Books Every Guy Should Read (Pt. 3)

This part of this list focuses on Theology/Christian History/Apologetics. It’s not exhaustive by any means, but these were a few of the titles I came up with off the top of my head…


Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle
A scripture-saturated exhortation specifically aimed at young men from the timeless pen of J.C. Ryle. A must-read.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
A thoughtful, eloquently-written defense of the Christian faith. If you haven’t read it, you must.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
I’m about half-way through this one now, and all I can say is, Wow. Go read it for yourself. As James Boice said, “It may be a bit early to call [it] one of the classic theological works of our time. But if it does not have that status yet, it is well on its way to achieving it.”

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
No explanation needed whatsoever.

Holiness by J.C. Ryle
A superb handling of subjects many evangelicals today wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, including the power and depth of indwelling sin, the necessity of holy living, counting the cost of following Christ… and that’s just for starters.

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
This is one I have yet to read myself, but I’ve heard so much about it that I have little doubt it should be on this list.

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
Despite purporting to be about public education, this Lewis book is primarily a razor-edged attack on relativism that simultaneously presents a superb argument for the necessity of recognizing objective values.

Tactics by Gregory Koukl
Essentially a game book for discussing your Christian convictions, specifically with non-believers. Koukl – who holds MA degrees in both apologetics and philosophy – introduces various techniques that will help you share your faith with others more confidently, graciously, and effectively.

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Kenneth Meyers
Fantastic stuff. A thoroughly worthwhile read on how Christians should relate to pop culture.

The Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson
One of the clearest, most concise overviews of the fundamentals of the Christian faith I’ve ever read. It’s short, but filled to the brim with rich, scriptural doctrine that you can really sink your teeth into.

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
One of those books that, once read, is impossible to forget. And there’s no hyperbole in that statement, either.

Have any recommendations of your own? Any book you think should be featured in future installments of this list? If so, be my guest and share ‘em down in the comments section.

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9 thoughts on “Books Every Guy Should Read (Pt. 3)”

  1. Great list, I have to read several of those still. I started on The Institutes once and have yet to finish.

    My recommendation would be “The Gospel According to Jesus” by John MacArthur, that one should be read by anyone who wants to clearly defend the Lordship of Christ in salvation.

  2. Great list, Corey. I have not read the Institutes yet but hope to read one chapter a week starting 2012, God willing. I think it will be more manageable in smaller chunks than in 1 sitting. :)

    Some other additions to the list would be The Courage to be Protestant by David Wells and The Life of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards.

  3. I heartily agree with Mere Christianity. I read Wumbrand’s book years ago. I don’t think I’ve read any of the others, but I have heard parts of the Book of Martyrs.

    I’m reading one now with my son called Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man by Bob Schultz that seems pretty good, though there are a couple of points I’d quibble with. I think it’s aimed at teens and/or pre-teens. But some of the missionary biographies I mentioned on your last list are some of my all-time highest recommendations.

    There’s also a 30-day devotional by Christ Anderson and Joe Tyrpak called Gospel Meditations for Men that is good.

    1. Oh, yes, Bob Schultz books are excellent. He wrote two others which I recommend you check out when you’re done with B&B: Created for Work and Practical Happiness. Of course, I don’t agree with every single thing he writes, but nonetheless, his books are well-worth reading.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. Calvin generally and unfairly has the reputation of being pretty dour. Although he did work doggedly, he was also a lawn bowler. And if you read the Institutes, you will find in several areas where it would be easy to be divisive he is actually gracious and catholic.

    John Frame told us at RTS – Orlando, that each of us needed to read through the Institutes before we left.

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