies and veteran Christians have something to learn. It’s fun for the whole family.
The only warning with this book is that he has a few sections which would seem to go against Reformed theology, and he also seems to entertain theistic evolution. But we give him a pass because he’s just the coolest.
Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey
This book is a rare example of an author being able to place their finger on a rising cultural moment in a way that is…heh…totally true. The issues she discusses here have become a touchstone for all apologetics since. A great book for understanding the many ways that our culture has shaped the church. Just buy it already.
Systematic Theology, John Frame
There are many massive books of Systematic Theology, but here’s another one to make your bookshelf sag. John Frame lines up most accurately with the theology of Chickasha Reformed Church and it is easy to follow (you’re welcome). It is great for citing Scripture passages, and well-written enough for use in family study or for personal devotion.
The Forgotten Trinity, James White
A great work for understanding the super simple doctrine of the Trinity. It is down-to-earth, something very necessary in a book tackling something misunderstood so often (by laymen and denominational heads alike). This book is absolutely necessary for those struggling to understand this doctrine (which is definitely not you. You and I have it down, right?) or for those struggling to help others understand it.
Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton
Like Mere Christianity, Orthodoxy is one of the best and most-well written general introductions to Christianity ever written. This book continues to speak poignantly over 110 years after it was written. The only issue with this book is that Chesterton takes pot shots at Calvinism any time he’s a stone’s throw away, but that’s okay. Calvin can take it.
Future Grace, John Piper
This is a great work for understanding the way that God’s grace works, which I’m sure was obvious from the title. It will help you understand the way that grace is active, not only in our conversion, but in our sanctification as well. This book is great for combating the common misconception that our Christian life reaches its fulness when we are saved, and instead points to the reality that in life God’s grace brings us from glory to glory.
The Holiness of God, R. C. Sproul
This is an amazing book for understanding who God is. Understanding the holiness of God is crucial to understanding everything else about Him. It is the attribute of God which sets Him apart from everything else in existence.
Chosen by God, R. C. Sproul
This is an excellent book for understanding God’s wonderful grace of divine election (yep, we’re doing the Calvinism thing again). Sproul does an excellent job of breaking down the concepts and explaining the Scriptures and themes which help us to understand the way that God chooses to save his people.
Through New Eyes, James B. Jordan
This is an excellent work for understanding how to read the Bible symbolically. This book will help you to understand the Bible in new ways and will deepen your love for reading God’s Word. The book is not air-tight, but it is a great place to start for understanding symbolic patterns and tools necessary for the Scriptures. By the end the amount of symbolism here will make you feel like a seasick conspiracy theorist. But that’s okay. Grab some Dramamine and drink some water. You’ll feel better in the morning.
The Lord’s Service, Jeffrey Meyers
Tired of fog machines and lasers in the worship service keeping you from seeing the 4th bridge on the projector screen? This book is for you. The Lord’s Service is wonderful for developing a Biblical theology of worship. Many find themselves in seeker-sensitive worship services because of the modern pressure to see worship as a form of entertainment. Instead, this book explores the theology of worship as covenant renewal. Meyers goes to Scripture to find out, not how we want to worship God, but how God wants us to worship Him.
Baptism: Three Views, David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, et al.
Now it’s time for the big one. The main event. This book asks the age-old question: Is a water gun a valid means of administering baptism? Kidding. But the answer is yes.
This book offers a fair and balanced perspective on baptism. It is an excellent resource for those wanting to understand baptism more deeply, or for those wanting to understand why we at Chickasha Reformed Church have chosen not to divide over differences of opinion about baptism.
Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards
In this classic of Christian theology, Edwards outlines the potential dangers of revivalism that he saw in the First Great Awakening. He outlines the way that the Spirit leads our affections as well as how to identify the differences between true and false affections.
It is very good to know that centuries after it was written that we have taken his reflections to heart. Right?
Strange Fire, John MacArthur
Strange Fire outlines a biblical understanding of the gift of tongues and the way that it is viewed in modern evangelicalism. It is a great work and can lead to very important conversations about the many ways that the last two centuries have shaped our own theology of worship, sometimes even more than Scripture.
Ol’ Johnny Mac can be pretty curmudgeonly in his hard cessationism. But you just gotta love him anyway.
When the Man Comes Around, Doug Wilson
This book is a commentary on the Book of Revelation. It is a great piece for those new to Postmillennialism or who want to understand different interpretations of the end times as understood through the Book of Revelation. This book will not only deepen your understanding of Revelation, but it will give you a far more robust understanding of the events surrounding the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D.
It’s by Douglas Wilson AND it’s about Postmillennialism. What’s not to love, right?
Practical Theology and Devotion:
Many theologians have argued that Augustine’s Confessions is a work that every Christian should keep at their bedside. It is a work that you can return to at every stage of life and gain new insight. It is both deeply devotional and highly philosophical, heavy theology and personal biography. Confessions will shape your prayer life into something more intimate and meaningful. Augustine’s heart for the Lord in this book still beats many centuries after it was written.
You should read Augustine anyway. He was Calvinist before it was cool (and before it became uncool and then cool again).
Mortification of Sin, John Owen
This classic from the great Puritan John Owen is an absolute necessity for anyone wanting a deeper practical theology of how to battle sin in your life. This book has helped many Christians free themselves from the way modern pop-psychology and self-help have framed the way we think about ourselves. This book will give you a biblical perspective on how to fight sin, and it is worth returning to many times over.
And now that we’ve run off the pop-psychology and self-help people, the few of you left can join me for the rest of our tour.
The Book of Common Prayer
It would be a disservice to talk about works of Christian devotion without mentioning the Book of Common Prayer. This work was originally put together in the 16th century during the English Reformation but there are many updated versions. The easiest to understand for beginners is the 2019 edition. The only issues with this book are the various differences between Reformed and Anglican theology. But the main use for this book is in personal devotion through the use of the Daily Office and the lectionary, and the differences between Reformed and Anglican theology will not be found there. The BCP is a great resource for prayer and devotion for your family.
Plus everybody loves Anglicans, right? We have C. S. Lewis on this list like 3 times.
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
Complimenting this piece is like complimenting the Mona Lisa. Except this book is better than the Mona Lisa. Nothing I could say could be a worthy introduction. Just read it.
The Valley of Vision
This book is an excellent collection of Puritan prayers. For anyone interested in strengthening their prayer life by studying and praying written prayers, this work along with the BCP is essential.
Morning & Evening, Charles Spurgeon
This devotional classic continues to strengthen the faith of believers from all traditions every morning and evening (see what I did there?). Much like Confessions, it soars to theological heights while simultaneously being intimate, encouraging, and strengthening in times of personal hardship. There’s a free app too, so you have no excuse on this one.
The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis
This book is one of the most original and creative novels ever written. It is helpful for personal devotion (it has 31 chapters so that you can read one per day) and is simultaneously an incredibly imaginative and will help you to think about reality differently than you ever have before. Plus, it’s spooky. I think it’s a great read for October.
Household and the War for the Cosmos, C. R. Wiley
This book is incredibly practical and helpful for those wanting to develop a deeper theology of what the heck they’re doing. This book will help you to see everything you do, all the way down to your conversations at the dinner table, as eternally meaningful. Go ahead and read it. Your baked potatoes will thank you.
The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis
Not a book about marriage. The title of this book has done it no favors. The Great Divorce is actually a novel about heaven and hell. No spoilers, but heaven is where you wanna be.
It will challenge the way you think about everything: sin, holiness, eternity, and mankind.
Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, N. D. Wilson
This book is excellent for giving you a deeper sense of your purpose and responsibility as someone created by God. We live in God’s spoken world, and you are a character in His story. This book will make you begin to ask how your life should change to reflect that reality.
Warning: Wilson uses some naughty words in this one. He explains why but I’m sure you won’t care. You can handle it. You’re a grown-up after all and I’d bet you’ve seen a few PG-13 movies in your day.
For those of you left on this tour: thank you. It’s been a pleasure. The exit is up and to the right (or left if you’re on a Mac).
Post-Millennialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison
Theonomy and Christian Ethics, Greg Bahnsen
Victory in Jesus: The Bright Hope of Postmillennialism, Greg Bahnsen
Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, Greg Bahnsen
Presuppositional Apologetics, Greg Bahnsen
Post-Millennialism Made Easy, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Apologetics: A Justification of Christian Belief, John Frame
What is Reformed Theology: Understanding the Basics, R. C. Sproul
The Institutes of Biblical Law: 3 Volume Set, Rousas John Rushdoony
The Mission of God: A Manifesto of Hope for Society, Joseph Boot
‘And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’