10 Books to Help You Know (and Be Able to Explain) the Christian Faith

 Photo by  Angello Lopez  on  Unsplash

Photo by Angello Lopez on Unsplash

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Beautiful Christian Life recently shared 10 words every Christian should know (and be able to explain) in order to "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). Here are 10 books for your summer reading list that will help equip you in these foundational doctrines of the Christian faith:

1. Faith

What Is Faith? (Crucial Questions Series Book 8) by R. C. Sproul

Saving faith is not, as is commonly believed, a blind faith. R. C. Sproul gives readers a correct understanding of what God's gift of faith actually is and how it reveals God's love and mercy for sinners. For more details, click here.

2. Grace

Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel by Michael Horton

Christianity isn't about trying harder to get to heaven, or being good enough to be worthy of God's love. Michael Horton explains how a proper understanding of God's grace is vital to the Christian life. If you feel beaten down or are carrying a load of guilt trying to earn God's favor, drink from the truths in this book and experience God's grace and relief from your burdens. For more details, click here.

3. Peace

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray

While subjective feelings of peace can come and go depending on our circumstances, Christians can—and should—know that all believers have objective peace with God because Christ has accomplished their redemption in full. In this classic book, theologian John Murray explains that "Christ procured redemption and therefore he secured it. He met in himself and swallowed up the full toll of divine condemnation and judgment against sin. He wrought righteousness which is the proper ground of complete justification and the title to everlasting life" (p. 56). For more details, click here.

4. Cross

Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Timothy Keller

Who is Jesus anyway? Some call him a prophet, some a good moral teacher, and many say he is dead. But what does the Bible actually teach about him, and what impact does he have on our lives now? Divided into two parts, "The King" and "The Cross," Timothy Keller's book unpacks who Jesus is and how we should understand his purpose and mission as revealed in Scripture. For more details, click here.

5. Law

The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters by Sinclair Ferguson

What is the relationship between the law and the gospel? Do Christians still need to keep the law if they are saved by grace? Sinclair Ferguson sheds much needed light on a debate that caused the Marrow Controversy of the eighteenth century and continues on today regarding the role of the law in the lives of believers. For more details, click here.

Also recommended: The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul

6. Gospel

What Is the Gospel? (9Marks) by Greg Gilbert

The gospel is central to Christianity; yet, it's amazing to see how much Christians struggle to answer the question of what the gospel is. Such an important message should be understood, and every Christian should be ready to share it. For more details, click here.

Also recommended: Right with God by John Blanchard

7. Justification

Justified by Faith Alone by R. C. Sproul

The word justification isn't common in modern Christian vocabulary, but the scriptural teaching about this doctrine is vital for a beautiful and joyful Christian life. According to Reformation theologian Martin Luther, the doctrine of justification by faith alone is "the article upon which the church stands or falls." Join R. C. Sproul as he unpacks this essential doctrine that every Christian needs to know. For more details, click here.

Also recommended: What is Justification by Faith Alone? by J. V. Fesko

8. Sanctification

The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung

Author Kevin DeYoung writes, "The Bible could not be any clearer. The reason for your entire salvation, the design behind your deliverance, the purpose for which God chose you in the first place is holiness" (pp. 25-26). Sanctification in Christ consists of two parts: the dying of the old self (mortification), and living unto God (vivification). DeYoung explains why every Christian should be focused on growing in holiness. For more details, click here.

9. Imputation

Death in Adam, Life in Christ: The Doctrine of Imputation by J. V. Fesko

The doctrine of imputation is one of the most under-taught teachings in the church today, and every Christian needs to know it. How can a sinner be righteous before God? Theologian J. V. Fesko addresses this question in straightforward terms. Enjoy a clearly written explanation of the doctrine of justification and be inspired to praise and worship the God of grace. For more details, click here.

10. Resurrection

Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D. A. Carson

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is not only a historical event, but it is also central to the only hope any of us have of being righteous in God's sight. Join theologian D. A. Carson as he explains the scandal of the cross and Christ's resurrection—and what they mean for every person who has ever lived. For more details, click here.

Related Article: 10 Words Every Christian Should Know (and Be Able to Explain)

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